Special Coverage

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GENEVA – Fiat Automobiles SpA says it will sell 120,000 of its new Bravo small car, unveiling 10 versions of the new Stilo replacement at the auto show here.

“The new Fiat Bravo is a perfect balance of beauty and substance, another milestone in the process to update the brand’s product range,” the auto maker says.

The 5-door Bravo, a critical component in Fiat’s continuing recovery effort, wears a new Fiat logo, which the company says “was created to express change in continuity,” as well as Fiat’s auto-making heritage. It eventually will be rolled out to other models in the lineup.

Crafted at the Fiat Style Center, the new Bravo builds upon the family resemblance of the Grande Punto, with a raked, forward windshield, drop-shaped headlights and sporty grille.

The launch campaign’s featured color is Maranello Red, a nod to Italy’s Ferrari Automobiles SpA, owned 85% by Fiat.

The car has a 102.4-in. (260-cm) wheelbase and is 170.9 ins. (434 cm) long, with an interior capacity of 14.1 cu.-ft. (0.4 cu.-m), which Fiat says is tops in the class.

Fiat will offer the Bravo with a choice of five engines. Included are two 1.4L turbocharged T-JET gasoline powerplants with outputs of either 120 hp or 150 hp and two 1.9L Multijet common-rail turbodiesels, also boasting either 120 or 150 hp. In addition, a 90-hp 1.4L gasoline engine is available.

The front suspension is an independent MacPherson-type setup and the rear features a semi-independent torsion axle with interconnected wheels.

The vehicle has as many as seven airbags and offers such safety features as 3-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, Fiat says.

Other safety technologies include antilock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and electronic stability control with a hill-holding function and anti-slip regulation.

Fiat is offering its next-generation Blue&Me system, developed with Microsoft Corp., which is called Blue&Me Nav in the Bravo.

A pictogram navigation system now is added, as is the ability to access various telematics services via a partnership with Telecom Italia, Fiat says.

The vehicle is available in four trim levels: Active, Dynamic, Emotion and Sport.

Fiat will be selling the Bravo in 55 countries starting this year. The Bravo is being assembled at Fiat’s Piedimonte S. Germano (Frosinone) plant, which employs 3,500.

Meanwhile, Fiat sister brand Alfa Romeo debuts its Brera Coupe and Spider diesel models.

The latter is the first convertible sports car with a diesel engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox.

A 200-hp version of Fiat’s 2.4L common-rail diesel 5-cyl. engine gives the Spider 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 142 mph (228 km/h). Estimated fuel economy is 35 mpg (6.8 L/100 km) in mixed driving. The engine is Euro 4 as well as Euro 5 compliant.

The Spider, available in two different trims, also offers two gasoline engines: a 185-hp 2.2L 4-cyl. mated to a 6-speed manual or a new Selespeed robotized gearbox with paddles; and a 260-hp 3.2L V-6. The V-6 can be married to either a 6-speed manual or new 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Brera Coupe also features the Selespeed transmission-2.2L option.

Meanwhile, Alfa announces a new customization program that will be available in the near future, which allows customers to personalize their vehicles. Alfa says the positive experience with the low-volume 8C Competizione model led to expanding the program to its entire lineup.