TURIN - Fiat Auto will launch a compact sport-utility derived from the Mitsubishi Pajero Pinin in June 2001.
Fiat will use the Pajero Pinin platform and four-wheel-drive running gear, but will do its own interior and exterior styling. Fiat will launch three- and five-door versions, powered by gasoline and diesel engines.
The SUV will be built by Pininfarina, which has just launched Pajero Pinin production.
A preliminary agreement was signed on 7 July by Fiat Group Managing Director Paolo Cantarella and Mitsubishi Motors President Katsuhiko Kawasoe.
The gasoline unit will most likely be Mitsubishi's 1.8-liter, four-cylinder GDI engine, already used in the Pajero Pinin. The turbodiesel will be Fiat's 1.9-liter, four-cylinder JTD direct-injection common-rail unit. This engine will be eventually used for the Pajero Pinin.
Fiat said it will invest euro 120 million in the new sport-utility. At full capacity, 30,000 units a year will be built.