The Fiat Toro SUV, a.k.a. Freemont, gets the green light!

A while ago, we have published a speculative rendering on how a Fiat Toro SUV could look like. Even though the product made perfect sense, it was said not to be in consideration by FCA. More recently, we have published new renderings, made by Theophilus Chin, that showed the SUV’s front end. And now we hear that the project X3U, said to be a B-segment SUV, will in fact be a C-segment model, slated to replace the Fiat Freemont. The information comes from the Brazilian website Autos Segredos, an authority when it comes to car scoops.

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According to Autos Segredos, the development has been given the green light and the responsible areas are trying to estimate costs and a deadline for the SUV presentation. The codename must have changed, but there is no confirmation of that so far.

The new SUV would probably follow Toro’s measures: 4.92 m long, 1.84 m wide, 1.74 m tall and a wheelbase of 2.99 m. Since a good deal of this wheelbase is taken by the truck bed, it could be turned into a third row seating SUV, something Autos Segredos has confirmed: the new SUV will offer 5-seat and 7-seat bodies. The new Freemont will use the same engines currently in the Toro pick-up, the 1.8 E.torQ flex-fuel engine that delivers 104 kW at 5,750 rpm and 189 Nm at 3,750 rpm on ethanol and the 2.0 MultiJet turbodiesel engine, which produces 125 kW at 3,750 rpm and 350 Nm at 1,750 rpm. It will probably come with a 6-speed manual, as a front or an all-wheel drive vehicle, or a 9-speed automatic gearbox, only as a four-wheel drive SUV.

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There is a rumor of a 2.0 TigerShark flex-fuel engine delivering 121 kW at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,400 rpm on ethanol that would be used by the new Jeep Compass, also known as project 551. If it really is used by the Compass, there is a good chance it is also be put in Fiat models unless FCA decides that the TigerShark will be exclusively for Jeep. It would not be a surprise, considering that the former strategy of restricting SUV bodies to Jeep has been abandoned, but we do not think it would be wise. The move clearly wants to give Fiat a high volume product with high profitability margins. And a replacement for the Freemont. The new SUV should have a competent engine instead of the weak one that is currently offered by Toro and Jeep Renegade.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.