GAC-Fiat’s Inaugural Model, the Viaggio Compact, Hits Market with a Starting Price of US$17,185September 13th, 2012 | Posted in Fiat | GAC | New Cars
GAC-Fiat officially launched their first assault on the Chinese auto market with the Viaggio compact sedan, announcing on Thursday evening in Shanghai competitive pricing for the six 1.4T versions. Taking on a group of popular models including Ford Focus, VW Sagitar, VW Lavida, Nissan Sylphy, and Chevy Cruze, the Viaggio goes on sale for 108,800 Yuan (US$17,185) for the entry version and 158,800 Yuan for the top-end.
A sibling of Dodge Dart and Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the inaugural GAC-Fiat car is based on the CUSW (Compact U.S. Wide) platform. Sitting on a 2,708mm wheelbase (compared with Dart’s 2,703mm), it is 4,679mm long, 1,850mm wide, and 1,471mm tall. Overall, it remains close to the Dart in both exterior and interior styling, although the nose has been changed to look gentler and less sporty.
In several important ways, the Viaggio is not a re-badged Dart as some have claimed. Not only is the Chinese-made car equipped with significantly fewer safety and convenience features (for instance, except the top version, the Viaggio comes with only two airbags, while ten are standard on the Dart), it also gets less advanced powertrains and underpinnings. Fiat brings the T-Jet 1.4 liter, rather than the 1.4T Multiair, to China, mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed dry dual clutch transmission (the last-mentioned is developed jointly by Fiat, Magneti Marelli, and BorgWarner). The T-Jet 1.4 liter comes in two versions, putting out 88kW/5000rpm or 110kW/5500rpm. To save money as well as interior space, the multi-link suspension in the rear has been replaced by torsion beams.
Founded on March 9, 2010, GAC-Fiat is a 50:50 joint venture between Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) and Fiat. Its factory in Changsha, Hunan, where the Viaggio is built, has a production capacity of 140,000 units a year (the joint venture plans to expand it to 250,000-300,000). A vice general manager of the company recently forecast over 10,000 deliveries of the Viaggio before the end of this year.