Monday, January 24, 2011

Fiat Embarks on a New Journey with Dodge-based Freemont 7-Seat Crossover

Sergio Marchionne's plans to infuse the Fiat Group' portfolio with North American models and the Chrysler Group's lineup with European products are starting to take shape with the presentation of the new Fiat Freemont, which is nothing more than a re-badged Dodge Journey.
The first Fiat vehicle to come out of the partnership with the Chrysler Group will make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in the beginning of March and go on sale in the second half of the year. 

The Freemont is based on the refreshed Dodge Journey with the only visible changes on the outside concerning the Fiat styled alloy wheels and front grille. In fact, Fiat didn't even bother to redesign the front bumper to accommodate the shorter grille simply opting to add a body-colored extension underneath. 

There are no photos of the interior, which keeps the Journey's 7-seat layout, but chances are it will remain unchanged.
What Fiat did do is replace the pre-facelift Dodge Journey's VW-sourced 140HP turbo diesel with its own line of oil-burners. At launch, the Freemont will have front wheel drive with a 2.0-liter MultiJet diesel available in two states of tune with 140HP and 170HP. Later on, the crossover model will also be available in 4x4 versions with the 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet diesel and Chrysler's 276 HP 3.6-liter gasoline engine, both with automatic transmissions.

The Freemont will be offered in two trim levels. The base model offers 7 seats, triple-zone automatic climate control system, keyless entry system, cruise control, advanced trip computer, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), fog lights and touchscreen radio with colour screen and controls on the steering wheel. The better equipped metropolitan version will include 17-inch rims, touchscreen radio with 8.4” screen, SD card and DVD reader, Bluetooth system, rear parking sensors, fold-down door mirrors, automatic headlight activation, darkened rear windows and roof bars.

All models will be equipped with 7 airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Hill-Holder and electronic roll mitigation (ERM) as standard.
Production of the Fiat Freemont will take place in the Mexican plant of Toluca, where the 500 is produced for the US market.



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