Fiat "Oltre" ... and some memories of military life

(To Gianluca Celentano)
08/10/18

Presented more as one Concept and Show Car in the 2005 it seemed he could have the right cards - and perhaps he had them - to evolve as an Italian answer in the off-road world.

The FIAT project was born to provide the Armed Forces with a versatile Multirole around which a modern and innovative synergy between essentiality, reliability and comfort must have gravitated.

If the debut of the armored VTLM IVECO LINCE goes back to the 2003, it is likely that the idea really has some connotations common with the medium we will be dealing with, or at least we wanted to offer a "civil" version to the world's most secure military Multirole updated with several restyling after practical experience in the field.

Fiat OLTRE

Above all, it was Iveco Massif who overcame the gap in the off-road segment left by Fiat Campagnola AR76, and despite many have considered it Defender Italian, the Italian 4X4 was really good even if it did not mark a success. It is a pity, however, that the economic crisis linked to that of the Santana plant in Spain has ruled in the 2011 the end of its production.

As was the civil LMV

Strength and adequacy for theAll Terrain Vehicle, were the prerogatives of the Fiat project to return to the market Off Road, in which knowing how to cross the practicality of extreme use with the current and complex technology of SUVs became decisive and necessary to establish itself on the automotive market, as we know it is increasingly demanding and competitive.

A supporting frame with longitudinal engine 4 cylinders Iveco F1C turbodiesel from 3.0 cc 16 valves and multijet common rail injection with a power output to 180 horses, necessary considering the PTT (mass at full load or total weight on the ground, ed) of about 4 tons , were the ideal solutions - still used today - to allow Fiat Over, for example, to leave behind longitudinal slopes in the order of 40 ° with a complete crew on board.

Really a lot of torque, 456 Nm supplied by its engine that continues undaunted to give satisfaction and driving pleasure even today to Iveco owners Daily, which rigorously with a Euro 6 engine comes to offer well 205 power horses and 470 Nm of torque.

The instrumentation is essential but complete and very reminiscent of the driver's seat Lynx: circular analogue indicators for engine speed and revolutions and temperatures, including the gearbox, but also a panel on the right of the conductor full of switches, some for the safety consent for some functions. The components from the wiper and lighting levers on the sides of the steering wheel to 3 spokes, are from Iveco and are used on the trucks and buses of the brand.

Pleasant are the blue and white interiors, presented on the Concept of the 2005, refined and filled but above all spacious.

Designed to accommodate 4 / 5 people, on the roof there is the characteristic circular hatch and inside it has a safety cage that runs through all the uprights of the latter.

It looks like a pick up double-cabin spirited and the desire to try it and make it drift on the dirt road is really a lot, but if it was produced would probably offer different shapes.

Transmission and dimensions

It adopts a ZF six-speed automatic transmission as in the case of the Lynx, and two differentials plus a distributor that guarantee intelligently distributed torque when there is a difference in revolutions between the two axes, but also the characteristic axes block to the 50% and of the differentials as in pure off-road vehicles.

Independent wheels with springs and telescopic suspensions, keep it anchored to the ground thanks to its tires from 315 / 40R26 XL with the classic tiling design suitable both on asphalt and in Off Road challenging.

Half a meter from the ground is long 4,87 meters for 2,05 high and just over two meters wide, offers the interesting interaxis size with a step of 3,23 m; an ideal space for off-road vehicles that has four doors.

Overall measures therefore similar to those of Lynx from which, as mentioned, it probably derives.

Laterally it can tilt 22 degrees and its speed on straight line is attested - overtaking them - on 130 Km / h.

Its exterior handles, like the Land Rover, are housed inside the doors, a detail of no small importance, useful in narrow and critical passages.

It can wade by immersing itself of well 85 centimeters but with the snorkel kit the value rises to a meter and a half.

Remember the HUMMER H2 but does the civil lynx exist?

If the Iveco Massif could be purchased at an industrial vehicle dealer, the current one Lynx it is reserved only for some public buyers and the armored version would seem to be banned from the former military market.

Data on the weight of Fiat Over, should be similar to those of the H2 civil American - considering that it is not armored - even if some news would confirm its drivability only with driving license C due to a mass above the 3.5 t. A problem, however, that does not arise since it has never been produced in series but has remained a prototype to impress the visitors of the stands like the Bologna Motor Show.

Just the Italian feline, the Lynx VTLM in fact, has attracted much interest in sales on world markets even in the most Light, ie without protection and perhaps even more agile and lean to emphasize its performance, which we remember to have been put in the spotlight by several testimonies of soldiers returned from Afghanistan.

With this premise, some "civil" or slightly protected version of the Lynx it is in circulation and in use for civil protection fire and health service tasks but also in police forces of other States. However, for fans of the genre, it seems not to be still anything unarmed on the squares of the used institutional.

So probably ...

Given the success of the Fiat prototype Over, it would become "complicated" to understand why this vehicle was not produced in series for the civil market, and perhaps it is easier to assume that we wanted to give an advertising image with more daily forms to the unstoppable VTLM Lynx (photo) born with some shade but among the best light and armored military Multirole Vehicles.

Beyond SUV or Fiat Bravo, same name another project

It is curious to know that the production for the extra-European markets of Fiat, has achieved even if we know nothing more about the merits, an SUV using the body of the Bravo but with the same name as the LMV we have dealt with. This would be a version Urban jungle which was to debut in the 2009 with diesel and petrol engines from 1,4 cc, with 120 and 150 horses. I rather remember the news, the success of Fiat Sixteen 4x4 built in collaboration with Suzuki (SX4) also an interesting one Urban Jungle with the vocation and the ability to tackle the dirt road very well.

Stories from the Battalion Vehicle Office

Worksheet, annotation of entry and exit kilometers and vehicle verification. This signed and signed document was often rolled up and kept in sight in the pocket of olive-colored camouflage, and accompanied the good conductor who spent the day at the office of his department ready to go out for a service. Some of you will also remember, after connecting the batteries, the nail for the electrical connection and the start of the vehicles, where on the handle was often tied the cord of the sleeping bag.

We passed from moments of calm calm where we knew each other between boys of different regions and experiences, at times where we did not even have time to think but only to perform, except for the ambushes clearly ...

We passed from the scheduled service to the early morning with the F900, or the Cacciamali, to the tours with the Ar 59 or 76 rather than from the services with the ACM80 or ACP70, but only to the more diligent of the military conscripts with the assignment 18 / A was assigned the apex of the tasks, that of driver of the colonel. Even for these "elected", however, there was a sort of trial period and, if the "commander" did not consider them to be nonchalant in the guide, they would return to the general services of the office.

Grease the batteries after washing, check levels and brushstrokes of diesel on the body (I recommend not to do it on your car!) In addition to the black gloss on the tires, were the custom of attention and operations aimed at the means of department, with any time and temperature were always always ready and efficient.

The Leopards and the M113 VCCs passed into tanks with water, dug specifically for washing and then climbed onto a support for cleaning the hull.

I know I have put in motion many memories but the most interesting I think go back to the fields where above all the spirit of adaptation was the prerogative for every single military force and where, on these occasions, they appreciated even more the off-road performances of the fleet of Italian military vehicles.

Maybe later I will tell you an experience of an alarm where the driver was the Pica conductor, a capable driver and one with a motor and 4x4 truck ...

Also read: "Iveco Lince LMV: the Italian feline who has school in the world. Between lights and shadows"

(photo: web)