The Brazilian unit of the Italian automaker has recently debuted the Mobi, a supermini treated in crossover cue – a viable South American successor to the Panda 4×4.
It appears the Renault Kwid, which hasn’t even been offered yet in South America, already has a preemptive competitor – one that may also serve as a spiritual successor to the Panda 4×4, which was one of the earliest examples of A-segment crossovers. The Italian model still has a career in Europe where the third generation model is also delivered with the second iteration of the Panda 4×4 – a quirky model because it has a full-time all wheel drive system, something that even B-segment crossovers have started to eschew. Anyways, the Mobi is in Brazil the true rival of the Kwid, which should start arriving there as an import from India. The design is certainly questionable, but people may forgive it because we have a very practical city car with increased ground clearance and plastic body protections that may come handy more often than we imagine – especially in crowded parking lots.
Fiat Brazil introduced the Mobi in six trims (Easy, Easy On, Like, Like On, Way, Way On) and the only powertrain available is a flex-fuel 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine spilling 73 horsepower (54 kilowatts) and 69 pound-feet (93 Newton meters) of torque. Add in ethanol and the power increases to 75 hp (56 kW) and 72 lb-ft (97 Nm). There’s also only one gearbox option – a five-speed manual transmission linked exclusively to the front wheels. The 62 mph sprint will need no less than 14.3 seconds and the maximum speed is a mere 95 mph (153 km/h). The Mobi has stellar parking dimensions: length of 3566 mm (3596 mm for Way and Way On), width of 1633 mm (1685 mm for Way and Way On), and a height varying from 1490 mm to 1550 mm, depending on trim.