The evolution transforms the look of the new Fiat Palio, and leaves it longer, wider, higher and with a larger wheelbase: beneficial to all passengers who can now enjoy more internal space and comfort. Besides, the comfort is enhanced by careful reformulation of the cabin, which create an environment that is pleasant – in which all elements and volumes are in harmony in the contours, colors and textures – and functional.
2012 Fiat Palio Exterior Review
The Fiat Palio that now hits the streets represents a step beyond in relation to the former hatchback – it is bigger and finer. The entirely contemporary design by Centro Stile Fiat, Italy, is completely in tune with global trends, but also refers to the identity of the Fiat brand. It shares the stage with functionality, practicality and accurate finishing, making the new Fiat Palio a reference model in its segment.
A significant change that attracts much attention to the new Fiat Palio is its size. Its dimensions are noticeably larger than those of the previous Palio. The car has grown: 31 mm in width; 60 mm in height, 28 mm in length; and 47.3 mm in wheelbase. Despite being a compact car, these larger dimensions really contribute to raise passenger comfort and more intelligent use of internal space.
The body of the new Fiat Palio was developed in accordance with the latest design criteria. The goal was to obtain a lightweight body (compared to competitors) while keeping optimal structural performance. To this end, more resistant materials were used, allowing for the reduction of thickness and hence the weight of components, without loss of structural targets. The use of strategically placed reinforcements also contributed to increase occupant protection.
2012 Fiat Palio Interior Review
Innovation in the new Palio, now the customers can include several items in their car to meet their aesthetic tastes and higher commodity. There are several aesthetic and finish options inside and outside the car.
They vary depending on the version. The customization options for the Attractive versions 1.0 and 1.4 include arm rest on the driver’s seat, driver seat with height adjustment, two-tone dashboard and interior trim with insertmolding in unique fabric. To customize the external body, there are specific options in adhesives for the rear hatch, on the fenders and badge on the C column.
In the Essence versions, in addition to the internal customization there are the exclusive adhesives to decorate the external body of the vehicle. As the Sporting versions leave the factory with a strong aesthetic identity, they only have items of internal customization.
With the new volume of the interior of the Fiat Palio, the audio system was also configured and positioned to achieve optimal acoustic performance. The package consists of an amplified reception antenna, two front speakers MidWoofer, two rear Full Range speakers, and two front Tweeters. The CD MP3 player is part of the dashboard and adds to its sophistication. The system also features a USB/iPod connection and Bluetooth® for hands free phone. Another innovation in the model is the option of radio controls on the steering wheel.
2012 Fiat Palio Engine
Three engines power the new Fiat Palio: Fire 1.0 EVO, Fire 1.4 EVO and 1.6 16V E.torQ, all of them Flex. The 1.6 16V versions can come with mechanical or Dualogic transmission. In total, the new model hits the market with six versions to please all tastes, needs and budgets. They are: Attractive 1.0, Attractive 1.4, Essence 1.6 16V, Essence1.6 16V Dualogic, Sporting 1.6 16V and Sporting 1.6 16VDualogic.
The development of the new Fiat Palio required about 824,000 hours from the company’s engineers. During the process, 526 prototypes, test vehicles and pre-series were built. They were submitted to 61,434 virtual tests, 61,583 physical tests, and driven for more than 1.7 million kilometers before the final product could now hit the streets. Almost 3,300 new components make up the car. In terms of quality, reliability, endurance and strength, no effort was spared to provide the Fiat customer the best.
2012 Fiat Palio Performance
The structure of the new car was designed to meet the best safety requirements of the global market. In the body, the high-strength materials were used on a large scale, resulting in increased rigidity, improved safety performance and reduction in body weight by 15%.
These components with high strength materials comprise 35% of the body structure. They were also used in 30% of the moving parts of the structure and 34% of the structure of the doors. In addition the door safety has been increased against lateral collision and burglary with the use of ultraresistant materials and with the new lateral protection bars in omega profile.
All of these interventions in the new car resulted in excellent structural performance, weight reduction, improved performance and enhanced safety. In addition to all aspects that enhance passive safety, the new Fiat Palio can also be equipped with four airbags, two in the front and two on the sides. In terms of active safety, we highlight the ABS brakes with EBD.
Another strong point of the new Fiat Palio is its suspension. Featuring an entirely new and more robust structure, it is designed and calibrated to provide comfort for occupants in all driving conditions – that is, it absorbs the irregularities of the floor and the lateral and longitudinal oscillations coming from it or from maneuvers – and ensures the stability of vehicle, keeping the tire traction on the ground.
The front suspension, McPherson type, consists of lower arms in stamped plates, wheel hubs, rods, stabilizer bar, hydraulic dampers and “side-load” helical springs. Dampers and springs work as both elastic and absorbent elements and structural and cinematic elements.
At the rear, the suspension is of torsion beam type, with semi-independent wheels connected by a torsion beam, the most suitable for Brazilian roads. The dampers are upright, attached to the body on the inside of the wheel housing. Together with the inclined, larger diameter bushings, the system is very efficient in absorbing the irregularities of the road, keeping levels of excellent vibrational and acoustic comfort inside the vehicle. The double coil springs have flexibility with progressive action, fulfilling their role of maintaining stability and security in any load condition of the vehicle.
The brake system of the new Fiat Palio was designed for safety and firmness. In versions fitted with the 1.0 and 1.4 engines, the front brake is of disc with floating caliper. The rear brake is of drum with self-centering brackets, one command cylinder per wheel and automatic adjustment device for the assembly.
The crossover circuitry ensures reliable braking even if one circuit fails, ensuring that the other one stops the car.
The new Fiat Palio features the braking correction valve that acts on the rear brake. If the car is equipped with ABS, the braking correction is electronic, by EBD (ElectronicBrakeforceDistribution), which acts on the rear brakes. This function is integrated into the ABS.
The acoustic comfort of the new Palio was also extensively worked on by the engineering department of Fiat, with a vibrational study of the virtual and physical body. Among the main elements used in the new car are lighter materials and with better performance, besides the suspension, engine with hydraulic cushion in highly elastic rubber, which together with a hydraulic device provide good vibration filtering. All of which amount to reduction in dynamic rigidity, providing higher isolation of vibration and lower noise levels.
An interesting detail of the mechanical development of the new Fiat Palio was the layout of elements. They sought to find the best positions and shapes for the reservoirs using optimized piping and reduced lengths, thereby reducing the number of curves. Thus, the new piping design offers higher quality, lower pressure loss, less exposure to heat, and the elimination of sharp edges. For the customer it also means lower maintenance costs.
It is noteworthy that all versions of the new Palio have adopted the green tire technology, which helps reduce fuel consumption.