Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fiat Drops Official Info on New Dodge Dart-Based Viaggio Compact Sedan

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After the first photos of Fiat's Viaggio leaked on the web (pun not intended) on Thursday, the Italian carmaker decided it was time to officially release the teaser images and provide initial details on the compact-sized sedan model.The Viaggio will have its world preview at the2012 Beijing International Auto Show on Monday, April 23, before it goes on sale in China this fall. The car's name is Italian for voyage or journey, while Fiat says its Chinese name 'Fei Xiang' means flying.
As is evident from the teaser photos, the Viaggio is based on the 2013 Dodge Dart, which in turn, uses Fiat's new CUSW (Compact US Wide) platform derived from the Compact architecture originally developed for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
At 4,679mm in length, 1,850mm in overall width and with a 2,708mm wheelbase, the Viaggio is slightly bigger than the Dart in all dimensions (4,672mm long, 1,830mm wide, 2,703mm wheelbase).
Even though Fiat says it's a compact sedan like the Ford Focus, it's exterior dimensions place it in between the C- and D-segments (i.e Opel Insignia / Buick Regal).
We have not yet seen any pictures of the interior, but on the outside, the Viaggio is differentiated from the Dart by its redesigned front fascia and rear end.
In China, Fiat will offer the Viaggio with a choice of two 1.4-liter T-Jet turbocharged petrol engines producing 120HP and 150HP 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 vehicle to be produced from the automaker's joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group in the GAC-Fiat World Class Manufacturing plant in Changsha, Hunan province. The plant has an initial capacity of 170,000 cars per year, but Fiat says it could almost double output to more than 300,000 units annually with a minimum of investment.
Fiat said the first cars will be built in July and will go on sale in China during the third quarter of the year.
While the Italian company has not yet made this official, a Fiat source told Dow Jones Newswires that the Viaggio will also be exported to select European countries.
Fiat is also rumored to be developing a five-door hatchback version of the Viaggio that will be introduced next year and could replace the Bravo in Europe.



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