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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Fiat enters coupe-SUV game with new Fastback South Africa won’t get

Developed and made in Brazil, the Fastback will remain exclusive to markets in South America.

With the North American International Auto Show well underway in Detroit, Fiat has opted for a different location for the unveiling of the all-new Fastback coupe-SUV.

Previewed last month, with comparatively little being divulged, the Fastback will serve as the brand’s flagship crossover/SUV, but only for markets in South America with production set to take place at the Betim Plant in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Using the same MLA platform as the Pulse it now sits above in Fiat’s line-up, the Fastback measures 4 427 mm overall while standing 1 545 mm tall and stretching 1 774 mm wide.

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Riding on a 2 533 mm wheelbase, the Fastback only improves on the length of the Pulse by 323 mm, with its boot able to accommodate 516-litres with the rear seats in place.

Styled almost identically to the Pulse when viewed from the front, but with an obvious coupe-like appearance and lowered roofline similar to the Audi Q3 Sportback, Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and BMW X4, hence its moniker, the Fastback also boasts a slightly different interior as per its positioning relative to the Pulse.

This includes more premium materials, a raised centre console, inclusion of a wireless smartphone charger and an electronic handbrake with Auto Hold.

Fiat Fastback detailed in full
Rear facia has a similar appearance from certain angles to that of the first generation Volkswagen Virtus.

The rest of the interior is otherwise unchanged from the Pulse and on the specification front, three trim levels will be offered; Audace, Impetus and the Limited Edition by Abarth that receives more power, but no mechanical alternations to the chassis.

Up front, the Fastback’s engine options comprise two versions of the Brazilian-made and developed turbocharged Firefly used in a variety of Fiat models, as well as the Jeep Renegade, Compass, Alfa Romeo Tonale and its twin, the Dodge Hornet.

As in the Pulse though, the Fastback only gets the smaller units, namely the 1.0-litre three-cylinder that pumps 92kW/200Nm when running on petrol or 96kW/200Nm when fuelled by ethanol, and the bigger 1.3 that delivers 132kW/270Nm and 136kW/270Nm respectively.

Fiat Fastback detailed in full
Despite its size, Fiat claims the boot can swallow 516-litres with the rear seats up.

Despite being front-wheel-drive with a claimed ground clearance of 192 mm, the Fastback comes with the option of two transmissions; a CVT on the 1.0-litre that will carry the T200 moniker in reference to its torque output, and a six-speed automatic on the T270-badged 1.3.

For now, only the Limited Edition by Abarth will be privy to the T270 mill with the T200 being standard fare on the Audace and Impetus.

Now available in Brazil, pricing starts at R $129 990 (R441 805) for the Audace with the Impetus kicking-off at R $139 990 (R475 793). The Limited Edition by Abarth meanwhile retails from R $149 990 (R509 781).

Fiat Fastback detailed in full
Interior has been subtly tweaked from the Pulse.

As mentioned, the Fastback, like the Pulse, Strada, Toro, Argo and Cronos, remains unique to South America and with left-hand-drive, meaning no chance of it becoming available in South Africa anytime soon.

Additional information from motor1.com Brazil.

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