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New 2009 Fiat Fiorino Qubo - (Global)

September 13th, 2008
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Qubo is the name of the new vehicle being sold by the FIAT sales network. An original name that plays on the idea of “cube”, which may not always be complimentary in all contexts, but in any case clearly evokes the strong points of this model: reliability and sturdiness, as well as unique and versatile functions. Not to mention the originality of changing the C of cube to Q to tell us that this vehicle is no ordinary cube, but rather a cube with a twist.

The Qubo is targeted at a Client who is a non-conformist oriented towards substance rather than show, a strong personality who is emanates confidence of his or her own well-informed choices.

Qubo goes well beyond the concept of the MPV to venture as a pioneer into the concept of a “free space” vehicle, capable of satisfying a variety of needs for mobility. In fact, it is a highly functional vehicle with two sliding rear side doors, flexible interiors capable of offering up to sixteen different solutions. If so desired, it is also available with a front passenger seat that can be folded into a table and then flush with the boot level, making it possible to load objects measuring nearly 2.5 metres (a true record for a vehicle that measure only 3.9 metres).

So this is the vehicle that lets you do anything you like, just as one would expect from a multipurpose vehicle, because it is as easy to handle as a city car and as spacious and comfortable as a MPV. But when compared to an MPV, the price is better for the same versatility and more compact dimensions (3959 mm long and 1684 mm wide, this boasts the best maximum capacity boot among all the vehicles in its class). Moreover, Qubo fits in anywhere (urban and suburban), ensuring notable fuel savings -thanks to the 1.3 Multijet 75 hp engine, also available with the robotized "Dual Logic” six-speed transmission – which all translates into 1000 km of autonomy and reduced operating costs (30,000 km for the first service check). All in all, this vehicle is also about as green as can be, reducing CO2 emissions to 119 g/km with the 1.3 Multijet engine and offering an optional particulate filter.

But that's not all; Qubo manages to offer all this and at a highly competitive price, in keeping with other segment B vehicles, while including an integrated Blue&Me communications system (hands free, vocal and steering wheel commands, on-board text messaging, and a USB port).

Sales began in France in June and will continue over the summer months in Austria and Hungary. Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and Spain were next, while an October arrival is slated for Germany, Holland, Ireland, and November for Belgium and Greece (next year, Great Britain and Denmark should conclude the cycle).

Distinctive exterior styling and new-concept interiors

Essential and rational, the exterior styling of the Qubo also sets itself apart for the specific side and rear body treatments that pump up its muscular personality. In the same way, not even the bold and rugged good-looks of the front can compromise the overall impression of a "unconventional yet likeable” vehicle, just as its solid appearance and “four wheels on the ground” attitude are counterbalanced by the fluid and clean lines that ooze dynamism.

These aesthetic peculiarities are in keeping with the compact exterior dimensions - 3.96 metres long, 1.72 metres tall, and 1.68 metres wide – which when united with a steering diameter of less than 10 metres, allows the new Qubo to negotiate narrow downtown streets or the metropolitan traffic slaloms, becoming a new ingenious alternative to the city car and compact MPVs alike.

In more detail, the sturdy front bumper matches the body colour, protectively hugging the more delicate zones – headlights, bonnet, and radiator – especially against low-speed impact. The same sense of security is provided by the body side molding that allows the driver to manoeuvre in total confidence, even in tight spots, and by the matching wing rear-view mirrors that guarantee excellent visibility by reducing blind spots to a minimum. Plenty of glass on the doors and the ample windscreen (the front pillars have also been minimized) further increase what is already extraordinary visibility. Even the side glass creates an original visual effect that, combined with the lines drawn in correspondence to the mudguards, streamlines the entire side.

The rear hatchback lends a sophisticated design, bejewelled as it is with the central logo and stylized window, giving this vehicle something to shout about.

The overall charm of the Fiorino Qubo is further punctuated by the front and rear lights - characterised with transparencies and chromium plating, mounted high to protect them from eventual impact - and the front and rear doors, the latter of which are always sliding and feature plenty of glass to increase passenger comfort and functionality. Finally, the client can choose from among ten body colours and two types of interiors.

But enough about the outside. It's inside where the new Qubo really struts its stuff. Thanks to an original concept – denominated “free space” – that combines different seat arrangements (for a total of sixteen) through the rationality and regularity of the interior spaces. The result is an exceptionally exploitable space for volume and flexibility: for example, with seats in a normal position, the boot measures 330 litres (up to the height of the boot panel) and 650 litres if measured to the roof. Instead, if the rear seats are removed and the front passenger folded down to the floor, the load capacity amounts to 2,500 litres (best in class) and a boot capable of holding objects nearly 2.5 metres long (a real record, if we consider that the vehicle measures a total of 3.9 metres in length).

The Fiorino Qubo seat represent the soul of the “free space” concept": In fact, the alternative to the standard front passenger seat may be a specially designed seat that, when folded up with a simple gesture, can "disappear” into floor at boot level (while in an intermediate position it may function as a convenient table top!). Furthermore, the rear seats are available in 1/3 and 2/3 configurations, and can be folded or removed (completely or partially) thereby offering surprising load capacity and versatility.

So much for space and flexibility, but Fiorino Qubo is also a comfortable vehicle for all effects and purposes, as demonstrated by the symmetrical and modular T-shaped dashboard that serves up all the commands and a variety of instrumentation at the driver’s fingertips. But comfort on board also means storage space: so this is where the central console steps in to offer open organisational capacity. Plenty of space at the base of the transmission command on the dashboard, thanks to the roomy glove compartment. Even the door panels were studied to offer storage and a comfortable armrest. Moreover, the central tunnel also offers practical open storage compartments.

Finally, the boot is wonderfully and evenly spacious (972 mm wide, 737 mm deep, 545 mm height under the boot panel) with direct access to the loading level, while the rigid boot panel demonstrates it collaborative nature by “disappearing” easily in the space between the backrests and the wheelbox.

Progressive engines and reliable transmissions

Driving comfort also means being able to count on high-performance yet progressive engines together with strong and reliable transmissions. For this reason Fiorino Qubo comes in two Euro 4 versions – the sparky 1.3, 75 hp Multijet and the reliable 1.4, 73 hp petrol – which stand out for driving pleasure, excellent performance, and reduced operating costs, as well as for their reliability and respect for the environment. The new Qubo just had to have a 1.3 16v Multijet, the smallest and most advanced “Common Rail” direct injection diesel engine of the second generation produced by FPT - FIAT Powertrain Technologies - in the Polish plant in Bielsko-Biala. This version is combined with a manual, 5-speed or with a robotized 6-speed, “Dual Logic" transmission with sequential or automatic functions and an Economy button to optimise running with a view to reducing fuel consumption. The turbo diesel produces a hefty 75 hp (55 kW at 4000 rpm) of maximum power and a torque of 19.4 kgm (190 Nm at 1750 rpm), guaranteeing excellent performance and the best consumption figures in its class: for example, maximum speed is 155 kph while, in the combined cycle it records 4.6 l/100 km (4.5 l/100 km with the robotized transmission), which means about 1000 kilometres with a fill-up of 45 litres of diesel fuel.

Furthermore, a Qubo with this engine is an eco-friendly vehicle - some versions have CO2 values of less than 120 g/km – and if equipped with the particulate filter (optional), it can reach particle emissions of 0.005 g/km (in conformity with Euro 5 ratings).

Performance of the 73 hp 1.4 8v is just as good, having been specially developed with a view to performance and consumption. The engine supplies 73 hp (54 kW) at 5200 rpm and a maximum torque of 12 kgm (118 Nm) at 2600 rpm. Then, combined with a mechanical 5-speed transmission, the engine is peppy (maximum speed is 155 km/h) but thrifty, consuming 7.0 l/100 km in the combined cycle.

A specific solution for every request

Born in the setting of industrial cooperation between FIAT and PSA and developed on the Grande Punto platform, Qubo is produced in the Tofas plant in Bursa (Turkey)- where the Fiat Doblò is also produced - as a spin-off of a simple yet revolutionary concept: Qubo is offered in a wide yet articulate range where everyone can find the ideal solution to meet his lifestyle and way of using an automobile.

The 5-passenger model is available in two versions: the first (Active) is more basic and informal, while the second (Dynamic) is richer and more complete. Whichever he chooses, the client can always count on a decidedly enticing package. In fact, depending on the market and versions, important contents will be available: for example, safety equipment will include ABS complete with EBD, 3-point seat belts with tensioners and load limiters, power steering, and front and side airbags.

Finally, the client can customise his Qubo with a number of optionals: elegant 16” alloy rims, parking sensors, longitudinal bars in aluminium, climate control, leather steering wheel and transmission knob with Blue&Me system commands for phoning, listening to text-messages, connecting a media player. Everything is always perfectly complementary and never distracts the driver from the road, thanks to Bluetooth® technology, vocal recognition, and the presence of the USB port.

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