01 August 2005

NEW FIAT CROMA IN UK

Priced to compete directly with conventional saloons and hatchbacks, the new Fiat Croma, which goes on sale in the UK on Saturday 20 August, is Fiat Auto's unique entry into D segment, an area of the market from which one in every five cars sold in the UK, belongs.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the new Fiat Croma blends together the benefits of a saloon car, an estate and an MPV. It sets high segment standards for build quality, interior finish, comfort, equipment levels and state-of-the-art technology, within an innovative 'crossover' design. The latter represents an evolution of the hatchback concept into a well weighted combination of company car and family car - with size, spaciousness and comfort at the top of the priorities list.

Fiat Auto's distinctive new executive car thus combines the loadspace and versatility of an estate with the commanding driving position and spacious passenger accommodation of an MPV, whilst offering the superior driving dynamics of a conventional saloon. On board, the new Fiat's singular design parameters have created an interior of high quality which offers class-leading passenger space in several areas, with particular attention paid to rear passenger accommodation, where its interior dimensions are class-leading.

Seven versions of the new Croma, priced from £15,745 - £19,345 on-the-road, will become available from launch, embracing three trim levels - Dynamic, Eleganza and Prestigio - and a choice of three Euro 4-compliant engines: an all-aluminium, twin balancer shaft, twin overhead camshaft, 2.2 litre, 147 bhp, 16-valve petrol unit, and
120 and 150 bhp versions of Fiat Auto's widely acclaimed 1.9 litre MultiJet turbodiesel. Later this year, a new, 200 bhp, 5-cylinder, 20-valve, 2.4 litre MultiJet turbodiesel version, the most powerful engine in Fiat Auto's common rail turbodiesel family, will join the range, and at the beginning of next year, a 140 bhp 1.8 litre petrol engine option will become available.

Petrol engines are mated to 5-speed manual transmissions, with a 5-speed, sequential shift automatic gearbox available for the 2.2 litre unit. Both 120 and 150 bhp versions of the 1.9 litre MultiJet turbodiesel are fitted with 6-speed manual transmissions, with a 6-speed sequential shift automatic gearbox available for the 16 valve unit. The powerful, 2.4 litre MultiJet engine is exclusively mated to a 6-speed, sequential shift automatic gearbox.

The new Fiat Croma's equipment specification has been carefully considered to simplify and enhance life on board, with ABS, seven airbags, (two more are optional), remote central locking and tailgate release, electric windows throughout, air conditioning, a 6-speaker CD player, and alloy wheels fitted as standard across the entire range.

This comprehensive equipment package is further boosted by a range of innovative, safety and comfort-enhancing options, such as an electrically operated SkyDome sunroof which covers a remarkable 1.5m2, increasing the Croma's total glazed area above the waistline to some 75%, rain and dusk sensors, cruise control, xenon headlamps, rear passenger side airbags, a CD system that can play MP3 files, Fiat's unique Connect NAV+ satellite navigation and infotelematics, dual zone climate control, privacy curtains and darkened rear windows.

Allied to an outstanding Cd figure of just 0.28, which not only contributes to noise reduction but also to reduced fuel consumption, particular emphasis has been placed on eliminating the transmission of noise, vibration and harshness to the cabin of the

new Fiat Croma, further enhancing on-board comfort with the quietest possible, vibration-free interior. The extensive deployment of sound absorbing materials and sound-deadening partitions within the box sections of the Croma's monocoque structure prevent noise propagation and isolate the passenger compartment from the outside world.

Wind and road noise are also greatly reduced by the adoption of an innovative, double glazed laminated windscreen, consisting of two thick layers of glass separated by a thin film of PVB, which absorbs sound waves at 200 kHz, the prime frequency at which wind noise becomes particularly irritating. Specific attention has also been paid to the vibration-free mounting of all mechanical elements including engine, suspension and steering column, within a particularly rigid bodyshell structure - a factor which also contributes to the surefooted handling of the vehicle.

Fiat Auto has equipped the new Croma with the highest levels of both passive and active safety. Assisted by a chassis designed to provide exceptional torsional stiffness yet absorb impact with maximum efficiency, the Croma may be fitted with up to nine airbags, whilst height adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioner and load limiter, anti-whiplash front seat head restraints, three-point rear seatbelts, anti-submarining front seats, ISOFIX child seat attachments to outer rear seats and an FPS Fire Prevention System are all fitted as standard.

The new Fiat Croma also offers the full range of braking, traction control and stability systems available today: ABS anti-lock brakes complete with electronic brakeforce distribution, ASR to limit wheel slip during acceleration, MSR to modulate engine torque whilst changing down, and a sophisticated ESP to control stability during sudden changes in direction. Vehicles fitted with ESP also benefit from hydraulic brake assistance and a unique Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.

THE MARKET

Because of its size, price, and design, the new Croma will be competing in the medium range 'D' segment of the marketplace, a sector traditionally dominated by the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra. These models have sold in their millions over the years, but have recently declined in popularity due to the advent of the MPV. The 'D' segment nevertheless remains massive, accounting for some 500,000 units a year, or one in every five cars sold in the UK. Fiat has not had a model competing in this segment for some time now, so the new Croma represents an opportunity in terms of additional volume opportunities.

The new Croma, however, represents something new in the segment quite unlike the Mondeo or Vectra. It's unique in delivering large quantities of space, comfort and practicality, plus a rewarding driving experience - all at highly competitive prices.

The new Croma offers the business driver:

  • The style and drivability of a saloon car, with the practicality of an estate
  • A large volume of space for equipment or luggage
  • Exceptional comfort
  • Refined, powerful, Euro 4 compliant engines with good fuel economy
  • High levels of specification and safety

Then, when the family is involved, it provides:

  • Space for everyone to relax in
  • Luggage room for all the family's gear
  • Handy oddment compartments
  • A tall roof that makes it easy to settle children in the back
  • High-mounted seats for superior all-round visibility

An analysis of D-segment today shows that, in UK, it is in slow decline as customers in search of space and comfort, 'migrate' to the MPV (L1) segment. D-segment, however, remains very competitive, with some 35 competitors, many of which are vigorously marketing their products in this sector.

Croma, with its class-leading internal space, compact MPV driving position and
D-segment driving pleasure, meets these new customers' expectations of superior comfort, visibility, spaciousness and accessibility. But it is not only designed to appeal to compact MPV and estate car owners, offering a sportier appearance and driving properties, combined with ease of access and roominess, as it will also appeal to company hatchback drivers who will not need to make sacrifices (in terms of driving pleasure, style, or monthly payments) in going for a bigger, more practical car that's ideal for the family.

Thus, Croma's target market is on-the-road professionals with a family who want a harmony of D-segment sophistication and L1 (compact MPV) segment practicality from their company car.

DESIGN

When Giorgetto Giugiaro began designing the new Croma, his brief from Fiat was to create not just another, 'me-too', medium-range saloon, but to produce a car that would really appeal to business people with families. As a result, he had to address two seemingly conflicting attitudes.

Most business people like the smooth, sleek styling of a modern saloon, but often find the cramped interior uncomfortable and totally unrealistic for their families - the spaciousness of an MPV is much more practical.

By contrast, most MPV drivers acknowledge the comfort and practical benefits of their people carrier, but still have a hankering for the handling, drivability, and feel-good factor of a modern saloon.

With these criteria in mind, the new Croma was created - a car that addresses both issues. It's considerably taller than its main saloon rivals, giving it a large volume of versatile interior space, and making it particularly comfortable and easy to get in and out of.

Meanwhile its saloon underpinnings and strong engines make it a satisfying car to drive.

Right from the start, Giorgetto Giugiaro had a clear idea of what he wanted to achieve: "I sought to make the Croma what it should be: extraordinarily spacious, highly innovative, and stunning in looks and quality. In this type of car, interior roominess takes top priority, so I looked back on the experience I gained from the design of the Maserati Buran concept car in 2000 - a high-performance, luxury car that was also extremely spacious and functional. In fact I used the same roominess and access co-efficients. All the while I was thinking about the importance of easy access, onboard space, and a comfortable interior."

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of the new Croma is its height - it stands some 10 cm taller than the average medium-range saloon car, providing easy access, superior all-round vision, and loads of space. You don't have to bend down or step up to get into a Croma.

Style-wise, it features deep flanks, a steep sloping bonnet with a dramatic V-shape in it, and flamboyant sweeps that lead into the front wheelarches and out of the rear ones. The nose benefits from the new Fiat family look and, at the rear, the Croma's flared wheel arches give it a decidedly muscular and powerful appearance.

Model

Height

New Fiat Croma

1597 mm

Ford Mondeo

1481 mm (-114 mm)

Vauxhall Vectra

1500 mm (-95 mm)

Renault Laguna

1443 mm (-152 mm)

Peugeot 407

1490 mm (-105 mm)

VW Passat

1470 mm (-125 mm)

Compared with its compact MPV rivals, the new Croma certainly has the edge over them in terms of length, meaning more front and rear legroom and exceptional loadspace - over three metres in length with the front seat folded down.

Model

Length

New Fiat Croma

4756 mm

Citroën Xsara Picasso

4276 mm (-474 mm)

Ford Focus C Max

4333 mm (-417 mm)

Renault Grand Scenic

4493 mm (-257 mm)

Vauxhall Zafira

4320 mm (-430 mm)

Toyota Corolla Verso

4360 mm (-390 mm)

"In the last 20 years, technological progress and marketing expectations have evolved rapidly," considers Giugiaro. "We just have to think of safety and the work involved in inserting airbags in the most effective positions, the services offered by electronics in terms of individual comfort, active and passive safety, and of information. I would say that, compared to the three-box Croma of 1985, the new Croma has taken on board the lessons learned from people movers - tall cars in which the space can be interpreted freely according to circumstances - whilst maintaining the image of a very comfortable saloon."

Styling

The front of the new car features elegant, distinctive styling combining streamlined headlamp clusters, a large grille instantly identifying the Croma as the latest addition to the Fiat range, a seamless, body-coloured bumper which integrates the strong, deep 'V' coachwork lines locating the front grille and reinforcing the bonnet, and a deep front airdam complete with integral foglamps.

Aided by flush, frameless junctions between the windscreen and both roof and A pillars, as well as carefully considered wing mirror and roof rail detailing, the new Fiat's powerfully aerodynamic front profile rewards the car with an outstanding Cd figure of just 0.28, affording the Croma an exceptionally quiet interior at motorway cruising speeds.

From the side, muscular wheel arches linked by a strong door sill line reinforce the Croma's purposeful, dynamic stance, whilst integral, full length, satin-finished aluminium roof rails, blacked out B and C pillars and a sloping, panoramic rear windscreen emphasise the clean, cohesive homogeny of the design. An enlarged quarterlight maximises visibility to the rear and contributes to a particularly generous glazed area.

At the rear, prominent, wrap-around LED light clusters and a sloping upper tailgate section articulate the design of the new Croma in the manner of a sporting estate rather than an abruptly truncated MPV, whilst the top of the integral, colour-coded rear bumper is sharply rebated to offer flush, low level access to the loadspace via a top hinged, full width tailgate.

Life on Board

The new Fiat Croma is 4756 mm long, 1775 mm wide and 1597 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2700 mm, making it some 100 mm higher than comparable estate cars within the segment. This allows for both raised seating positions and generous glazing, providing a light, spacious interior offering greater all-round visibility and comfort.

As Giorgetto Giugiaro explains: "Fiat is very much in favour of the philosophy of offering as much space as possible for passengers. I would not underestimate the aesthetic impact of the new Croma, it is elegant and prestigious both inside and out; a vehicle that contains quality features that will certainly be appreciated in such a competitive market."

The new Fiat's unique design parameters have created an interior which offers class-leading passenger space in several areas. Combining with lowered door sills and a flat cabin floor, the raised front and rear seating positions provide the optimum seat base height for comfortable access, whilst still affording headroom on a par with taller, MPV styled competitors.

The seats, produced in accordance with principles developed by Professor Dal Monte, head of the Biometrics Department at the CONI Sport Medicine Institute, are particularly comfortable, devoting attention to passenger posture and lateral containment, whilst offering segment-leading shoulder width of 1425 mm at the front and 1450 mm at the rear. Moreover, a best-in-class 900 mm between front and rear seat H points guarantees a generous rear footwell and ample legroom for even the tallest rear passenger. In fact, 99% of people can sit comfortably in the rear seats, versus the D segment average of just 70% - a significant advantage for the new Croma.

The combination of a raised driving position, height-adjustable seat, rake and reach- adjustable steering wheel and generous glazing afford the Fiat Croma driver a comfortable, ergonomically adaptable driving position allied to excellent all-round visibility.

Complementing a clear, functional driver's instrument binnacle, the prominent, high quality centre console raises the gear lever to within the closest practical proximity of the steering wheel, allowing for quick, accurate gearchanges with minimal physical effort. Careful consideration has gone into the placement of all other console-based functions, offering ease of access with minimal driver distraction, and the ignition key has been located adjacent to the handbrake at the base of the centre console for ease of operation and added security.

Extensive cabin storage includes an enclosed, 11 litre glove box, a centre console arm rest incorporating a 3 litre cold-box linked to the climate control system, generous door pockets, cup holders, an optional rear seat centre armrest which includes two retractable cup holders, and a front passenger seat which folds down to facilitate the carrying of loads up to 2.7 metres long or act as a work surface.

The Croma also benefits from a flat floored, 500 litre luggage compartment - one of the largest in its class - which may be expanded to a total loadspace capacity of 1610 litres with the 60:40 split rear seats fully folded. A modular, two-position loadspace floor is also available which, positioned at the bottom of the well, exploits the Croma's loading capacity in full or, when raised to the level of the tailgate sill, offers a concealed, 160mm deep storage space beneath the luggage compartment floor, providing the ideal place in which to conceal valuable items like cameras, etc. While in this position the boot floor is flush with the rear bumper, meaning that heavy objects can be easily slid straight into the boot. The modular boot - which essentially provides two boots in one - is standard on Prestigio versions and an option on others.

Available in a choice of nine body colours and three trim levels, the Fiat Croma sets high standards for interior quality, finish and comfort. Dark grey, high quality slush moulding to the upper section of both the two-tone fascia and door panels ensures an even, soft-touch surface finish throughout, and, allied to the identical treatment of both front and rear door panels, unifies the cabin volume and reinforces the attention paid to the new Croma's rear passenger environment.

Each trim level is available with a choice of two interior colours - light (Ghibli) or dark (London) grey - which encompass the lower section of dashboard and door panels, the seats, and carpeting to both passenger compartment and loadspace. A selection of high quality leather finishes is also available for seats and door panel trim, whilst a choice of meticulously finished, metallic grey or lacquered Bordeaux insert panels to the fascia, centre console and door panels adds further visual continuity to the Croma's elegant, luxurious interior.

NVH

Particular emphasis has been placed on eliminating the transmission of noise, vibration and harshness to the cabin of the new Fiat Croma, further enhancing on-board comfort with the quietest possible, vibration-free interior. The quietness of a car is expressed by a 'conversability index' - the ease with which a conversation may take place at high speeds - the Croma recording an excellent 65% at 87 mph.

The extensive deployment of sound absorbing materials has been enhanced by the introduction of no less than 18 expandable, sound-deadening partitions located within the box sections of the Croma's monocoque structure, preventing noise propagation and isolating the passenger compartment from the outside world.

Wind and road noise are greatly reduced by the adoption of an innovative, laminated windscreen in which two thick sheets of glass are separated by a film of multi-ply PVB plastic. This results in optimal damping of sound waves, particularly in the 200 kHz range, the frequency at which the most intrusive road noises occur.

Vibration is limited by a particularly rigid bodyshell structure - enhanced by the large cross-section of main box section elements, and the introduction of a 'torsion box' connecting the rear wheel arches - which records a flexural rigidity of 960 daN/mm and torsional rigidity of 100,600 daN/mm - outstanding in a car with a full height tailgate. Particular attention has also been paid to the vibration-free mounting of all mechanical elements including engine, suspension and steering column.

SAFETY

The Fiat Croma benefits from some 18,000 hours of computer aided design, 120 crash tests, 100 HyGe slide simulations, 200 tests on components and subsystems, 10 new performance specification and test procedures, and eight co-design suppliers of specific passive safety structures, placing the new car at the top of its category in terms of passive, active and preventive safety.

It meets preventive safety needs with an adjustable cockpit that adapts perfectly to drivers of any size. The combination of a raised driving position and an extensive glazed area allows the best possible view of the road ahead. User-friendly ergonomics allow
drivers to operate all instruments and controls without taking their eyes off the road. And the new Croma's excellent all-round visibility is further enhanced by the availability of optional rain, dusk and parking sensors.

PASSIVE SAFETY

Allied to a chassis designed to provide exceptional torsional stiffness yet absorb impact with maximum efficiency, the new Fiat Croma may be fitted with up to nine airbags, seven of which are standard equipment, whilst height adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioner and load limiter, anti-whiplash front seat head restraints, three-point rear seatbelts, anti-submarining front seats, ISOFIX child seat attachments to outer rear seats and an FPS Fire Prevention System are all fitted as standard.

Anti-whiplash system

The front seat backs incorporate an anti-whiplash system which allows the backrest to pivot horizontally in the case of a nose-to-tail crash, thus reducing head 'bouncing' which can cause whiplash. The actuating device is kept in the rest position by a spring that will automatically restore the normal backrest position, so the mechanism requires no adjustment for resumption of normal operation.

Airbags

The new Croma may be equipped with no less than nine airbags, although seven are standard: driver and passenger dual-stage front airbags, a driver's knee airbag, front and rear side airbags, as well as two side curtain airbags providing head protection in the case of side impacts. Their operation is controlled by an electronic control unit that evaluates crash severity via a number of sensors located throughout the car.

The front passenger airbag may be deactivated manually via an ignition key switch on the fascia. A dashboard warning light indicates this condition. The seatbelt pretensioner remains active, so a rear facing baby seat can be safely fitted.

ISOFIX Attachments

The new Fiat Croma is fitted with ISOFIX mountings to ensure the easy and safe installation of child seats. The attachments take the form of two pairs of brackets located at the base of the two outer rear seat squabs. The bracket sizes and settings are in accordance with European standards so that the seat can be re-used on any other vehicle.

Fire Prevention System

The FPS includes a cut-off valve and an inertia switch which immediately locks the electric petrol pump. This prevents fuel loss in the case of impact, roll-over or damage to the fuel lines. The fuel tank is formed in a plastic resistant to mechanical stress and fire. Special care has been taken over the location of key components within the engine bay, electrical system, fuel system and brakes to minimise the risk of damage. The new Croma's interior trim is also flame resistant.

ACTIVE SAFETY

The servo assisted braking system features two independent crossover hydraulic circuits to ensure prompt, linear braking and shorter stopping distances. Croma versions powered by the 1.9 litre MultiJet 8v turbodiesel, and the two petrol engines, feature 285mm ventilated discs at the front and 278mm solid discs at the rear. Versions powered by the 1.9 litre 16v and 2.4 litre 20v MultiJet turbodiesel units feature uprated brake callipers and larger, 305 mm ventilated discs at the front, with 292mm ventilated discs at the rear.

The new Fiat Croma offers the full range of braking, traction control and stability systems on the market today: ABS anti-lock brakes, complete with electronic brakeforce distribution, ASR to limit wheelspin during acceleration, MSR to modulate brake torque whilst changing down, and a sophisticated ESP to control stability during sudden directional changes. The incorporation of ESP also means that Croma benefits from hydraulic brake assistance and a unique Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.

ABS

A new generation TRW - EBC430 ABS system, featuring four active sensors, four channels and an electronic control unit with 12 solenoids, is fitted as standard across the entire Fiat Croma range.

The system is complemented by Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) that governs the braking action on the rear axle to prevent the wheels locking, and ensures full control of the car in all situations. The system also adapts its operation to wheel grip conditions and brake pad efficiency to reduce pad overheating and the brake servo thrust requirement.

ASR and MSR

The new Croma is also equipped with a sophisticated Anti Slip Regulation system (ASR) to restrict loss of traction in cases of reduced grip. ASR traction control works at any speed, and prevents the driven wheels from slipping by adjusting torque according to available levels of grip.

The MSR (Motor Schleppmoment Regelung) cuts in when a gear is shifted down abruptly under conditions of low grip. The system restores torque to the engine to prevent skidding as a result of wheel lock-up.

ESP

The new Fiat Croma also offers a permanently engaged Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) which is activated to help control the car when stability is at risk.

Via sensors monitoring car body rotation, lateral acceleration and steering wheel input, the system assesses vehicle stability and the proximity of either an understeer or oversteer slide. The system restores stability by applying smoothly modulated braking to the appropriate wheel individually, and simultaneously reducing engine power. Engine power reduction is also carefully modulated to ensure a minimum of performance loss and, hence, continued driver satisfaction.

Hill Holder

Fiat's Hill Holder system, which is integrated into the ABS software, helps drivers pull smoothly away from an upwards-facing hill start. Operating via the ESP longitudinal acceleration sensor when first gear is engaged and both clutch and brake pedals are pressed, the control unit maintains front calliper pressure for about 1.5 seconds after the brake pedal is released to eliminate the risk of rolling backwards and ensure a smooth pull away. Hill Holder does not operate when setting off downhill in first gear, but does so when reverse is engaged and the driver wishes to back uphill.

MODEL RANGE AND EQUIPMENT

The Fiat Croma will become available from launch, as follows:

2.2 16v Dynamic

£15,745

1.9 8v MultiJet 120 bhp Dynamic

£15,995

2.2 16v Eleganza

£16,745

1.9 8v MultiJet 120 bhp Eleganza

£16,995

2.2 16v Eleganza Auto

£17,745

1.9 16v MultiJet 150 bhp Eleganza

£17,995

2.2 16v Prestigio

£18,095

1.9 16v MultiJet Eleganza Auto

£18,995

2.2 16v Prestigio Auto

£19,095

1.9 16v MultiJet 150 bhp Prestigio

£19,345

1.9 16v MultiJet Prestigio Auto

£20,345

Three generous specification levels are offered. The price 'jump' between Dynamic and Eleganza is £1000, which represents some 80% customer value. The 'jump' between Eleganza and Prestigio is £1350, representing 55% customer value. Specifications include the following:

Dynamic

  • Seven airbags
  • Isofix fastenings on rear seat
  • Remote central locking with tailgate release and alarm
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Electric, heated door mirrors in body colour
  • ABS anti-lock braking with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution)
  • Electro-hydraulic power assisted steering
  • Axial and height adjustable steering wheel
  • RDS stereo radio with CD player, 6 speakers and steering wheel controls
  • Air conditioning
  • Centre console cool box
  • Height adjustable front seats with lumbar adjustment
  • Split (60/40) fold-down rear seat
  • 16" alloy wheels
  • Remote tailgate opening
  • Trip computer
  • ESP (+ ASR + MSR + Hill Holder + HBA). Optional on 1.9 8v MultiJet, standard on other engines
  • Centre console with cool storage compartment

Eleganza

In addition to the Dynamic specification, Eleganza adds:

  • Automatic, dual-zone climate control
  • 17" alloy wheels
  • Leather steering wheel and gear knob
  • Foglights
  • Cruise control
  • Parking sensor
  • Velour interior
  • Ceiling-mounted spectacles holder

Prestigio

In addition to the Eleganza specification, Prestigio adds:

  • 18" alloy wheels
  • Tinted rear windows
  • Rear side window blinds
  • Tilting front seats
  • Double luggage compartment
  • SkyDome sunroof
  • In-dash CD changer
  • 'Castiglio' interior

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

The new Fiat Croma's comprehensive standard equipment package is further enhanced by a range of innovative, safety and comfort enhancing options such as a SkyDome sunroof, electric heated front seats with memory, rain and dusk sensors, xenon headlamps, rear passenger side airbags, a tyre pressure sensor, a CD system that can play MP3 files, satellite navigation, and Fiat's unique Connect NAV+.

SkyDome sunroof

SkyDome is a large, crystal-glass sunroof, consisting of two glazed panels - one fixed and one mobile - and two sunblinds that may be independently retracted towards the rear of the car, increasing the Croma's overall glazed area to 5 square metres; 75% of the entire surface area above the waistline.

Via a button adjacent to the central courtesy light, the retractable glass panel becomes a raised spoiler/wind deflector in the first position, thereafter sliding on aluminium guides to the fully opened position. Releasing the control button stops the movement at any required position. Both glass front panel and sunblind may be fully opened in just seven seconds.

SkyDome also comes with an anti-obstruction system that reverses the motion of the glass panel when it encounters an obstruction.

Dual-zone climate control

The Dual-zone system makes it possible for driver and passenger to select (up to 7 degrees C) different ambient temperatures. The system has solar sensors that monitor solar gain within the two zones and adjust the temperature accordingly, and also operates a bi-level environment whereby warmer air can be directed to the floor vents and cooler air to the dashboard vents.

Parking sensors

The parking sensor, which is activated whenever the ignition is switched on and reverse gear engaged, consists of four ultrasound sensors fitted in the rear bumper linked to an electronic control unit and a buzzer.

The four detectors cover the rear corners of the new Croma from a distance of less than 60 cm, and the area immediately behind the car from a distance of less than 150 cm. Proximity information is transmitted to the driver in the form of bleeps at intervals. The bleeps are emitted with increasing frequency, becoming a continuous signal when the car reaches a distance of 30 cm from any obstacle.

Xenon headlamps

The safety benefits of xenon headlights over conventional halogen lamps are evinced by simple statistics: light intensity doubles, as does the longevity of the lamp itself. Xenon headlamps also consume less energy and distribute the light beam more effectively.

Due to their brighter, far reaching illumination, the Croma's xenon headlamps are combined with an automatic ride corrector which compensates not only for static changes due to axle load variation, but also dynamic changes caused by acceleration and braking.

CONNECT NAV+

The CONNECT system, located in the centre console of the new Fiat Croma, is a ground-breaking, on-line system that connects the driver to an extensive range of services via either manual control or voice commands.

At the heart of the system is a live telephone connection to the Targa Infomobility call centre, manned 365 days a year by operators who, through automatic vehicle recognition, will always speak the driver's language.

The operator can provide the driver with information on traffic and weather conditions en route, find a bank, book an hotel or recommend a restaurant, and will even book airline tickets on request. If necessary, they will guide a driver step by step to a destination, send out a recovery vehicle, or jog the memory over diary appointments or anniversaries.

Information on a requested destination is transmitted by the operator to the Croma's CONNECT NAV+ system and displayed in the form of an icon on the screen. This information may then be opened, stored in the unit's directory, or entered directly into the satellite navigation system for immediate guidance. In the case of a restaurant or hotel, the operator can either make reservations at the driver's request or furnish a phone number for future reference. The system also provides the driver with 24 hour access to a Medical Help Line.

CONNECT NAV+ is fitted with a 6.5" TFT active matrix colour display. It includes an RDS radio with CD and MP3 music file playing functions, a trip computer, Dual Band GSM phone with hands-free operation and WAP internet access, a GPS map navigation system, atlas function and voice activated commands for the telephone and a voice memo.

ENGINES AND TRANSMISSIONS

The new Croma goes on sale in the UK with a choice of three powerplants: 2.2 litre, MPI 16-valve petrol engine, or 1.9 litre 120 and 150 bhp versions of Fiat's renowned MultiJet turbodiesel technology. These three engines will be supplemented by a 140 bhp 1.8 MPI 16v petrol engine early next year, and a 200 bhp 2.4 litre MultiJet turbodiesel later this year. Both petrol engines are mated to 5-speed manual transmissions, with an optional, 5-speed automatic, sequential shift gearbox available for the 2.2 litre unit. Both 8v and 16v versions of the 1.9 litre MultiJet powerplants are mated to 6-speed manual transmissions, with an optional, 6-speed, sequential shift automatic gearbox available for the 16v, 150 bhp unit. The 2.4 litre MultiJet turbodiesel is mated exclusively to a 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift override.

It is worth noting that diesel sales in D segment have increased from 30% to 60% in the last five years; a ratio that is expected to be reflected in Croma sales in both business and private buyer markets.

The MultiJet engine: a breakthrough in diesel technology

Fiat Group has a long and distinguished record at the forefront of diesel engine development, and was responsible for installing the first ever direct injection unit in a production car (a 1929 cc intercooled and turbocharged unit installed in the original Fiat Croma in 1988).

Common rail high pressure direct injection diesel fuel systems for application on passenger cars were first designed and initially developed by the Fiat Group in the 1980s, with contributions from Magneti Marelli and the Fiat Research Centre. The ground-breaking project was handed over to Bosch for the final stages of development and industrial production in the early 1990s, and the first car to use the new system was the Fiat Group's Alfa Romeo 156 JTD in 1997.

'Unijet', badged JTD, further revolutionised diesel engine design, allowing the proven Fiat JTD units to set new dynamic standards and compete head on with petrol engines across nearly all criteria, whilst still retaining core diesel values of reliability, low maintenance, reduced CO2 emissions and exceptionally low fuel consumption figures.

In 2002, the Fiat Group was awarded the prestigious Economist Innovation Award (Energy and Environment category) for its prioneering work in developing the 'common rail' diesel technology that is now used by every major European car maker.

The sophisticated MultiJet technology of second generation JTDs differs from its Unijet predecessor in two essential areas; the injectors and the electronic control unit.

Within a Unijet engine, a pilot injection raises temperature and pressure inside the cylinder to improve combustion at the time of the main stroke. However, by dividing the main injection into a number of smaller injections, a MultiJet engine affords a fuller, more gradual combustion, whilst the amount of diesel burnt at each stroke remains the same; thus promoting smoother, quieter combustion, reduced emissions and increased performance.

To facilitate multi-injection, the new injectors can both reduce the time lag between injections from 1500 to just 150 microseconds, and reduce the minimum quantity of fuel injected from 2 to less than 1 cu mm. In tandem, the new control unit modulates injection strategy continually to adjust to changes within three parameters; engine rpm, torque required at any given time by the driver, and coolant temperatures.

Thus, when coolant temperature is less than 60 degrees and torque requirement low, two small and one large injection are performed. As torque demand increases, the number of injections drops to two; one small and one large. Under conditions of high rpm and high torque demand, only one injection is required, whilst with coolant temperature at over 60 degrees, emissions are minimised with one small, one large, then one small injection in the sequence.

Hence, whilst performance is substantially enhanced, start-up times and exhaust smoke are reduced, noise levels and vibration are lowered to ensure a quieter drive and improved passenger comfort, and both fuel consumption and emissions are significantly reduced. All Fiat MultiJet turbodiesel units easily fulfil EURO 4 emissions requirements.

1.9 8v MultiJet

  • 1910 cc
    4-cylinders, 8 valves
    Power: 120 bhp @ 4000 rpm
    Torque: 207 lb ft (280 Nm) @ 2000 rpm
    Top speed: 121 mph
    Acceleration 0-62 mph: 11.3 seconds
    Fuel consumption: in town: 35.8 mpg
    out of town: 56.5 mpg
    combined: 46.3 mpg
    CO2: 160 g/km

1.9 16v MultiJet

(automatic transmission)

  • 1910 cc
    4-cylinders, 16 valves
  • Power: 150 bhp @ 4000 rpm
    Torque: 236 lb ft (320 Nm) @ 2000 rpm
    Top speed: 130 (127) mph
    Acceleration 0-62 mph: 9.6 (9.9) seconds
    Fuel consumption: in town: 34.4 (30.3) mpg
    out of town: 57.6 (48.7) mpg
    combined: 46.3 (39.8) mpg
    CO2: 161 (187) g/kg

Both 120 bhp 8 valve and 150 bhp 16-valve versions of Fiat's proven 1.9 litre MultiJet turbodiesel have undergone significant changes to increase performance and bottom end torque, whilst further reducing noise levels and vibration.

The common rail system includes two new control strategies for automatically calibrating and balancing the diesel injection, to both lower noise and reduce vibration. Both engines are equipped with variable geometry Garrett VGT 17 turbines.

The 1.9 litre 16-valve MultiJet unit boasts an impressive 236 lb ft of torque delivered at just 2000 rpm, allowing acceleration from 0-62 mph in just 9.6 seconds, while returning a fuel consumption of over 46 mpg in the combined cycle.

2.4 20v MultiJet automatic

  • 2387 cc
    5-cylinders, 20 valves
  • Power: 200 bhp @ 4000 rpm
    Torque: 295 lb ft (400 Nm) @ 2000 rpm
    Top speed: 134 mph
    Acceleration 0-62 mph: 8.5 seconds
    Fuel consumption: in town: 24.5 mpg
    out of town: 47.1 mpg
    combined: 35.3 mpg
    CO2: 212 g/km

Derived from the familiar, 2.4 JTD 10-valve common rail powerplant, the new 20-valve unit has 5-cylinders in-line, with a bore of 82 mm and a stroke of 90.4 mm. It is currently the most powerful engine in Fiat's MultiJet family, with a specific power output of 83 bhp/litre.

Several changes were made to the new turbodiesel to boost performance and engine torque at low speeds whilst returning excellent fuel consumption figures. As with the 1.9 litre MultiJet units, the common rail system includes two new control strategies for automatically calibrating and balancing the diesel injection, to both lower noise and reduce vibration, whilst the direct injection pressure has been increased from 1350 to 1400 bar.

The engine also includes a number of new components; a cylinder head with hydraulic tappets at the connecting rods, a steel crankshaft, and pistons with hollow cores to carry the cooling oil to the journals and connecting rod bearings, which themselves are made of a new material. The exhaust and intake manifolds are also new, the former fabricated in a bespoke, high yield material, the latter in pressure die-cast aluminium.

The electronic EGR exhaust gas cooling system has also been modified; the lubricating circuit has a new oil pump and an external air/oil heat exchanger to cool the oil, whilst the water pump on the cooling circuit is also new.

Turboboost in provided by a KKK 2080 turbocharger incorporating a variable geometry turbine that improves power delivery and also generates very high torque at low engine speeds; 90% of the impressive 295 lb ft peak torque is available from between just 1750 and 3500 rpm. This allows the 2.4 20v MultiJet Croma to accelerate from 0-62 mph in only 8.5 seconds, whilst returning a fuel consumption of over 35 mpg in the combined cycle.

2.2 16v

(automatic transmission)

  • 2198 cc
    4-cylinders, 16 valves
    Power: 147 bhp @ 5800 rpm
    Torque: 150 lb ft (203 Nm) @ 4000 rpm
    Top speed: 130 (127) mph
    Acceleration 0-62 mph: 10.1 (10.7) seconds
    Fuel consumption: in town: 24.5 (21.7) mpg
    out of town: 40.3 (36.2) mpg
    combined: 32.8 (29.1) mpg
    CO2: 204 (229) g/km

The indirect injection 2.2 litre unit is a newly designed twin overhead camshaft, all-aluminium four valves-per-cylinder unit. Fitted with hydraulic tappets and twin balancer shafts for notable smoothness of operation, this new engine weighs just 138 kg thanks to the use of lightweight materials and modern construction with low maintenance requirements.

RIDE AND HANDLING

Against taller-bodied, MPV and SUV rivals whose suspension is inevitably compromised by existing dynamics, one of Fiat's key design objectives for the Croma was to produce a unique 'crossover' vehicle that would handle at least as well as an equivalent saloon - a target that has been achieved with no small degree of success.

Assisted by a long, 2.7 metre wheelbase which promotes outstanding high speed stability, the new Croma's supple suspension has been designed to combine the highest possible levels of ride comfort for both front and rear passengers, with excellent vehicle control through bends. In order to minimise body roll and maximise agility the system features both front and rear anti-roll bars.

Front suspension

The new Croma's front suspension is a refined version of the independent, MacPherson strut system, on a hydroformed steel frame, which is mounted flexibly to the chassis to minimise the transmission of vibration and road noise. The system's dampers act as both damping and bearing elements, working together with a transverse link to guide the hub during oscillation. This compact system delivers high levels of ride comfort and safety, along with exceptional grip and minimal roll.

Rear suspension

At the rear, the new Fiat Croma employs a Multilink suspension system, with one longitudinal and three transverse links connected to an auxiliary subframe. System mass has been substantially reduced through the extensive use of light alloy construction, particularly for the front and rear pillars and the aluminium front transverse link.

Fiat's Multilink suspension technology is the finest available today, maximising ride comfort, driveability and handling performance. Through a combination of transverse and longitudinal links, the system facilitates extremely precise wheel movements in the vertical, whilst limiting longitudinal and transverse displacements to maintain optimum wheel positioning under load. Pitching is reduced, and maximum stability under braking is ensured by the reduction of any tendency to understeer.

Steering

The new Croma features an electro-hydraulic power steering system which has been designed for lightness during parking and manoeuvring at low speeds, together with precision and safety at high speeds.

The system works in inverse proportion to the speed of the car, i.e. maximum assistance when the vehicle is travelling slowly (e.g. parking) and minimum assistance when travelling fast on the open road, when the driver needs maximum 'feel'.

Electro-hydraulic power steering is standard on all models. It is particularly quiet in operation and, because it is only triggered during steering manoeuvres, offers fuel consumption advantages over conventional hydraulic systems which are permanently engaged.

The turning circle of the new Croma is 10.9 metres.

New Croma technical specifications


1.9 8v MultiJet

1.9 16v MultiJet /1.9 16v MultiJet automatic

2.4 20v MultiJet automatic

2.2 16v/2.2 16v automatic

ENGINE





No of cylinders, arrangement

4

4

5

4

Bore x stroke (mm)

82.0 x 90.4

82.0 x 90.4

82.0 x 90.4

86.0 x 94.6

Capacity (cc)

1910

1910

2387

2198

Compression ratio

18.0:1

17.5:1

17.0:1

10.0:1

Max power output EC: bhp (kW) at rpm

120 (88) / 4000

150/ (110) / 4000

200 (147) / 4000

147 (108) / 5800

Peak torque EC: Nm (kgm) at rpm

280 (28.6) / 2000

320 (32.6) / 2000

400 (40.8) / 2000

203 (20.7) / 4000

Emission level

Euro 4 (with DPF)

Euro 4 (with DPF)

Euro 4 (with DPF)

Euro 4

Emissions control

2 oxidising catalysts (1 in engine bay and 1 in
underbody integral with DPF) + DPF (particulate filter)

2 oxidising catalysts (1 in engine bay and 1 in underbody integral with DPF) + DPF (particulate filter)

2 oxidising catalysts (1 in engine bay and 1 in underbody integral with DPF) + DPF (particulate filter)

three-way catalytic converter in engine bay,
2 heated lambda probes, EOBD

Timing (control)

1 OHC (toothed belt)

2 OHC (toothed belt)

2 OHC (toothed belt)

2 OHC (chain)

Fuel feed

MultiJet common rail
direct injection with
electronic control unit, turbo and intercooler

MultiJet common rail
direct injection with electronic control unit, turbo and intercooler

MultiJet common rail
direct injection with electronic control unit, turbo and intercooler

Multipoint electronic injection


ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

Battery: capacity (Ah)

70

90 with alarm


TRANSMISSION


Drive

front

front

front

front

Gearbox no. of speeds

6 + reverse

6 + reverse / automatic 6 + sequential

automatic 6 + sequential

5 + reverse / automatic 5 + sequential








1st gear

3.818

3.818 / 4.148

4.148

3.577 / 4.601


2nd gear

2.053

2.053 / 2.37

2.37

2.022 / 2.899


3rd gear

1.302

1.302 / 1.556

1.556

1.348 / 1.888


4th gear

0.959

0.959 / 1.155

1.155

0.977 / 1.277


5th gear

0.744

0.744 / 0.859

0.859

0.809 / 0.982


6th gear

0.614

0.614 / 0.686

0.686

-


Reverse

3.545

3.545 / 3.394

3.394

3.308 / 3.177

Final drive ratio

3.65

3.65 / 2.67

2.67

3.947 / 2.652


STEERING


Steering box

electrohydraulic power steering

Turning circle between kerbs

10.9

10.9

11.3

10.9






BRAKES - D (disc)





Front

D 285 (ventilated)

D 305 (ventilated)

D 305 (ventilated)

D 285 (ventilated)

Rear

D 278

D 292 (ventilated)

D 292 (ventilated)

D 278






SUSPENSION


Front

independent, MacPherson type

Rear

independent, multilink type


WHEELS


Tyres

205/55 R16 91V

205/55 R16 91V

215/50 R17 95W

205/55 R16 91V


215/55 R16 93W

215/55 R16 93W

225/45 R18 95Y

215/55 R16 93W


215/50 R17 91W

215/50 R17 91W


215/50 R17 91W


225/45 R18 9SY

225/45 R18 95Y


225/45 R18 95Y



DIMENSIONS


Wheelbase (mm)

2700

Front / rear track (mm)

1513 / 1496

Length / width (mm)

4756 / 1775

Height, unladen (mm)

1597

VDA luggage capacity (dm3):



standard

500


with rear seats folded, up to parcel shelf

893


with rear seats folded, up to ceiling

1610

 


1.9 8v MultiJet

1.9 16v MultiJet /1.9 16v MultiJet automatic

2.4 20v MultiJet automatic

2.2 16v/2.2 16v automatic

CAPACITIES - WEIGHTS


Fuel tank (litres)

62

62

62

62

Kerb weight DIN (kg)

1520

1530 / 1540

1650

1510 / 1530

Max. towable weight (kg)

1500

1500

1500

1500






PERFORMANCE - FUEL CONSUMPTION





Top speed (mph)

121

130 / 127

134

130 / 127

Acceleration (s): 0-62 mph (2 adults + 20 kg)

11.3

9.6 / 9.9

8.5

10.1 / 10.7

Fuel consumption - EC directive (mpg):






Urban cycle

35.8

34.4 / 30.3

24.5

24.5 / 21.7


Extra urban cycle

56.5

57.6 / 48.7

47.1

40.3 / 36.2


Combined cycle

46.3

46.3 / 39.8

35.3

32.8 / 29.1

CO2 emissions (g/km)

160

161 / 187

212

204 / 229

New Croma options and prices

Option

Basic Price £

Vat £

Retail Price £

Dynamic

Eleganza

Prestigio

Metallic paint

276.60

48.40

325

O

O

O

17" alloy wheels

212.77

37.23

250

O

l

O

18" alloy wheels (9 spokes)

255.32

44.68

300

-

O

-

Leather upholstery

851.06

148.94

1000

O

O

O

Longitudinal roof bars

212.77

37.23

250

O

O

O

Electric heated front seats with memory and mirrors

765.96

134.04

900

-

O

O

Automatic dual-zone climate control system

297.87

52.13

350

O

l

l

SkyDome sunroof with extensive glazed area

851.06

148.94

1000

O

O

l

Rear parking sensors

297.87

52.13

350

O

l

l

Cruise control

255.32

44.68

300

O

l

l

Xenon headlights

510.64

89.36

600

-

O

O

Foglights

127.66

22.34

150

O

l

l

ESP* (+ ASR + MSR + Hill holder + HBA)

382.98

67.02

450

O

l

O

l

l

Radio with CD MP3 player

127.66

22.34

150

O

O

O

Hi-fi audio system (8 speakers + 100 watt subwoofer)

297.87

52.13

350

-

O

O

CD changer on fascia

255.32

44.68

300

-

O

l

Double luggage compartment

106.38

18.62

125

O

O

l

Luggage retaining net

106.38

18.62

125

O

O

O

Tyre pressure sensor (TPMS)

212.77

37.23

250

-

O

O

Rear side airbags

255.32

44.68

300

O

O

O

Connect NAV+ (with 11 buttons and UK map)

1276.60

223.40

1500

O

O

O

Packs







Winter pack (heated front seats, headlamp washers and heated windscreen washer jets)

255.32

44.68

300

-

O

O

Comfort Pack (Dusk Sensor, Rain Sensor, Electrochromic Mirror, Folding Mirrors)

382.98

67.02

450

O

O

O

Dolce Vita Pack (Leather interior, Comfort Pack, Heated Seats)

1063.83

186.17

1250

O

O

O

l = standard O = option - = not available

*optional on 1.9 8v MultiJet, standard on all other engines

New Croma prices

MODEL

No Doors

CO2

Basic Price

Vat £

Total retail

OTR charges

OTR

2.2 16v Dynamic

5-dr

204

£13,006

£2,276

£15,282

£463

£15,745

2.2 16v Eleganza

5-dr

204

£13,857

£2,425

£16,282

£463

£16,745

2.2 16v Eleganza Automatic

5-dr

229

£14,708

£2,574

£17,282

£463

£17,745

2.2 16v Prestigio

5-dr

204

£15,006

£2,626

£17,632

£463

£18,095

2.2 16v Prestigio Automatic

5-dr

229

£15,857

£2,775

£18,632

£463

£19,095

1.9 MultiJet Dynamic

5-dr

160

£13,244

£2,318

£15,562

£433

£15,995

1.9 MultiJet Eleganza

5-dr

160

£14,095

£2,467

£16,562

£433

£16,995

1.9 16v MultiJet Eleganza

5-dr

161

£14,946

£2,616

£17,562

£433

£17,995

1.9 16v MultiJet Eleganza Automatic

5-dr

187

£15,768

£2,759

£18,527

£468

£18,995

1.9 16v MultiJet Prestigio

5-dr

161

£16,095

£2,817

£18,912

£433

£19,345

1.9 16v MultiJet Prestigio Automatic

5-dr

187

£16,917

£2,960

£19,877

£468

£20,345

2.4 20v MultiJet Prestigio Automatic

5-dr

212

£18,321

£3,206

£21,527

£468

£21,995

ends.

For further information please contact:

PETER NEWTON Public Relations Director

or

Puneet Joshi Press Officer

Fiat Auto (UK) Limited

Tel: 01753 511431

Fax: 01753 516871

E-mail addresses: peter.newton@fiat.com puneet.joshi@fiat.com

This press release and images are also available on www.newspress.co.uk

38228/010805

 

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