Future Models - Fiat 2012 Viaggio
Beijing show: Fiat teases Viaggio
Teased: The Fiat Viaggio - Italian for voyage - is a small sedan based on the Dodge Dart to be built in China.
Fiat reveals teaser images of Chinese market Viaggio small sedan
16 April 2012
FIAT has released the first official images of the new Viaggio small sedan ahead of its premiere at the Beijing motor show next week.
The car is essentially a re-worked version of the new Dodge Dart made for the Chinese market, where it will go on sale from the third quarter of this year.
Billed as the first model to be produced as part of the car-maker’s joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group, the Viaggio will form a key plank in the Fiat-Chrysler alliance’s ambitious quest for growth in the world’s largest car market.
The car will be built in the new Fiat-Guangzhou plant in the southern Chinese province of Hunan, reportedly with an initial capacity of 170,000 vehicles per year, but with the capacity to expand to more than 300,000.
While not officially confirmed, Fiat sources have said the car will be exported to select European countries. This could potentially open the door for the car to come to Australia, should this include RHD markets like the UK.
Chrysler Australia has previously told GoAuto it is investigating a number of avenues to bring the Dart – slated only for left-hand drive at this stage – to Australia.
Left: Fiat Viaggio. Below: Dodge Dart.
The local subsidiary, which from May 1 will take over distribution of Alfa Romeo and Fiat from Ateco Group, is working with other right-hook countries to secure RHD Dart production.
Chrysler Australia director of corporate affairs Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto today that the Viaggio would be a discussion point when managing director Clyde Campbell meets with colleagues from the Asia Pacific division while in Beijing for the show next week.
The Viaggio is based on Fiat’s Compact US Wide (CUSW) architecture that underpins the Dart, which debuted earlier this year at the Detroit motor show.
The CUSW platform – claimed to be the most advanced within the Fiat Group – is in turn derived from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
At 4679mm long, 1850mm wide and with a 2708mm wheelbase, the Viaggio is slightly larger than a Holden Cruze, which would place it at the upper end of the growing local small-car segment.
While stylistically similar to the Dart, the Viaggio – designed at the Fiat Group Style Centre in Torino – features a different grille and headlight design, as well as a different tail-light treatment incorporating LEDs.
Power will come from 88kW and 110kW versions of Fiat’s 1.4-litre turbocharged Tjet four-cylinder petrol engines, matched to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a dual-clutch automatic.
The Viaggio will be just one member of a strong contingent from the global Fiat-Chrysler alliance at the Beijing show, with Jeep, Chrysler, Maserati and Ferrari all set to feature on the stand.
The Fiat-Chrysler Group said it wants to become a “key player” in the Chinese market, with a reported target of 300,000 annual sales by 2014, up from just 1500 last year.