Snapshot – Italian automaker Fiat is well and truly, elbow deep in the trenches. The automaker has kissed the sales and distribution joint venture with Tata Motors goodbye, and is on its own. A spanking new set of independent Fiat dealerships and a fully revamped car line up later, Fiat is gearing up for all-new launches. Two such launches will happen in the next few weeks in the form of the Avventura crossover styled hatchback and the Fiat Abarth 500 high performance machine. While Fiat will bring in the Jeep SUV brand to India next year, the automaker will also focus on its own namesake brand with periodic new launches. CarToq gives you a gist of what to expect from Fiat in the coming years.
With the Abarth high performance brand making inroads into India by means of the Abarth 500 hatchback, Fiat India will follow up the brand builder hatchback with a much more affordable car dubbed the Abarth Punto. While the details of the Abarth Punto remain sketchy at best, a body kit is expected to be standard fare. Turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines, in the form of the 1.4 liter T-Jet (114 Bhp-207 Nm) and the 1.3 liter Multijet (91 Bhp-209 Nm) motors are expected to power the India-spec Abarth Punto, which is likely to carry a starting price tag of under 10 lakh rupees.
X3U codenamed compact SUV
2016 will be a big year for Fiat India as the automaker will come up with a compact SUV based on the new Fiat 326 platform, a successor to the existing 326 platform that currently underpins the Palio sold in Brazil. Codenamed X3U, the compact SUV is likely to be sub-4 meter offering that sits above the Avventura, to take on the likes of the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. A big story around the X3U will be the introduction of the 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine, a downsized unit of the 1.6 liter Multijet unit. The 1.5 liter diesel motor will be tailormade for the Indian car market, and will also power the next-generation Linea.
New 326 platform based, next-generation Linea sedan
The all-new Fiat Linea is expected to arrive in the middle of 2016, as a replacement of the current C-Segmenter. A full platform change is in order, with the 2016 Linea hopping on to the new Fiat 326 platform. A more powerful 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine will power the car and this option is expected to put to rest the “underpowered diesel” chatter around the C-Segment sedan. Completely revised looks and more features are likely to be the other changes on the 2016 Linea, which will replace the current model that received a facelift earlier this year.
New 326 platform based, next-generation Punto hatchback
Like the next-generation Linea, the Punto hatchback will also hop on to the new Fiat 326 platform. Weight reduction is said to be a major focus area on the next-genereation Punto, with Fiat mulling a 100 kilogram weight loss program. A lighter Punto is expected to much quicker, with the current model’s sluggishness being banished to the past. The 326 platform based 2016 Punto is likely to make its India debut by the end of 2016. The 1.3 liter Multijet diesel and 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol engines are likely to be carried over to the new model.
All-New Compact Sedan
Fiat is said to be considering a compact sedan in the sub-4 meter category for India. The India-specific car is still on the drawing board though. While the volumes in the sub-4 meter compact sedan space justify an offering by Fiat, it remains to be seen whether the Italian auto major would get around to building an India-specific car that has little chance of finding acceptance elsewhere.
All-New Compact MPV
Another project on the drawing board for Fiat as far as the Indian car market is concerned is a compact MPV on the lines of the Maruti Ertiga and the Honda Mobilio. Fiat does have experience in the unconventional MPV segment, with vehicles such as the Doblo and the Multipla. However, a firm decision to build a compact MPV targeting the Indian market is something that is yet to be finalized.
Via AutocarIndia’s September 2014 Print Edition