Fiat Toro became a symbol of what cars have been in Brazil

Challenging people’s concepts even after four years in the market is only one of the best-seller pickup’s talents

Fiat Toro Ultra
Fiat FCC4, the 2014 concept car which anticipated the Toro

What do you know about the Toro?

The Fiat brand has always focused on compact cars, so it’s understandable that it doesn’t do well selling bigger and fancier ones. That has never been a problem in Europe or North America because its parent company uses other brands to cover those market segments. In Latin America, however, Fiat had been the only one to prosper for a long time. As a result, it had to at least try to cover those other bases.

The Tempra was Fiat’s first non-compact model to arrive in Brazil. It received local additions such as the two-door body and turbocharged engine, both of which were combined to create the sporty Tempra Turbo in 1994.

What exactly has made it so successful?

First of all, its very concept was tailored to seduce the pick-up buyers who consider the other models excessive. Besides, it has attractive looks (though controversial), nice powertrain options, and a reasonable balance between equipment and price, especially considering Fiat is not a high-profile brand. However, the fact that we’re talking about the Brazilian Fiat means things would definitely not stop there.

Fiat Toro Freedom

Which are all these ways?

  1. Toro’s dimensions and price place it halfway between the aforementioned pick-ups and midsize sedans such as Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla. Both market segments are highly desirable in the Brazilian market.
  2. You can ask it with a diesel engine, which has been coveted there because of a decades-old government restriction. Since it’s a four-cylinder 2.0-liter, you can have an interesting balance between performance and fuel cost.
  3. While the model offers modern items such as infotainment central with a large screen, nine-speed automatic gearbox and electronic assistances, it doesn’t apply any technologies which would make its price skyrocket.
  4. The long list of trim levels cater to buyers from the purely work-oriented to the wealthy farmers. Since it also has some urban-focused versions, it can attract people from both the segments mentioned in the first point.
  5. What you’re going to read on the next paragraph.
Fiat Toro Ranch

The Ultra version

That’s a brand new variation which comes with a rigid bed cover designed for permanent use. Because of that, it features aerodynamic lines which may not be the most attractive, but look as integrated to the rest of the vehicle as they possibly could. And there’s a host of minor accessories focused on completing the visual differentiation, such as darkened trim, restricted color options and an exclusive badge for the version.

Now, there are three ways to get access to Toro’s bed

Transformed cars? WTF?

Deserter XK, a heavily-modified Ford F-1000 created by Brazilian company Souza Ramos in the 1980s
The bespoke crew cab and covered bed were an attempt of making a pick-up truck more suitable to urban use
The Engerauto Topazzio is another example of how far Brazilians went with car transformations in the 1980s. Would you like to read an article about them on this page sometime?

Did Fiat do that on purpose?

Nah, of course not. Those transformations are only appreciated in nowadays and, precisely, for being a thing of the past. They were a cheery consequence of one of the grimmest periods of Brazilian history and, when we talk about industrial standards, many of them were a source of embarrassment. As a result, it’s highly unlikely that any automaker would ever want to associate itself to any part of all that.

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Danillo Almeida

Content writer and engineer-to-be who aspires to work in car design. If you like cars but not the stereotypes that surround them, give my articles a try.