Peugeot has unveiled its all-new Partner Rapid for the Brazilian light commercial vehicle (LCV) market. It marks the first time that Peugeot’s first project aligned with the FCA side under the new Stellantis group. Virtually identical to the recently unveiled Fiat Fiorino LCV, it will be built alongside its FIAT counterpart at the plant in Betim. The brand is hoping to build on FIAT’s success in Brazil and grow its share in the commercial segment.
From January to April, Peugeot recorded a 17% increase in sales volume in the LCV market, compared to the same period last year. Currently, Peugeot has a 7.4% share in the segment, a niche that continues to grow in the Brazilian market thanks to the increase in self-employment and the movement of small loads in urban centers.
Now we have talked in-depth about the updates to the Fiat Fiorino for the 2023 model year. But what sets the Partner Rapid apart from the are a few cosmetical details. From the front, the Partner Rapid gets a Peugeot-branded grille featuring the old-school “Lion” logo. We were surprised that the brand didn’t use its new updated logo, which is making its rounds on all of the brand’s new vehicles.
From the side, we see that the Partner Rapid gets its own set of 14-inch multi-spoke wheels. The wheels really update the side profile of the Peugeot variant compared to the FIAT offering, which features a set of steel wheels. Besides the wheels, the plastic door frame that protects the body from small knocks, typical of parking lots, receives the “Rapid” inscription (also used on the Ram ProMaster/700 Rapid variant of the vehicle).
At the rear, which gives access to the cargo compartment, it is possible to find, again, the Brand logo and the Partner identification monogram.
Working with the FIAT team, Peugeot worked on an interior that is extremely comfortable and functional, especially for those who spend hours in traffic. Located in the gauge cluster, the drive has a 6-function onboard computer, tachometer, and digital partial odometer. The steering wheel is height adjustable and features the Peugeot lion logo rather than the F-I-A-T text or Ram’s head logo.
The Partner Rapid can also be fitted with an optional “Business Pack” with features like air conditioning, hydraulic steering, driver’s seat and steering wheel with height adjustment, electric locks, and windows with a One-touch system, radio pre-disposition, sump protector, alarm, pocketknife keys with alarm activation and others. The interior has a darkened tone to it and features up to 13 compartments or 18.3 liters of storage.
Being identical to the Fiorino, the Partner Rapid also features the renowned 1.4-liter EVO Flex inline-four-cylinder engine, now tuned to meet the new Proconve (PL7) emissions and noise rules. Recognized for its excellent torque at low revs, which makes the utility vehicle more agile and efficient when transporting loads, the propeller became even more economical, with a reduction of up to 11.8% in gasoline consumption (the improvement with ethanol was 8.3%). It generates up to 86 horsepower of power and 120 Nm (88 lb.-ft.) of torque with ethanol. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
It isn’t clear how the Partner Rapid will intertwine with the sales of its FIAT and Ram variants in the LATAM market. Peugeot already sells its Boxer full-size van, a variant of the Fiat Ducato and Ram ProMaster in LATAM, so we think that Stellantis is more targeting brand loyalty than worrying about cannibalizing each other sales.
The Peugeot Partner Rapid was designed for the job, with a load capacity of 650 kg or 1,433 lbs., is the ideal size for urban use, and features a low cost of ownership.
Peugeot’s Partner Rapid has a starting price of R$101,390 (or about $19,698 USD), while the starting price of the Business Pack is set at R$106,090 (or about $20,611 USD). Just like the Fiorino, the Partner Rapid is only available in Bright White exterior color.