Fiat Ottimo

Could there be a car that could lead us to forgive Chrysler for the unloved Dodge Caliber? Yes, and it's called the 2014 Fiat Ottimo. This is the hatchback version of the Fiat Viaggio – a Fiat-badged Dodge Dart – that we heard about back in April, and it was just unveiled at the Guangzhou Motor Show to be built and sold in China next year.

This stylish little five-door looks good enough to proudly wear a BMW or Audi badge, with a two-box design that works really well with the Dart's design. Aside from the obvious Dart headlights, Fiat did a great job of giving the Ottimo a distinct and exciting face with an all-new front fascia and L-shaped running lights. Things stay classy at the rear of the Ottimo with taillights that have an interesting circular light pattern and chrome-trimmed lower fascia reflectors. Not that we have any say in the matter, but this hatchback would sure look good competing up against the all-new Mazda3 in the US.

As for what Chinese-market buyers have to look forward to, the press release posted below doesn't mention specific powertrain options, but we suspect it will be the same as the Viaggio. This includes two versions of the 1.4-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder (tuned for either 120 or 150 horsepower) paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed DCT.
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Global Debut of GAC Fiat Ottimo and Viaggio Shining Edition

On November 21, 2013, the 11th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition was unveiled. At the exhibition, GAC Fiat previewed the second locally produced model: the hatchback and announced its English and Chinese name "Ottimo". This new model is scheduled to be launched in the market in first half of 2014. At the same time, the Viaggio new series built based on Chinese market needs: the Viaggio Shining edition is launched, of which the new Dynamic Pack MT edition is priced at RMB 12,4800.

Apart from Ottimo and Viaggio shining edition, a variety of product lineup including the Viaggio anniversary edition, Freemont, Fiat 500C, Fiat 500 by Gucci also on display. The GAC Fiat stand design integrates Italian exclusive passion with romantic inspiration: the elegant red and white color tone, eye-catching flyover booth, Fiat history wall telling the brand stories, the Fiat 500 boutique area as well as the presence of century-old Italian coffee brand LAVAZZA, which draws a fascinating picture of Italian style to give audience the Italian taste and joyful life.

Fiat Ottimo ready to lead Italian hatchback trends
With hatchbacks gaining popularity in young consumers, GAC Fiat injects unique design DNA and blood into the Ottimo, aiming to build an extreme Italian hatchback. In Italian, "Ottimo" represents brilliant and ultimate. GAC Fiat aims to through splendid products provide Chinese customers with Italian joyful life. The Ottimo is designed by the Head of Design EMEA Fiat-Chrysler, Roberto Giolito. It carries Fiat century-old design culture, extracts the design essentials of supercar brands under the Fiat Group and uplifts the hatchback design aesthetics to a new height.

With a 2,708mm wheelbase in length, Fiat Ottimo is positioned size-wise at the top end of its segment. In the press conference, Roberto Giolito made an in-depth explanations on Ottimo's design philosophy: "the Ottimo owns sharp front style, subtle side line and saturated rear profile. We perfectly combine the sporty design of Italian sports car and elegant style to bring the Chinese consumers with a model with unique Italian style, compared with hatchback from rivals."

John Burton, General Manager of GAC Fiat explains that "the Ottimo is the new model launched to meet customers' diverse requirements. In the future, we will base on Chinese market's needs and leverage the assets from both Fiat-Chrysler and GAC group, providing customers with outstanding products and service, with the aim to introduce one new model every year. " Wang Qiujing, Executive Deputy General Manager of GAC Fiat indicates that " the Ottimo not only satisfy the taste of young customers, but also the best choice of passionate elite, it would become a super star among fashionable sporty middle-class level. "

The Viaggio Shining Edition, Quality Upgrades
Since the launch in 2012, the Viaggio has gained recognitions from customers and the market. With the steady increase in sale, the Viaggio has entering into the mainstream of middle-class segment. Based on the intensive investigation of customer needs, to better meet diverse requirements of customers and market, GAC Fiat launches the Viaggio Shining Edition to further enrich the Viaggio series, realizing a perfect fusion with the new requirements of domestic market.

Gold color, as the most popular color, has been the first choice in the pursuit of new trends. Based upon the insightful market understandings, GAC Fiat offer the new black interiors, Champagne gold appearance to the original, which is on the basis of Golden edition, adding more fashionable and florid elements, proving an embodiment of elegant and magnificent temperature.

Besides, the Viaggio Shining Edition and Exclusive edition is added black interior, black interior paired with chrome trims creating a low-pitched, high-quality and sporty atmosphere. The exquisite double thread used in central control system, central armrest, armrest of car and black slotting Nappa seat draws a delicate texture. Black is not the only color used in design, it is also paired with gray, spreading to ceiling, which would propose a joyful space entertainment.

Besides the virtue of Champagne Golden appearance and black interior, Dynamic Pack MT is specially launched to better meet the diverse and personalized demands from consumers, enable the customer to enjoy the driving pleasure.

Persistently innovative, GAC Fiat Taking Remarkable Effect
The release of Ottimo and Viaggio Shining Edition is a realization of launching one car every year promise, and at the same time, it is the evidence to prove the remarkable achievements has been made since the new management led by John Burton and Wang Qiujing.

Since the new management leadership on board, GAC Fiat focus on the areas of organizational restructure and adapting to the changing market, which largely boost the sales. Compared to the first eight months in 2013, monthly sales in September and October have increased by 52%, and the last two months is expected to increase by 70%.

Meanwhile, GAC Fiat take great emphasis on auto show and promotion, it becomes the main strength for boosting sales. The sales volume achieved during Chengdu Auto Show is seven times compared with last year, and sale volume in other auto shows is achieved by 150% increase. Both brand and sales are enhanced dramatically. In addtion, with the stretching of distribution channels, GAC Fiat's distribution outlets will be extended to the neighborhoods of users. Currently in China there are already 170 dealer shops and 270 sales service outlets. And it is planned to build additional 270 sales service outlets by year end. And the marketing activities will also be further stretched along with channel stretching, to reach more customers in tier 3 and tier 4 cities by providing more convenient access to GAC Fiat products and services.

With the implementation of channel sinking strategy and regional market activities, as well as the introduction of new product and in-depth popularization of "Elite Service" brand concept, GAC Fiat is bound to explore broader prospect in the challenging China auto market and let more Chinese consumers feel the "La vita e bella" brand experience.