December 2, 2005 Fiat dropped a bombshell yesterday at Italy's biggest motoring event, the Bologna Motor Show, by showing an off-road vehicle that looks to be aimed squarely at the Hummer. The Oltre Fiat is a massive - its nearly five metres long and over two metres tall with a two tonne payload - go absolutely anywhere, anytime vehicle features what the Italians call "exuberant styling" and what anyone on the West Coast of the USA would call serious Bling, is more much more than possible evidence that Fiat has decided it wants to supply Arnold Schwarzenegger's next car. Like the Hummer, it has military credentials, being based on the Iveco Light Multi-role vehicle, the new military off-road vehicle that embodies cutting edge technical features and has won the FCLV (Future Command and Liaison Vehicle) contract for the British Army.
The Iveco Light Multi-role vehicle has also been chosen by the Italian Army and confirms the Fiat Group's technological excellence even in the large four-wheel drive and off-road segment.
The Oltre Fiat goes beyond generous external dimensions: it is 4,870 mm long, 2,050 mm tall, 2,200 mm wide and has a wheelbase of 3,230 mm. Its styling is developed around a silhouette with straight wheelarches that cut across the uncluttered sides. The door handles have been recessed deliberately, so that they do not constitute an obstacle when driving off-road. In other words, the design concept underlines the car's practical personality, which is taken to an extreme by the vehicle's real performance.
The Crew-Cab version (long cab with an open platform) achieves a perfect balance between the feeling of dominating the terrain from inside the comfortable cab, and the Spartan personality of a pure expedition Pick-up. The tubular structure above the cab enhances the solidity of the whole vehicle, focusing attention on the presence of a complete rollover bar inside the cab. And finally, the adjustable sunshade at the top of the windscreen increases the dynamism of the roof, and recreates the typical structure of vehicles used for desert crossings.
The Oltre-Fiat clearly embodies power and solidity, having inherited all the features peculiar to the military model, starting from the permanent 4x4 transmission that allows it to tackle any situation or route. The merit also goes to the generous 50 cm ground clearance, and the highly efficient independent suspension system with coil springs and coaxial dampers.
The vehicle's extraordinary capacity as an "explorer" is also enhanced by the fact that all-wheel drive is engaged automatically when it is needed. All three differentials lock, a system that guarantees optimal wheel grip in all conditions.
Thanks to these solutions, the Oltre Fiat can negotiate a lateral gradient of up to 40%, and longitudinal gradients of 80%; it can also tackle fords of up to 85 cm, and this can be increased to 1.5 metres by mounting special inlet and exhaust pipe extensions. And finally, the show car is fitted with high performance, ultra sporty (V speed code), low profile Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico 315/40R26 XL (Extra load) tyres.
The vehicle on show in Bologna can therefore perform a wide range of functions; it is equipped with an Iveco F1C Common rail diesel engine, with a variable geometry turbo and intercooler. The 3.0 litre engine has four cylinders in line and delivers a maximum power output of 136 kW (185 bhp) at 3700 rpm, and peak torque of 456 Nm at 1800 rpm. Combined with a six-speed automatic transmission, the engine gives this extraordinary vehicle a top speed of over 130 km/h.
And finally, the Oltre-Fiat show car weighs about seven tonnes, ready for the road and exploiting all its load capacity. It can seat four or five people, depending on the interior outfit, with an overall payload of about three tonnes.
Of course, the obvious question is, will you ever be able to walk into Fiat dealer and see it towering over the Fiat Panda and Punto. Well, the original vehicle is a highly successful military vehicle that will be seen around the world in battlefields and it would not be the first time that a vehicle has moved from the battlefield to fashion accessory.
Fiat thanks the following organisations for their collaboration in the development of the Oltre Fiat show car: RRS (vehicle outfit), Pirelli (tyres), Sabelt (seats) and Alpine (audiovisual systems).