Introduction Original styling & large load platform Full passenger & load protection
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Financial services Technical specifications Images: Fiat Fiorino Cargo
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Full passenger and load protection

A safe drive: in a nutshell, this was the designers’ objective when developing the new Fiorino. The aim was to ensure maximum functionality and quality in terms of preventive, active and passive safety. The technicians considered every possible type of accident (head-on or rear-end collisions, side impact, overturning, and fire), taking into account the different speeds at which accidents can occur, different types of obstacle and the protection of occupants with very different physical characteristics.

Preventive safety

When developing the new Fiorino, the designers and technicians set themselves the task of surrounding the driver and passengers with technologies that would guarantee the ultimate in safety, the best possible driving position and a high level of wellbeing for all occupants. The result is the perfect driving position that does not cause fatigue even on long journeys; the instruments are easy to read and the controls are easy to reach and activate. The cab is silent, the visibility is excellent, climate control, internal and external lighting are effective. These features guarantee not only great habitability, but also help the driver's concentration. Total control in all road conditions is guaranteed, with easy handling and roadholding among the best in its class.

Active safety

Active safety means all those things that allow the driver to have complete control behind the wheel. On the new Fiorino, this means good recovery, stable, effective braking and total control in any driving conditions. It has a zippy, reliable engine and suspension that ensures steady, reliable behaviour on the road, even forgiving minor distractions by the driver so that critical situations can be overcome without difficulty.

Braking system

To meet the ambitious active safety targets, the new Fiorino is fitted with a highly effective servo-assisted braking system composed of two independent, crossover circuits that ensure responsive, gradual braking and reduced stopping distances. The front discs have a diameter of 257x22 mm (284x22 for the Comfort-Matic versions) while the rear drums have a diameter of 203x38 mm on the 1.4 petrol versions and 228x40 mm on the 1.3 Multijet. The servo-assisted system makes braking easier and more effective, by reducing the force that needs to be exercised on the pedal. The pedal has a short stroke in order to fully exploit the 10” servo. The handbrake is easy to apply (reduced load required), silent (the ratchet teeth have been optimised), gradual (lever positions change every 12-13 mm) and precise.

ABS complete with EBD

Apart from an extremely high-performance braking system, the new Fiorino has 4-channel ABS with four active sensors and an 8-valve hydraulic control unit. The system incorporates an electronic braking corrector EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution). The device is fitted with active sensors that directly process the signal coming from the wheels, enabling prompt intervention and recognition of speed signals close to 0 (the passive sensors do not record speeds of less than 4 km/h). There is also less interference due to electromagnetic fields or heating of the road surface. This advanced anti-lock braking system is completed by EBD, which regulates the braking action on the rear axle to prevent the wheels from locking and ensure full control of the vehicle in any conditions. The system also adapts to the grip of the tyres and the efficiency of the brake pads, helping to prevent them from overheating. The system provides a whole host of benefits in terms of active safety: maximum braking action on each wheel according to available grip, full control of the vehicle even when the brake pedal is depressed to the full limit, advanced adaptation to different road conditions, excellent responsiveness and limited weight of the control unit.

Front and side airbags

Complete, intelligent protection, starting with the two front air bags for the driver and front-seat passenger (on request), which operate according to a new concept. They are controlled by a panel that evaluates the severity of the impact through sensors calibrated following a series of laboratory crash tests. The passenger’s front airbag can be deactivated manually, so that a child can be transported in a child seat facing away from the direction of travel (the pre-tensioner remains active, however).

To protect the passenger’s chest and hips in the event of a side impact, the new Fiorino has two lateral airbags placed inside the backrest of the front seats. This position assures the best protection for the occupants, regardless of height, sitting position or seat adjustment. The sensors that control the side airbags are fitted to the central pillars. In the event of an accident, they detect lateral acceleration and send the signal to the same electronic unit that controls the front airbags. Control of all these devices has been integrated with the aim of ensuring progressive and total protection of the vehicle’s occupants. The airbags have a capacity of 60 litres (driver), 120 litres (passenger) and over 12 litres for the side airbags.

Passive safety

Every external and internal component of the new model has been subjected to an in-depth study. Protection is further enhanced with specific safety features, from the front and side airbags, the 3-point seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, up to the FPS fire protection system. The chassis has also been designed to absorb any impact as efficiently as possible. Lastly, the bonnet, doors and dashboard cross member help to protect the occupants, with a significant contribution from other elements such as the seats and panels which have also been designed with a view to safety in the event of an accident. In order to check the effectiveness of the protection system on the road, technicians subjected the vehicle to extensive high-speed crash simulations. The results were then measured according to the structural and biomechanical standards required under some of the strictest laws. An in-depth study of these standards has led to a series of technical solutions which make the new Fiorino an extremely safe vehicle.

Chassis and bodywork

Through tests carried out at the Fiat Group Automobiles Safety Centre, the vehicle’s structure was developed with a non-deformable cab (to protect the occupants against damage from intrusion), and front and rear ends capable of absorbing a high amount of energy, thanks to the use of materials with high structural resistance. It is hardly surprising that the new vehicle’s torsional stiffness is excellent: 133,000 Nm/rad on the complete vehicle (body, windscreen, front and hinged doors with no sliding side doors). The front end of the new Fiorino has been styled in order to reduce damage (and repair costs) in the event of frontal impacts at low speed, and also by considering the damage caused to pedestrians. It has a smooth, rounded shape with no sharp edges that could cause injuries.


Maximum safety and low repair costs

The most expensive body parts are the headlights, bonnet and bumpers. This is why these elements on the new Fiorino have been positioned away from the area affected by impact: they are set back approximately 100 mm from the external edge of the front bumper so that they are not vulnerable to damage in low-speed impacts against walls or pillars. In particular, the Fiorino’s bonnet and headlights are set higher than any other vehicles in its class. Inexpensive repair kits are available for the headlights and radiator grille, which cuts down on repair costs if the damage is limited to the mounting and the functioning of the component has not been affected.

The side doors have been designed to ensure that they do not open accidentally on impact, but can be opened easily after the event. In particular, they contain high-resistance steel bars designed to boost protection in the event of side impact. Collapse points and restraining hooks incorporated into the bonnet prevent it from detaching and penetrating the windscreen in the event of an accident. In an impact at low speed, the oversized, smooth-edged mouldings provide the maximum protection for the vehicle, while the side mouldings are easy to remove, hence inexpensive to repair.

The lower shaft of the driving column is telescopic, so that in the event of an accident, the wheel is not pushed up or backwards towards the driver. To protect the driver’s legs from impact against the steering wheel, the lower section of the facia is made from high energy-absorbing materials. Last but not least, a 9-bar steel bulkhead is available (standard or optional depending on the market), to protect the driver against moving or falling cargo. Various types of partition are available: panelled, glazed or half-panelled, half-grille (panel up to seat belt height with a grille above) or a 2-part grille (one fixed, one revolving), combined with the fold-away passenger seat.

Seats and seat belts

The seats of the new Fiorino have been designed to boost the protective effect of the “real” safety features, in the event of a collision. Rigid crosspieces have been incorporated under the padding on the front seats. In the event of a frontal impact, they have an anti-submarining effect, providing the correct support to the occupants and preventing them from slipping down below the seat belt. The head rests have been designed to offer total safety as well as a good level of comfort.

As regards passenger restraints, the new model is fitted with 3-point seat belts for all positions. In particular, the belts in the front seats are height-adjustable and come complete with pre-tensioning devices and load limiters. In the event of an impact, the electronically-controlled pyrotechnic pretensioner reels in the belt in just a few seconds, ensuring that it fits perfectly to the body. The front reeling drums contain the controlled-release load limiters which measure the force exercised by the belt on the wearer’s shoulder.

Fire Prevention System

The FPS is designed to protect the vehicle against the possible risks of fire. The main components of the system include the inertia switch. In the event of a heavy impact, the switch instantly shuts off the electric pump in petrol vehicles, and the electrovalve in diesel models. This causes the pressure in the fuel pipes to drop, preventing fuel leakage. Special care has also been dedicated to the layout of components and units (engine compartment, electrical system, fuel and brake supply), which could be damaged due to a fault or an accident.

Parking sensors

The Fiorino can also be fitted with rear parking sensors, which are automatically activated when reverse gear is engaged (there is also a switch so they can be deactivated). This helps manoeuvring in tight spaces or where visibility is particularly poor, by highlighting the presence of obstacles behind the vehicle, out of the driver's field of vision. Four ultrasonic sensors built into the rear bumper “survey” the area behind the vehicle and relay the information to a control unit that processes the data and detects the presence of potential obstacles. The driver is alerted by an intermittent acoustic signal. The frequency of the sound is inversely proportional to the distance of the obstacle (below 30 cm the signal is continuous).

Anti-intruder and theft protection

Some of the most interesting features on the new Fiorino include the anti-intruder devices, starting with the separate locking system for front and rear doors, so that the loading area can be used even when the cab is locked. Load protection is also assured by the remote-controlled central locking. These features, together with the deadlock and Fiat CODE II immobiliser allow the vehicle to comply with the highest standards of Thatcham security assessments.


This is an advanced security system that disables the internal door handle and all the related mechanisms. It is a major step forward in the field of vehicle protection, as it renders useless any attempt by thieves to force the door and lock mechanisms. The device, which comes as standard on all right-hand drive models (optional for left-hand drive) must be activated intentionally (so that nobody is locked inside the vehicle). After the first signal from the remote control, a second signal will activate the deadlock.

Fiat CODE II immobiliser

The new vehicle comes with a standard electronic Fiat CODE II key, which varies the access code each time it is used. Fiat CODE II prevents the engine from being started without the vehicle’s original key. The grip incorporates a transponder containing an electronic code that authorises start-up by sending a secret code when interrogated by the electronic control unit. The code is not fixed, but changes each time the engine is started. The code is transmitted in encrypted form by means of a secret algorithm (there are billions of combinations). The system offers total security. The secret code is never revealed to anyone, either at the factory or the key supplier, and the decrypting algorithm is never found in any of the components installed on the vehicle, so cannot be copied. However, in the event of malfunctioning, it can operate with an emergency program that uses the accelerator pedal to transmit a specific code shown on the CODE Card, known only to the owner.

Alarm system with dual protection

On request, the new Fiorino can be fitted with a dual-protection alarm system, for the outside of the vehicle, thanks to the sensors on the movable parts (doors, bonnet and rear doors), and on the electrical system, and for the inside, by means of ultrasonic sensors that detect movements inside the cab (for vehicles fitted with partitions, the rear section is not covered by the sensors).

Report & Photos: Fiat Auto