The new Scudo offers a broad range of passenger transport vehicles, for both professional and private use, with 5 to 9 seats, and a short or long wheelbase. A comprehensive range designed to cater for demanding customers that are highly varied in terms of their professions and the way they use their vehicles. They include the self-employed and private individuals who want a vehicle for their free time, that is compact externally, agile in traffic, easy to park and as comfortable as a car, but with the robustness, economy and reliability of a van.

The new Scudo Panorama takes a real leap forward in terms of driveability and comfort to accommodate this particular market bracket, reaching standards at the peak of its category, in line with top-of-the-range multi-purpose saloons. The philosophy of the new model focuses on three very specific values (space, people and style) that reflect evolving demand and the purchasing criteria for this segment.

First, roominess without compare. The new Scudo Panorama easily seats from 5 to 9 passengers with a luggage capacity of up to 770 litres (with the 8/9 seat configuration), which is approximately 200 litres more than that of most so-called large MPVs. And since the seats on the second and third row can be folded down, packed away and removed, the space in the Scudo Panorama will adapt to meet the customer’s most diverse requirements.

The second value is the ‘people’ who find that the new Scudo Panorama improves their life on board and therefore their daily activities. This new vehicle is very easy to drive, even in busy city traffic, and as comfortable as a top-of-the-range MPV. And finally, the third value: style. Every version of the original, elegant new Scudo Panorama is distinctive, starting from the front, which is a perfect blend of sturdiness and dynamism, with wrapround bumpers and elongated headlights. The side view gives a similar impression, with the sturdiness highlighted by the large lateral rubbing strips and the bumpers, as well as the fluid, flowing line. Inside, the new Scudo Panorama guarantees all the practicality of a light commercial vehicle set off by comfort typical of a car: for example, the facia combines practicality with styling resembling that of a sports car, and the passenger area is extremely roomy, but also elegant, with quality fabrics and furnishings.

The new Scudo passenger transport range is made up of 12 versions, created by combining two wheelbases (short and long), three engines (90, 120 and 140 Multijet) and two outfits: Panorama Family and Panorama Executive. The former is for large families looking for the comfort and style typical of an MPV, or for people who do a lot of sport in their free time with bulky gear. The second level, Panorama Executive, is suitable to transport business clientele (hotel/airport shuttles and limousines-taxis for elite tourism). Both outfits are elegantly furnished and lavishly equipped, with excellent soundproofing and climatic comfort. This is borne out by the special ceiling containing the lighting for the second and third passenger rows, and the air vents on the versions equipped with supplementary rear climate control, which make it possible to customise the climate for each row of seats. And finally, the layout of the rear seats in the ‘amphitheatre’ configuration improves visibility for passengers (the rear H points are higher than those of the cab seats).

Elegant styling and the comfort of an MPV

An original line and a rational balance between exterior dimensions and generous interior roominess. This is, very briefly, the styling philosophy of the new Scudo Panorama which, thanks to the model’s particular architecture, features several distinctive elements typical of an MPV. For example, the large glazed area (up to 5.8 m2 on the long wheelbase version) and the forward position of the windscreen mean that the new Scudo Panorama is perceived as extremely spacious.

First of all, outside, the front gives an impression of great sturdiness and solidity, thanks in part to the wrapround bumpers which incorporate the foglights (standard equipment throughout the range) and can be painted the same colour as the bodywork. The front headlights feature clear glass and incorporate the direction indicators, and their elongated shape increases the vehicle’s dynamic look. What is more, the flowing line of the side, combined with the model’s versatile character, gives the new Scudo Panorama a strong stylistic dynamism; the broad side rubbing strips, the wrapround bumpers and door handles all convey a sense of robustness and solidity. And finally, the new Scudo Panorama proposes a range of eight body-colours, including new Parthenon Cream, a non-metallic shade that is an interesting alternative to classic Pack White, and a long list of non-standard colours, mainly for specific customers. Two types of elegant upholstery have been developed for the interior finish, mixing and matching two-tone combinations and different fabrics.

So much for the exterior. But the new Scudo Panorama’s real strength is its passenger compartment, which conveys modernity, comfort, quality and practicality. The facia has a two-tone treatment that introduces good looks and styling more typical of a saloon. The interior is well lit and visibility is excellent, thanks to the large glazed areas, which guarantee outstanding comfort. The practicality of the cabin is made even more interesting by the many oddment compartments: from the ceiling-high ‘capucine’ shelf to the locking glove compartment in the facia, the door panels, the oddment compartment in the console and the glass-holders on the facia and on the third row panels, right down to the nets behind the seat squabs to carry small items. There is also a small mirror between the rear-view mirror and the ‘capucine’, through which the driver can see the rear-seat passengers, it is a very useful device on vehicles for families (to keep an eye on children), or for ‘special’ transport (people with reduced mobility) and taxis.

The driving position of the new Scudo Panorama focuses on practicality and well-being, and creates a sensation of great safety. The driver will find all the controls and information he needs grouped together on a console at the centre of the facia. A multifunction screen supplies indications about the audio/telematic and the climate systems. The various push-buttons on the control board manage the (automatic) centralised closing, hazard button, child safety system and, depending on the version, exclusion of the ESP functions, and the parking and antitheft sensors. The information on the new instrument panel with its white background is easily and immediately legible in all light conditions, and the LCD screen reminds the driver when the next scheduled maintenance is due and highlights any anomalies by luminous telltales.

The seats on the new Scudo Panorama deserve a separate mention. Their conception and styling are new, and the padding, structure and floor attachments have been designed to provide better containment, greater safety and excellent comfort on the road. The front seat cushions guarantee good longitudinal hold (anti-submarining effect) and lateral containment, and by associating the adjustments of the driver’s seat (longitudinal, squab and height) with those of the steering wheel (height and reach from 40 mm), the new Scudo Panorama guarantees an excellent ergonomic posture and outstanding comfort for drivers of all shapes and sizes.

The front seats are fitted with upholstered head-restraints that adjust for height, and have two possible configurations: individual seats for the driver and passenger, or a seat for the driver and a two-seat bench for passengers (this includes a ‘writing surface’ in the centre seat). The flexibility and modularity of the rear seats are particularly interesting: they recline, fold and can be dismantled and removed. This means that the rear end of the cabin adapts to the passengers, offering outstanding comfort for occupants at all times. It also increases the versatility of the loading bay because not only its capacity but also its shape can be modified to meet requirements.

Cutting-edge technology for well-being on board

The new Scudo Panorama focuses considerable attention on well-being on board, offering the best solutions in terms of visibility, ergonomics, and acoustic, climatic and vibrational comfort. The passenger compartment has been conceived as a welcoming mobile office, which is well-lit, comfortable and quiet, with a driving position typical of a car, ideal to tackle the road in the best psycho-physical condition. The new Scudo Panorama is also available with rear parking sensors that make it easier to manoeuvre in small spaces, Cruise Control which relieves some of the fatigue of long journeys on the motorway, and a lavish array of audio and info-telematic equipment. Last but not least, the engineers who developed the new Scudo Panorama optimised the acoustics in the cabin, endeavouring to reduce the noise transmitted by the engine and suspension, and to limit vibration, rustling and aerodynamic noise. Because silence on board is not only an element of comfort, but also an important aspect of preventive safety for it helps the driver to focus his attention on his driving and lets him travel long distances without tiring.

Class-beating visibility
: Thanks to a generous glazed surface (over 5.5 m2 on the short wheelbase and 5.8 m2 on the long wheelbase) and to areas with optimised transparency, the interior luminosity on the new Scudo Panorama is outstanding, significantly enhancing comfort for occupants. The windscreen has an area of 1.68 m2: it is positioned forward and raked to increase the impression of roominess. The side windows (front doors, sliding side door and 3rd rear side windows) make up a total area of 1.53 m2 per side on the short wheelbase versions and of 1.70 m2 on the long wheelbase versions. And finally, the large rear window (0.76 m2) also provides rear passengers with plenty of light. The view from the rear is also optimised by the raised position of the second and third rows of seats (+7 cm for the second row compared to the front seats, and +3 cm for the third row compared to the second).

Climatic comfort
: The temperature and humidity inside a vehicle play an important part in the creation of ideal travelling conditions. A good climate system must therefore maintain these two parameters between optimal limits for the human body in all seasons of the year (temperature between 22 e 25° C, humidity between 40 and 50%). For this reason, the new Scudo Panorama is available with a manual climate system, or an automatic dual-zone climate system, depending on the version. Both systems include an electrical control to block the intake of air from outside and to recirculate interior air, and excellent air distribution to the facia through 4 swivelling, tilting air vents (2 central and 2 lateral) that distribute warm or cold air. A new rear climate unit is also available which both heats and cools. The air distribution in the rear part of the vehicle has been optimised by incorporating ducts in the ceiling lining and adding 6 vents to distribute air to rear passengers.

The philosophy of the new model focuses on three very specific values (space, people and style) that reflect evolving demand and the purchasing criteria for this segment.


The new Scudo Panorama takes a real leap forward in terms of driveability and comfort to accommodate this particular market bracket, reaching standards at the peak of its category, in line with top-of-the-range multi-purpose saloons.

The audio and telematic systems
: The audio and telematic systems on the new Scudo have been developed to match the styling of the centre console, to enhance visual and tactile ergonomics, and to interact with the steering wheel controls and the multifunction screen, for the best audio and telematic performance. The new Scudo Panorama offers a choice of two different radios: the first incorporates a CD player and is compatible with hands-free Bluetooth functions; the second incorporates the audio functions and a satellite navigator (with monochrome or colour maps), a hands-free dual band GSM telephone and voice controls. The outfit includes a CD changer for 5 CDs installed under the radio.

Cruise Control and Speed limiter
: The equipment available on the new Scudo Panorama includes an electronic speed regulating device (Cruise Control). This allows you to drive at a chosen constant speed without having to touch the accelerator, enhancing comfort particularly on long motorway journeys. Cruise Control can only be engaged above 30 km/h, and is controlled by turning the ring nut on the left column switch, adjusting the speed setting with the ‘+’ and ‘-’ controls. The device is automatically deactivated by pressure on the brake or clutch pedal, or by activating a special button. A speed limiter is also available; this sets up counter-pressure on the accelerator when a set speed is reached. However, this threshold may be passed at any time by pressing the pedal right down (to override the limit) or by activating the specific lever (to exclude the limiter).

Rain/dusk sensor
: Excellent visibility is another important feature of preventive safety, and for this reason the new Scudo Panorama offers the option of a rain and dusk sensor. This is applied in the upper part of the windscreen, behind the rear-view mirror, and it detects the first drops of rain and manages the windscreen wipers depending on the amount of water on the windscreen. The second function measures the external luminosity and automatically turns the lights on if necessary (side lights and dipped beam).

Parking sensors
: The new Scudo Panorama can also be fitted with rear parking sensors, a device that is automatically activated when reverse is engaged (it can be excluded by a special button), to simplify manoeuvres in small spaces or when visibility is particularly poor, by indicating the presence of obstacles behind the vehicle, outside the driver’s field of vision. Four ultrasound sensors incorporated in the rear bumper ‘monitor’ the area behind the vehicle and send the information received to a microchip control unit that processes the data and detects the presence of potential obstacles. The system warns the driver with an intermittent beep. The frequency of the beep is inversely proportional to the distance from the obstacle (below 30 cm the signal becomes continuous).

Class-beating safety and dynamic behaviour

The new Scudo Panorama guarantees the highest level of preventive, active and passive safety for occupants. To start with, the braking system is particularly effective throughout the range, ventilated 304 x 28 mm discs are fitted on the front wheels, and 290 x 14 mm discs on the rear. It is combined with ABS anti-lock braking complete with EBD and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance). The new Scudo Panorama also offers the sophisticated ESP (Electronic Stability Program) complete with ASR (Anti Slip Regulation). The new model protects the driver and passengers with the most sophisticated devices and technical solutions, a fact borne out by the many airbags fitted: in addition to a driver’s airbag, Fiat’s new vehicle is also equipped with a full-size 100 litre airbag (which can be de-activated) for the front passenger (it protects both passengers when a two-seater bench is fitted in the cab), sidebags (to protect the chest) and curtain-bags.

The chassis and bodyshell were designed to effectively absorb any bumps safely and to minimise repair costs. The result is an extremely safe vehicle structure: very rigid in the passenger compartment, with crumple zones at the front and rear. This significantly lowers repair costs, and in Germany, for example, allows the new Scudo Panorama to slot into the Full Kasko 15 insurance bracket, five points below the average for the competition in this segment, which translates into a saving of Euro 500 on the annual insurance premium.

The most interesting features on the new Scudo Panorama include the anti-theft protection system. Starting from the deadlocks, an advanced safety system that isolates the inside door handles and all the levers connected to the lock. This is an important step forward in terms of protection against theft: the deadlock can withstand any tool used by thieves to force the door or the internal mechanisms. The device, which is standard on all right-hand drive versions (optional on those with left-hand drive), must be activated voluntarily (so that no one is locked inside the car). It takes two impulses on the remote control to activate the deadlock. The new Scudo Panorama can also be fitted, on request, with an alarm system that incorporates a double level of protection: for the vehicle’s external perimeter, thanks to sensors positioned on the mobile parts (doors, bonnet and loading bay tailgate) and on the electrical system, and for the interior, with ultrasound sensors that measure movement inside the passenger compartment. The combination of these devices has earned the new Scudo Panorama 5 Thatcham points for ‘theft of’ and 4 stars for ‘theft from’ the vehicle, the highest score awarded in this segment by Thatcham, the European vehicle security organism.

Those are the safety features. But the new Scudo Panorama also stands out from the crowd for its excellent dynamic behaviour. The merit goes to the structural design of the model, the pinpoint steering, the choice of tyres, and above all, the front and rear suspension systems. The front suspension is of the MacPherson type, with triangular lower struts and an anti-roll bar, while the rear suspension is of the ‘torsion axle’ type, i.e. with a semi-deforming rear axle and Panhard bar (a system that is popular on MPVs, because it guarantees excellent results in terms of dynamic behaviour on the road, active safety and comfort). The new Scudo Panorama can also be fitted with self-levelling air suspension at the rear. Standard or optional equipment depending on the market, this is an innovative feature that guarantees outstanding comfort, constant trim in all load conditions and a constant overall height (below 1.90 m on the standard roof version) that allows it to use public garages and multi-storey car parks (a first for this category). Air suspension is also available, with a loading floor height that can be adjusted manually (+/- 5 cm) to make loading/unloading operations even easier. For safety reasons, the trim position can only be adjusted when the vehicle is stationary, and once adjusted it is maintained up to a speed of 10 km/h. Above that speed, it returns automatically to the normal on-road height.

Depending on the engine, the new Scudo Panorama offers two types of power steering: hydraulic (with the 90 Multijet engine), and electrohydraulic (with the 120 and 140 Multijet engines). Both systems were calibrated specifically to enhance the centring and precision of the steering, modifying the effort to adapt to the various use situations, particularly in town (easy parking manoeuvres even on the heavier versions). Regardless of the type of power steering or tyres fitted, the new Scudo has a turning circle between kerbs of 12.2 m with the short wheelbase, and 12.6 m with the longer wheelbase. Finally, the tyres on the new Scudo Panorama were designed specifically to achieve the best balance between handling, comfort and styling. In fact, the entire range fits 16 inch wheels and 215/60 tyres (16” alloys are standard equipment on the Executive outfit).

Powerful, flexible and economical engines

Comfort on the road also means being able to count on sparkling engines with smooth torque delivery. Today the new Scudo range is available with three Multijet engines, all Euro 4, that guarantee extremely enjoyable driving (and outstanding elasticity), superb performance and low running costs (consumption and maintenance), as well as reliability and respect for the environment. The following engines are available, combined with sturdy, reliable 5 or 6-speed mechanical gearboxes: 1.6 90 Multijet (5 speeds); 2.0 120 Multijet (6 speeds); and 2.0 140 Multijet Power with a DPF as standard equipment (136 bhp and 6 speeds).

Achieving a perfect balance between power and consumption in all types of mission and operating conditions, the new Scudo Panorama (only with the short wheelbase) equipped with the 90 Multijet, which delivers 66 kW (90 bhp) at 4000 rpm and peak torque of 180 Nm at 1750 rpm, has a top speed of 145 km/h and fuel consumption of 7.2 l/100 km in the combined cycle. The performance of the two variable geometry two litre engines is also excellent: the 136 bhp version takes the new Scudo Panorama to a top speed of 170 km/h, with fuel consumption of just 7.4 l/100 km in the combined cycle (the same values are 160 km/h and 7.2 l/100 km on the 120 bhp version). The 2.0 120 Multijet delivers a maximum of 88 kW (120 bhp) at 4000 rpm (peak torque of 300 Nm at 2000 rpm), while the 2.0 140 Multijet delivers 100 kW (136 bhp) at 4000 rpm and torque of 320 Nm at 2000 rpm.

The secret of the three Common Rail turbodiesels is the second generation Multijet system. This state-of-the-art technology manages high injection pressures (up to 1600 bar) independently of the engine speed and the quantity of fuel injected. Compression is not linked only to engine speed but also to several parameters which are communicated to the control unit by specific sensors (air and diesel fuel temperature, engine revs, the position of the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals, vehicle speed, and air and diesel fuel pressure). The key element of this system is the electronic control unit, which commands a series of injections very close together (hence the name ‘Multijet’). There may be as many as 5 injections during each engine cycle, instead of the usual two. The same quantity of diesel fuel is burned inside the cylinder, but it is broken down into numerous small bursts, making combustion more gradual. This guarantees ‘smoother’ operation in all situations, outstanding elasticity and prompt reactions that make these engines very similar to petrol engines. The other advantages include quiet operation, reduced emissions and boosted performance, accompanied by engine efficiency that enhances the driveability of the vehicle.
Related articles

Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles is set to change its name and logo, with the new brand name “Fiat Professional” as of today, the new logo a combination of the Fiat logo and the word “Professional”, which aims to underline the brand’s identity

© 2007 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed