Fiat Toro Could, But Probably Won’t, Make It To the U.S.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has sent mix signals about the Fiat Toro pickup truck but it doesn’t appear as if it’ll come to the U.S. market.

While recently speaking at the Chicago Auto Show, FCA’s global head of design Ralph Gilles displayed an image of the Toro and said “You’re going to be seeing more from Fiat on the truck side, especially,” sparking rumors that the company was planning to bring the Toro to the U.S.

Currently, the model is sold exclusively in Latin America and is based on the same platform as the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass. Positioned as a mid-size pickup, it has the right ingredients to compete in this ever-increasingly in-demand market. Unfortunately, a launch Stateside seems unlikely.

After his Chicago comments sparked confusion, Gilles took to Twitter to clarify what he had said, posting “I must clear something up from this morning #MAMA “I meant I love the new 2017 #Fiat Toro sold in Latin America, no plans to sell in the U.S.”

There’s a possibility that FCA will launch a mid-size pickup in the U.S. as Sergio Marchionne expressed interest in such a vehicle in March last year.

PHOTO GALLERY

  • Kash

    They should bring the fullback instead of this. the fullback looks better than this, but this does have a better/more unique tailgate concept, but they should’ve done like Honda and had it so you could have the tailgate fold down like a normal one as well.

    • Timo

      And i don´t get why they brought the “Mitsubishi L200”-Fullback to Europe instead of the Toro. The Toro would have been far more interesting…

    • Matt

      Fullback platform probably doesn’t meet US regs, where the Toro does. Cost to re-develop Fullback for US pointless as it’s not even a FIAT.

      • Six Thousand Times

        That’s a real possibility also.

    • Six Thousand Times

      The problem is the Fullback is based on the Mitsu L-pickup and would be something of an orphan in this market. Now if Mitsubishi were to bring their version over, parts commonality might make it worthwhile.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    I can live with that.

    • Cameron

      There you go again…. Do you even own a truck? You wouldn’t buy this.

      • Tumbi Mtika

        What do you mean there you go again? I don’t like the truck. What’s wrong with that?

  • Six Thousand Times

    Too bad. FIAT could use something that would sell in NA.

    • Justin Spencer

      I actually wish they would too. its different and pretty cool looking

  • Ilbirs

    I think that Ralph Gilles and FCA by extention used the media to test the reaction of the media and the American buyer of compact pick-ups about this ideia. Here in Brazil Toro is the leader of the segment and simply outsold all these big dogs:

    http://cdn-motorshow.terra.com.br/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/08/toyota-hilux-flex-2017-1_1600x1067.jpg

    http://primeiramarcha.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/GM-Brazil-2017-Chevrolet-S10-008.jpg

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oxxnTcii1-I/VnCUVRjJfOI/AAAAAAABllU/5KSMQBQ1Eus/s1600/RANGER_BAIXA-2.jpg

    http://carros–dev.hi7.co/carros/carros-55ab7048ac6ae.jpeg

    https://abrilquatrorodas.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/57276c5f82bee140590128c7vw-amarok-2017-1.jpeg

    On Toro’s favor counts the fact that it isn’t an approach like the one done by Honda when released the second-gen Ridgeline. Instead of being something unit body made to remind the looks of a BOF equivalent, it took all possible advantages of this kind of construction, having a very low cargo platform, decent accomodations for the second row (now ultra-low H point, for example) and also the guys of the Brazilian headquarters catch the desire of people to not have a bloated truck that is called “compact” or “mid-size” just because it’s narrower than a full-size pickup that has almost the same length. See how close Toro is to the original concept of this segment:

    https://www.the-blueprints.com/modules/vectordrawings/preview-wm/2016_fiat_toro.jpg

    https://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints-depot/cars/nissan/nissan-frontier-double-cab-4×4-look-2007.gif

    https://www.the-blueprints.com/modules/vectordrawings/preview-wm/1995_chevrolet_s-10_pick-up.jpg

    If Brazilians were missing the true proposal of this segment and hurried to the Toro when it was released, for sure there are Americans wanting something like this, as I can catch every time this model is mentioned. It’s almost sure that in U.S. it’d wear the RAM outfit and could be the model below the 1500 to fill the niche left by Dakota’s discontinuation.
    Unit body? We must remember that FCA accumulates in its history good knowledge on how to make good trucks using this method even when Fiat and Chrysler were separate entities:

    http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/201208/1986-jeep-comanche-13_800x0w.jpg

    http://www.fiat.com.br/content/dam/fiat-brasil/desktop/produtos/modelos/578/receptiva/adventure/exterior/strada-adventure-de-frente.png

    http://premierautosmagazine.com/articles/Rampage/rampage_02.jpg

    http://www.lowco2vans.com/images/images/pickups/fiat%20doblo%20work%20up.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HzUU53uIhdM/VqMTXexdG7I/AAAAAAAAIfk/d8BN2Dvg4oc/s1600/s-l1600a.jpg

    Independent rear suspension? No, Toro is meant to be as capable as a BOF truck and can carry more than 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) in its diesel versions, as this is one of the legal aspects a vehicle must comply in Brazil to be sold using this fuel. Toro’s specs resemble a bit the ones found in the Work-up and chassis-cab versions of the second-gen Doblò, both them able to carry a metric ton. The setup of Toro is like the one found in the Doblò (RAM Promaster City in NA):

    http://www.autoentusiastas.com.br/ae/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/t25.jpg

    http://st.automobilemag.com/uploads/sites/11/2014/06/2015-Ram-ProMaster-City-Bi-Link-rear-suspension.jpg

    A possible problem for this model can be CAFE regulations for trucks if considering its footprint (average track multiplied by the wheelbase), one of the reasons the American market now only sees compact trucks in long wheelbase specs and doesn’t see the single-cab short wheelbase spec that used to be the average standard of this kind of model, as more wheelbase allows a model to follow less stringent targets:

    https://energyathaas.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/footprint1.jpg

    https://energyathaas.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/curves.png

    Calculating the footprint of a Toro, the result is 50.3 sq. ft (4,676 m²). To make a comparison, a Colorado has 55.6 sq ft. (5,167 m²). Other problem could be the Trump’s policy for the auto industry, as the Toro is built on the SUSW platform that will be built in Mexico in the Compass form. Maybe the 20-percent importation tax proposed for products built south of the Bravo river could make a Toro rebadged as RAM unfeasible to be available in U.S. if the price comes too close to the ones of the 1500 model.
    As I said other times, a dual-product approach for FCA on the compact truck segment could be a good thing. The next Wrangler derived model would appeal to the purists, while a Toro would be attractive to people more open to novelties in this segment, always remembering that the Brazilian designed model was made to go well against the BOF ones and it can’t be considered FCA’s “Ridgeline”, as said before. Maybe another body variant (extended or single cab) would be what it lacks for Toro to be even better received by U.S. and there are rumors circulating about a future non-crew cab version of this model.

  • Laundru Patton

    No no no Fiat Toro (too small). FCA should make a joint venture with Mitsubishi Triton and rebadge it as a 2019/20 midsize RAM for the US. That new upcoming 2019/20 refreshed Triton has a little more to offer in cab room and a nice looking front bumper.

    • Ilbirs

      FCA doesn’t need to rebadge L200 Triton again in U.S. because for the traditionalists who want a BOF truck smaller than the RAM 1500 there will be a Jeep product derived from the next-gen Wrangler, something that will extend the kind of audience of the brand beyond the SUVs and bring more people to the showroom. As RAM already catches very well the audience of fullsize pick-up trucks and is also doing right when it comes to commercial vans, it leaves space for something on the likes of the Toro, itself not that small but more or less the size of an old S10 or Ranger, bringing back to the compact truck segment a product like what these vehicles used to be before the bloating wave that turned them something that barely differentiates from a fullsize one except in width.
      As Toro is a Brazilian project, no problems of being unit body and having independent rear suspension. It’s not an equivalent to the Ridgeline with an Italian-American flavor, but something that in its home market must face important models like the Hilux, S10 (the world spec of the current Colorado), Ranger (not the American project, but the one codenamed T6 that was designed in Australia), Amarok, Frontier and Triton. As by the Brazilian law a model can only use diesel if it carries one metric ton (a bit more than 2,200 lb), Toro must be competent to this duty and favors it the fact that Fiat was already the leader of unit body trucks way before this model come to life, as the small and passenger car derived Strada is a huge hit in Brazil and its sales volume is huge to the point of being one of the 10 best selling vehicles in the country and appreciated by people as a tough little commercial vehicle that whitstand a lot of bad treatment. So, as can be seen, Toro’s DNA itself is good when considering the Fiat side. If we put the Chrysler side of the Force in this mix, we’ll remember that it also has some good experiences on this kind of construction, like the Jeep Comanche and its Uniframe, Rampage and also the Valiant Utes when it had a plant in Australia. It’s a positive add to the mix and also more experience to the project. So, no worries about Toro and its proposal, because here in Brazil it already outsold all the BOF competitors like if they weren’t there when it was released, so well received it was.

  • Benjamin B.

    RAM Rampage or RAM Dakota

  • Benjamin B.

    I wouldn’t put it past FCA to restrofit an assembly plant for the North American market and sell this truck as a RAM.

  • SteersUright

    Who the hell wants this plastic imitation of a truck anyway? We already have the abysmal looking Honda Ridgeline in the “pretend” truck segment. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d rather have the Chevy Colorado than any of these, especially with the new offroad package.

    • Matt

      What’s wrong with the Colorado?

    • CarCzarDesigner

      This may not be your cup of tea, but a Ford F-150, Silverado or Dodge Ram isn’t other peoples cup of tea either. Like it or not, there is a market for a light duty truck such as this in the US. Other alternatives on the market including the Colorado and soon to be introduced Ford Ranger are considered still too big,especially for those who live in some cities and in suburbia. The fact this carries 4 – 5 people makes this a great family car choice, commuter too.

    • Ilbirs

      Toro is not an equivalent to the Ridgeline with the difference of being made by FCA, but something that in its home country must go against very capable products way more rugged than the average BOF compact truck in America, as the law in Brazil says that a vehicle to be diesel powered must have at least a metric ton (2,200 lb) payload if two-wheel driven.
      Below I follow some videos showing how capable is this model that here outsold all its BOF competitors:

      https://youtu.be/oboJx7gxGYg

      https://youtu.be/xjhheQIG67Y

      https://youtu.be/lg5D5K507_I

  • Justin Spencer

    Its really not bad at all and I’m actually pretty impressed with the potential of the Renegade/Compass platform. The interior certainly shares a family resemblance with several current Jeep models and I see Cherokee traits in the front end design without a doubt, so why not sell it as a Jeep too??? Call it the Comanche!

  • Justin Spencer

    Its really not bad at all and I’m actually pretty impressed with the potential of the Renegade/Compass platform. The interior certainly shares a family resemblance with several current Jeep models and I see Cherokee traits in the front end design without a doubt, so why not sell it as a Jeep too??? We have a Renegade in my household and I have to say that Fiat and Jeep seem to create some pretty good products. Call it the Comanche!

    • Benjamin B.

      I say FCA could very easily restrofit an existing plant to assemble this ute. I would like to see Jeep variant and maybe also a RAM commercial version. But FCA is more likely to see a RAM mid size pickup truck.

  • Cameron

    Keep that thing its hideous..
    -Colorado owner.

  • etah

    fix it again, tony

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