01.09.2008 NEW MODEL: FIAT MILLE ECONOMY (2009)

FIAT MILLE WAY ECONOMY (2009)

Fiat Automůveis is introducing this month onto the Brazilian market an updated version of the Mille which features cosmetic improvements and significant technological changes; the long-running Uno-based model continues to be the country's entry-level car of choice.

Fiat Mille Fire Economy 3/5-door (2009)

Fiat Mille Way Economy 3/5-door (2009)

Fiat Automůveis is introducing this month onto the Brazilian market an updated version of the Mille which features cosmetic improvements and significant technological changes; the long-running Uno-based model continues to be the country's entry-level car of choice.

Although long-since discontinued in Europe, the B-segment Uno (which is badged as the Mille on the South American markets) continues to thrive, its low retail price, coupled to cheap running costs, means that it is a genuine option for cost-conscious customers seeking out an entry-level car. Built at Fiat Automůveis huge plant at Betim in the Minas Gerais region it was given a makeover several years ago by Giorgetto Giugiaro, and the cosmetic enhancements on the new model build on this theme. In fact the Mille is enjoying renewed global success, Fiat Automůveis, which has recently taken over responsibility for South Africa, is reintroducing it to this market.

The main innovation of Uno Mille (2009) appears under the bonnet in the form of a revised engine, the 'Fire Economy 1.0 Flex', which has undergone a series of improvements with the overall objective being to reduce the consumption and emission levels. 

The changes have been accomplished by FPT (Fiat Powertrain Technologies) and the engine now features a new electronic management system; new exhaust collection system; new catalyser; weightless valve command and connecting rods, and a new sensor for the injection fuel system.

However the modifications in search of improved efficiency haven't been applied just to the engine, the gearbox features new ratios that allows the engine to operate at lower revs per minute; whilst a low friction lubrication oil for the engine will reduce internal attrition amongst the moving components. The drive for efficiency continues with new suspension geometry; new tyres that lower road resistance, offering about 30 percent decrease compared to the conventional ones, while on the dashboard an indicator instrument presents the driver with an instantaneous reading of the fuel consumption. The result of all this work is a 10 percent reduction in the level of fuel consumption compared to the previous model.

Complementing the mechanical changes are a string of detailed aesthetic improvements. These include the adoption of a new grey grille with chrome-finished horizontal slats; new hub caps (13-inch alloy wheels are optional); new reflectors for the headlights; new smoked rear light units; grey bumpers, wheel arch covers and sill protectors, while completing the external changes, the new red Fiat badge is incorporated at the front and rear and an 'Economy' badge on the tailgate denotes the new version. Internally, the Mille Economy (2009) features a new instrument panel colour and new fabrics for the seats and door trim panels.

The Mille model range now counts on four versions: the Mille Fire Economy and Mille Way Economy, both of which are available in three- and five-door formats. The Mille Way version also offers a raised ride height and stiffer suspension along with 175/70 R 13 tyres.

The retail pricing for the range opens with the Mille Fire Economy 3-door, at R$23,240 (£7,880), and is followed by the Mille Fire Economy 5-door, at R$22,890 (£8,129), the Mille Way Economy 3-door, at R$ 23 740 (£8,051), and the Mille Way Economy 5-door: R$25,470 (£8,638).

by Claudio Perlini
 

© 2008 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed