this week has launched the Palio 1.8R, a sporty,
cost-effective new model that seeks out a youthful and
adventurous car buyer. The Palio 1.8R is immediately
recognisable due to its visually impacting deep, colour-coded
front and rear bumpers, a jutting tailgate spoiler, and 'Abarth'
style 14-inch alloy wheels which are shod with 185/60 tyres.
The enveloping front bumper features high-powered round
foglamps as standard, while the rear bumper incorporates a
lower slatted section with reflectors mounted in cut-outs to
either side that match the front styling layout.
Four body colour finishes are available: visually-grabbing
bright yellow or red options contrast neatly with a more
understated black or grey metallic finish. The individual
nature of the Palio 1.8R paint finish continues with a
glossy black finished B-pillar and door mirrors, while thick
double stripes - which are emblazoned with the '1.8R'
designation - run across the lower flanks of the doors and
also high across the tailgate. External changes are
completed by the large headlamps which now have a dark
finished rear reflector, a black grille which is surrounded
by a chrome trim, and a rear high level brake light tucked
in underneath the prominent rear spoiler.
Under the bonnet
Automóveis' brand new 1.8-litre 'Flex' engine.
'FlexFuel' engines - which offer owners the ability to use
petrol, alchohol or a mixture of both - are the latest South
American phenomomen, and currently taking the Brazilian new
car market by storm.
Fiat are the acknowledged technological market leaders in
Brazil, and the 4-cyl transverely-mounted 1.8-litre Flex
engine - as used in the Palio 1.8R - offers 113bhp at
5,500rpm when running on petrol, and slightly more at the
same revs - 115bhp - for alcohol. Maximum torque comes in at
17.8Kgfm at 2,800rpm on petrol, and 18.0Kgfm at similar revs
when using alcohol fuel. The 3.827m long Palio 1.8R which
features mildly revised, sporty suspension settings, weights
in at 1,025Kg, and powers from 0-100km/h in 9.2 seconds.
Open the front doors and the racy '1.8R' designation is
prominentally splayed along special new sill protection
plates. Inside, the Palio gets a sporty-looking instrument
console with a digital panel for the trip computer and a
bluetooth connector mounted on the dashboard. The seat belts
are visually striking as they are colour-coded to the car's
finish, as is the stitching in the sports seats, and the
leather gearlever gaiter.
The Palio 1.8R has a strong
options list and personaliation programme, which includes
ABS and EBD braking assistance, one-touch front and rear
electric windows, driver and passenger front airbags, side
airbags, a 5-disc CD interchanger, and radio with MP3