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Geneva show: Fiat shows Tipo hatch, wagon

Out of the box: The first Fiat Tipo was introduced in 1988, but the new version revealed in Geneva this week has lost the original's boxy styling cues.

Tipo hatch resurrected at Geneva after 20-year hiatus from Fiat line-up


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3 Mar 2016

FIAT used the Geneva motor show to add Tipo hatchback and wagon variants to the already revealed sedan, but the Volkswagen Golf rival will battle for small passenger segment sales only in the northern hemisphere, with no plans to bring it Down Under.

The Italian car-maker's small hatch has been resurrected after a 20-year hiatus, following the model's discontinuation in 1995, and is only the second generation of the car.

As is typical for models destined for European and United Kingdom markets, the Tipo will be offered with numerous engine and transmission options, including 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre MultiJet diesels with peak power of 70kW and 88kW, plus top torque of 200Nm and 320Nm respectively.

Petrol power is represented by three engines – a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre with 70kW, a turbocharged version with 90kW and the company's e-TorQ 1.6-litre unit with 82kW. Depending on the engine, Tipos can be paired with either manual gearbox or dual-clutch automatic transmission.

According to Fiat, the Tipo hatch can accommodate up to five occupants more than 183cm tall, and has “class leading legroom and outstanding headroom.” At 4370mm long, 1790mm wide and 1500mm tall, the Fiat Tipo hatch is almost identical in dimensions to its Volkswagen equivalent but can swallow more luggage in its 440-litre boot compared with the 380 litres of the Golf. Estate versions have another 110 litres of capacity.

The wagon can accommodate objects up to 1800mm long thanks to an additional 200mm of boot length. It also has an adjustable floor and removable side storage panels. Like its hatch cousin, the wagon has second row 60:40-split folding seats for boosted volume.

Three specification levels will be offered when the new model goes on sale in the UK, including a variety of equipment such as six airbags, digital radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, air-conditioning and a multifunction steering wheel.

In its first generation, the Tipo was a worthy adversary to Volkswagen in budget markets, selling strongly against the Golf in the Brazilian market, as well as putting up a respectable resistance to Ford's Escort and the Vauxhall Astra in UK markets.

The Sedicivalvole (16-valve) version also became an esteemed icon in the UK hot hatch fraternity with its 109kW 2.0-litre performance, and is still regarded a cult classic.

The Tipo was not offered for sale in Australia in its first-generation, and with the recent discontinuation of both Panda and Punto small hatchback models from the local market, it is unlikely Fiat will reconsider its decision to not offer the Tipo here.

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