Called the Viaggio, it's essentially a Fiat-badged Dodge Dart with a few minor tweaks here and there. But don't expect a shipment of Fiat badges to be arriving at the assembly plant in Belvedere, Illinois, anytime soon: what you're seeing here is actually the first Fiat that will (starting in June) be built in China for China, through a joint venture with Guangzhou.
The resulting GAC Fiat enterprise unveiled the Viaggio at the Beijing Auto Show following teasers released a couple of weeks ago. The result looks like a Dart with some extra chrome. Buyers in China will be able to choose from 120- or 150-horsepower versions of Fiat's 1.4-liter T-Jet four with either a five-speed manual or six-speed DCT. Scroll down below for the full press blast and take a look at the high-res image gallery.
- Fiat Viaggio: style beyond expectations
- Fiat 500 "Collezione": a full line-up of shining stars
- Fiat Freemont: the Crossover according to Fiat
- GAC Fiat: a Joint Venture marking a key milestone
GAC Fiat (GAC being the acronym for Guangzhou Automobile Company) presents a stunning line-up of new models and features at the 12th Beijing International Auto Show. Marking a key milestone in Fiat's comeback in China, GAC Fiat brings not only the Italian fashion icons - Fiat 500 'by Gucci', Fiat 500C, and the crossover SUV Fiat Freemont - but also unveils its first all-new sedan to be entirely made in China, the Fiat Viaggio. The successful debut of the Fiat Viaggio, the new model that leverages the advantageous global resources of the Fiat Group, officially kicks off Fiat's new venture to regain glory in one of the major world automotive markets and strongly demonstrates GAC Fiat's strategic insight into the Chinese market.
Fiat Viaggio: world premiere - style beyond expectations
The brand new sedan - the Fiat Viaggio - is without a doubt the biggest star on the GAC Fiat stand. Fiat Viaggio (its Chinese name Fei Xiang meaning flying) is the first Fiat-Chrysler twin project as well as GAC Fiat's first localised product which brings to life an all-new world class vehicle with high levels of refinement and craftsmanship that breaks the mould in China's compact sedan segment. The new Fiat Viaggio sedan delivers a unique blend of power, fuel efficiency, sophistication, technology and vehicle dynamics, beautifully clothed in a distinctive Italian design by the Fiat Group's Style Centre. As a full interpretation of the brand positioning "La Vita é Bella", the Fiat Viaggio aims to become a knockout product, setting a new standard in the core segment of the Chinese market and surpass the expectations of Chinese customers.
The first Fiat Viaggio cars will be produced at the end of June and will be delivered by the end of 2012.
Fiat 500 "Collezione": a full line-up of shining stars
Also making an appearance at the 12th Beijing International Auto Show is the Fiat 500 "Collezione", led by the recently launched Fiat 500 'by Gucci' and Fiat 500C.
Born from the successful co-operation between Fiat and luxury brand Gucci, the Fiat 500 'by Gucci' was officially introduced to the Chinese market on 19th April. This special edition is designed by Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini, in collaboration with Fiat Group's Style Centre. The unusual co-operation between two of the most prestigious and historic Italian brands symbolises a perfect blend of iconic Italian design and flawless craftwork.
Fiat 500C, the other newcomer in the Fiat 500 "Collezione", bringing to China the sunshine of the Mediterranean coast, is a convertible symbolising love and beauty to the Chinese consumer.
Fiat Freemont: a full-sized Crossover SUV
The Fiat line-up at the Beijing International Auto Show is completed by the full-sized crossover SUV Fiat Freemont. Introduced into China in January this year, the Fiat Freemont has received great response both from dealers and the public. As the first crossover SUV in the Fiat range, the Freemont is available in the 7-seater version. Built to satisfy the needs of stylish customers who need to combine everyday family necessities with the desire for freedom and the hectic pace of modern life, the Fiat Freemont is designed to to accommodate all needs, from work to free time.
GAC Fiat: a Joint Venture marking a key milestone
The GAC Fiat stand is located in Hall E4, together with the Chrysler/Jeep, Maserati and Ferrari stands.
The presence of GAC Fiat in the luxury hall demonstrates the Group's commitment to the Chinese market.
Thanks to Fiat-Chrysler Group's leading technology and Guangzhou Automobile Group's long experience in the Chinese market, GAC Fiat has been growing rapidly in less than two years since its establishment and has become an emerging force in the Chinese auto industry. GAC Fiat is working with all its strength to build the new world class manufacturing plant in Changsha, in the Hunan province, set to be among the best in the world in terms of facilities, logistics, management and production systems. At present, the plant construction and facility installation is on schedule, ready for the roll-off of the Fiat Viaggio at the end of June 2012.
Two years after GAC Fiat' establishment, 91 dealers and 125 showrooms have opened across the country.
As a young, promising and strong joint venture, GAC Fiat is quickly becoming one of the key players in the Chinese auto market, thanks to its attractive products, expanding dealer network, efficient marketing strategies and attention to its customers' requirements. The impressive line-up, featuring the new Fiat Viaggio sedan, the small 500 and the crossover SUV Fiat Freemont, shows GAC Fiat's confidence in the Chinese market. On account of the exclusive Italian style, spot-on market positioning, and high-quality marketing events, GAC Fiat will definitely achieve remarkable success in 2012.
Fiat Viaggio: a benchmark for the mid-class segment
- The first Fiat sedan made in China
- World-class manufacturing standards
- Beguiling design and cutting-edge technology
The all-new premium class Fiat Viaggio sedan's debut is without a doubt one of the eye-catchers at the Beijing International Auto Show. The Fiat Viaggio symbolises an ideal journey between Italy and China, and its Chinese name Fei Xiang reinforces the message, evoking the experience of a flying dream towards the discovery of a new lifestyle totally befitting the brand positioning La Vita è Bella (life is beautiful) which embodies the Italian philosophy of living life to the fullest with passion and style.
Inspired by Italian design, the new Fiat Viaggio teams modern-day fashion elements with a note of lasting classics that add to the passionate Italian legend. Designed by Fiat Group's Style Centre in Turin, the Fiat Viaggio has a timeless, clean-surfaced expressive exterior design that blends fluid and curvaceous forms with strong proportions. A contemporary Fiat "face" ensures unmistakable brand identity. Rear tail lamps with refined LED lights deliver an image of superior quality.
The Fiat Viaggio is tastefully designed inside and out with discernible Italian style. Fiat designed the Viaggio to be a world compact sedan unlike any others in its segment. Equipped with the overall dimensions which are "lower, wider, and longer" inherited from the architecture and platform upon which it is based, the Fiat Viaggio affords a dynamic appeal tuned to bring class-leading ride and handling.
An extended C-pillar enables a sleek silhouette. The abundance of elegant chrome details (from the entry trim level) gives the Fiat Viaggio a highly sophisticated look.
The on-board experience is characterised by a "driver centric" interior design: a unique "floating island bezel" which combines the cluster and centre stack and helps distinguish the interior from others. No films, faux woods, or imitation metals: the dashboard boasts a clean, appliqué-free execution (featuring high-quality soft-touch surfacing with tactile grains in an elegant and warm dual tone (black/beige) cabin. Premium quality materials result in premium tactility. A balanced presence of chrome details and silver-plated elements add brightness and a touch of sophistication to the elegant dashboard. On top trim levels, the presence of the 8.4 inches touchscreen radio navigation unit adds to the sophisticated environment a top high-tech feature unique to the segment.
Measuring 4,679 mm in length, 1,850 mm in overall width and with a 2,708 mm wheelbase, the Fiat Viaggio is the new C-segment benchmark. With this car, Fiat brings the very best of its technological know-how, design and refinement to the biggest selling segment in China.
The new four-dour, five-seater Fiat Viaggio sedan is based on the CUSW (Compact US Wide) architecture. It is the most advanced within the Fiat Group, and it is also the basis of the new Dodge Dart, recently presented at the Detroit Motor Show last January. The CUSW architecture is, in turn, derived from the Compact architecture originally developed for the best-selling Alfa Romeo Giulietta, a framework that enables the Italians and the Americans to share technologies and components and most of all best practices for engineering and design capabilities.
Based on this platform, the Fiat Viaggio is tuned to bring class-leading ride and handling with uncompromised comfort for all its occupants. With excellent driving dynamics, exceptional safety performance, outstanding trim levels and finishes, Fiat is ready to spoil the most demanding Chinese customers with a unique blend of power, fuel efficiency, sophistication, technology and vehicle dynamics.
The Fiat Viaggio will be the only car in its segment to offer exclusively sophisticated Turbo engines (1.4L T-Jet 120 HP and 150 HP) on the Chinese market, securing performances that anybody would expect from bigger displacement engines without compromising on fuel economy and maintenance costs. Teamed with the T-Jet Turbo engine is Fiat's latest generation 6 speed dual dry clutch transmission, and alternatively the well-tested 5-gear manual transmission.
The Fiat Viaggio is positioned in the most competitive mid-class segment in China's automotive market, targeting potential consumers with a passion for life. Enthusiastic, responsible, daring to dream and persistent: they are young and styling, having grown up in the cities and set to become the backbone of Chinese society.
World Class Manufacturing
As the first Fiat-Chrysler joint project, the Fiat Viaggio will be produced in the new GAC Fiat production plant in Changsha, in the Hunan province.
The new production plants implements the World Class Manufacturing standards, a way of working that all Fiat and Chrysler plants world-wide have embraced in order to achieve zero accidents, zero defects, zero stocks and zero breakdowns.
Turin, 23rd April 2012