The partnership between Italy’s Fiat automotive and GAC of China has resulted in the Fiat Viaggio, the first Chinese-made Fiat.
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Unveiled at today’s Beijing motor show, the Fiat Viaggio is powered by two different versions of the 1.4-litre T-Jet turbocharged engine (89kW and 112kW). A five-speed manual and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission will be available.

The Viaggio is the sister car to the Dodge Dart. Measuring 4679mm long and 1850mm wide, it is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform and is targeted at younger buyers in China in an effort to launch the Fiat brand locally. Although currently created specifically for China and only in left-hand-drive, Fiat Australia is keen to take the model if it becomes available in right-hand-drive.

Fiat Australia director of corporate affairs Lenore Fletcher told CarAdvice: “If the vehicle becomes available in right-hand-drive, we would absolutely love to have it”. China's reaction to the car still remains to be seen, however the Italian-Chinese partnership has high expectations of the Viaggio as it’s the first of what is likely to be many Fiat models to be built in what is now the world's largest automotive market.

Although Chinese-made (Changsha, Hunan province), the Viaggio was designed by the Fiat Group Style Centre in Turin and carries the well-known Fiat family face. The name translates to “voyage” in English and its Chinese name, “Fei Xiang”, signifies flying.

On the inside it carries some interesting features such as a giant 8.4-inch touchscreen entertainment system with satellite navigation and a unique interior instrument design. Targeted at the Chinese market, it also has its share of chrome, but surprisingly there’s no fake wood or imitation metals.

The Fiat Viaggio is unlikely to come to Australia in the near future, but depending on supply and demand in China and the ability of the right-hand-drive markets to present a viable business case, there’s a possibility that we will see this Fiat in the Australian market in the years to come.