Sometime in Novemeber there was a render of the alleged new Linea making the rounds on the internet. While the majority of the auto journalist crowd had stamped ’2013 Linea’ on it for all intents and purposes, some of us were not so sure. Riot Engine posted about it here arguing that the chances of this muscular and sharp design being a Fiat was really really slim. Turns out we were right. While the render was that of the Dodge Dart that was unveiled at the recent Detroit Motor Show, Fiat has now unveiled its Italian cousin, the Viaggio.
Come 23rd April, and the Viaggio should be unveiled in all its glory, maybe sooner taking into account the here-you-go-leaked-images-just-before-the-unveiling trend. The front face is characteristically Fiat, albeit the new Fiat and not the one we’ve seen on our Puntos and Lineas. The day light opening area is ringed with chrome, and the tail lamps are LED.
Viaggio (voyage in English and its Chinese name Fei Xiang meaning flying) is the first project worked on jointly by Fiat-Chrysler. While the Dart will work its way into the market in the USA, China’s compact sedan segment is all set to be inundated with the Viaggio. Do not read too much into the word compact, since we’re talking about China where the 3 Series, C-Class, the A4 et all have to be sold in the stretched versions!
The specs agree with that line of thought too. At 4,679mm in length, 1,850mm in overall width and with a 2,708mm wheelbase, the Viaggio is hardly a C segment car ( which it claims to be), treading on D segment territory.
The new four-door, five- passenger Fiat Viaggio as well as the Dodge Dart, are based on the CUSW (Compact US Wide) architecture which Fiat says is the most advanced within the Fiat Group. The CUSW architecture is, in turn, derived from the Compact architecture originally developed for best-selling Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
The Fiat Viaggio will be the only car in its segment (WHICH segment?) to exclusively offer sophisticated turbo-charged engines; the 1.4L T-jet in both 120 hp and 150 hp outputs matched to either a 5-speed manual transmission or the latest Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDTC) developed by Fiat Powertrain.
The new Fiat sedan will be the first car to be produced in the new Gac-Fiat World Class Manufacturing plant in Changsha, Hunan province. The first cars will be produced from July and will go on sale in the third quarter of this year.
Maybe Fiat should pull up its socks and bring this baby to India and of course, price it well too.