Fiat just unveiled the new Bravo hatchback, but it's not about the sit back and watch its new global Focus/Golf/etc.-fighter sink or swim. Newly incorporated separately from its sister brands, Fiat has big plans for the Bravo line-up, which, following the immense success of the Grande Punto below it, is vital to the company's continued growth.
Fiat is looking about three years down the road. That's not a very long lifecycle for a car, but Fiat plans to launch a facelifted Bravo in 2010. Planned alongside the updated hatchback are an extended wagon version plus a high-performance Bravo Abarth. Although it's becoming common practice for automakers to blur the line between large hatchbacks and sportswagons, Fiat evidently sees the addition of a distinct wagon as essential to certain key markets.
It's too early to tell at this point what kind of spice Fiat will be throwing into the facelifted Bravo to make it hot, but the company's got big plans for the Abarth brand. The badge was once an independent automaker until, as was the fate of nearly every other Italian automaker, it was bought up by Fiat, who later transformed it into its own in-house performance tuner. Now it's planning an Abarth revival. The production schedule leaked in November has a Grande Punto Abarth scheduled for release sometime this year alongside the highly-anticipated 500, which will get its own Abarth version next year. Reports now suggest that the Bravo Abarth will hit the market in 2010 alongside the wagon when the Bravo gets its facelift.
Follow the jump for new driving footage of the Fiat Bravo, courtesy of our Fiat and our friends at WorldCarFans.com.
[Source: Autovisie via Motor Authority]