Fiat goes large with the new Viaggio

Monday, 16 April 2012 2:06 PM

Fiat Viaggio

The Fiat Viaggio is destined for the Chinese market where they like their motors bigger, and with a boot

Next week's Beijing Motor Show will see the launch of the Fiat Viaggio, an all-new sedan that will be made in China and looks like it may well be aimed at the Chinese market where the growing middle class wants something bigger than a Fiat 500. The C-segment is the biggest market in China and the Viaggio measures up at 4,679mm in length, 1,850mm in overall width and a 2,708mm wheelbase.

In English, the car will be marked as the Viaggio, meaning "voyage", and in China, it will be called the Fei Xiang, meaning "flying". It is a joint Fiat-Chrysler project, probably not a bad move with Chrysler having plenty of experience in producing bigger cars, despite the Sebring. Fiat will be bringing its Italian flair to the design.

It is a four-door, five-seat C-segment car and it shares Compact US Wide (CUSW) architecture with the Dodge Dart, which was presented in Detroit last January. The "compact" bit of the CUSW architecture was originally developed for the Alfa Romeo Guilietta.

Aside from these slightly vague pics, we can tell you the Viaggio will exclusively offer turbocharged 1.4-litre engines with 120bhp or 150bhp and the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or Fiat Powertrain's new Dual Dry Clutch Transmission.

The Viaggio will be the first car to be made at the new GAC-Fiat World Class Manufacturing plant (yes, that really is the plant's name...) in Changsha, Hunan province. The first cars will roll off the production line from July and will go on sale in the third quarter of this year.

By Georgia Lewis

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