The diminutive Fiat Fiorino range has been extended with the addition of a version that is capable of looking after itself off-road. The secret behind the off-road ability is the electronic diff lock that transfers power to the wheel with the most grip.

The new system, called Traction +, will be introduced on the 1.3 MultiJet SX diesel-engined version of the Fiorino van and 1.3 MultiJet diesel Combi. Each vehicle specified with the technology will also receive strengtheneing and raising of the body and chassis plus protection of the engine and driveline.

Traction + improves handling and control when driving in mud, snow and other low-grip conditions, yet has no impact on fuel economy or maintenance costs. The package, which costs £750 for the van version and £780 for the Combi, will prove popular with van users who have to tackle hilly or rough terrain, as the vehicle’s standard equipment also includes all-weather tyres.

The system works by applying brake force to the driven wheel with the lowest grip and transferring more torque to the other wheel, with the result that there is more grip to overcome slippery conditions.

“Traction + will prove an extremely useful system for customers who need an extra element of grip from their Fiorino in conditions where a 4×4 vehicle would be too much and two-wheel drive is not enough,” says Gerry Clarke, director, Fiat Professional – the commercial vehicle arm of Fiat Group Automobiles UK Ltd.

“Because fuel consumption and maintenance are not affected by Traction +, this new introduction represents not only a sensible decision for owners, but a cost-effective one too.”

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