As the title of this article so eloquently states, the small Linea sedan was entirely engineered and built in Turkey by Tofaş under a joint-venture agreement with Fiat. It’s based on the same platform as the Puno, and has been in production at the manufacturer’s Bursa plant, in the northwest of the country, since 2007, alongside the cheaper (old Palio-based) Albea and a whole bunch of differently-badged small commercial vehicles.
After China, the Fiat Group is eyeing another major emerging market to launch its Jeep brand, that of India. The Italian carmaker's Indian arm, Fiat Group Automobiles India Private Limited (FGAIPL), announced on Thursday that the Jeep brand will be introduced in the country towards the end of 2013.
Created by Fiat as a world car for developing economies including Turkey, India and Brazil, the Linea is based on a stretched version of the Grande Punto's platform and has been in production since 2007.
To stimulate interest in the car, the Italian automaker introduced a refreshed version of the small sedan, which at least in Turkey, will be offered alongside the older model. The facelifted version is called Yeni (for New) Linea, while the original model bears the name Classic Linea.
The Chinese plant will have an initial production capacity of 140,000 cars and 220,000 engines per year but Fiat said that capacity could be increased to a maximum of 250,000 cars and 300,000 engines annually.
The first model to be launched by the joint venture will be Fiat's C-segment Linea sedan while the first engines to come out of the factory will be the Italian firm's 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine in naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms producing 120HP and 150HP respectively.
Fiat said that the industrial project is qualified to receive support from the development plan recently established by the Chinese government to promote new investment in six provinces in central China.
Several months after its static debut, Fiat released the full-press kit of its new C-Segment sedan that, apart from Europe, will also be available in several other countries including
Measuring in at 4.56 metres long, 1.73 metres wide, 1.5 metres tall with a wheelbase of 2.6 metres, as well as a 500 litre luggage compartment, the Linea will compete in Europe with models like the Opel Astra
The Fiat Linea, which was present in
The car was developed by Tofas A.S., the 50-50 joint venture between Fiat Auto and Koç Holding which is listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. It will be manufactured in the plant in
The new model clearly has an international vocation; it was designed by the Fiat Style Centre, and its exterior styling is elegant, dynamic and typically ‘Italian’. The aim was to appeal to the public with uncluttered, smooth lines which confirm the new Fiat family feeeling (from the Grande Punto to the new Bravo), while they offer a new reading of the stylistic elements of the great Italian motoring tradition in the saloon segment. This extraordinary stylistic heritage has now produced the Fiat Linea, a 4-door saloon that is sleek and elegant, but with generous dimensions that put it at the top of its class: it is 4.56 metres long, 1.73 metres wide, 1.5 metres tall and has a wheelbase of 2.6 metres, as well as a 500 litre luggage compartment.
The same attention went into the styling of the interior, where the lines are harmonious and balance well with the exterior, creating a friendly, light-filled environment that provides an amazing amount of room and superior comfort, where ergonomics and space for the driver and passengers are concerned. And it is in terms of the quality, comfort, practicality and enjoyment of the interior that the Fiat Linea aims to make the difference, backed up by the refinement of the materials and by the colour combinations, as well as the attention paid to every detail and to the assembly.
Designed for an elegant, refined clientele with plenty of personality, the new model is agile and enjoyable to drive in all situations. It has a sparkle that is due primarily to its engines, which combine excellent performance, low consumption and absolute respect for the environment (they are all Euro 4). At the launch the model will be offered with a choice between a petrol engine (1.4 8v, 77 bhp) and a turbodiesel (1.3 Multijet 16v, 90 bhp with a variable geometry turbo), both combined with five-speed mechanical transmissions; the 120 bhp 1.4 16v Turbo from the new T-Jet family will be available at a later date.
The Fiat Linea range is very comprehensive to cater for a clientele that considers cars of this class as a real investment, because it represents the family’s main car, and it will adapt to the various markets where it is sold. In most of these, at its launch, the range will offer two engines (90 bhp 1.3 Multijet and 77 bhp 1.4 16v), three specifications (Active, Dynamic and Emotion), and 11 body colours. The range also proposes equipment worthy of a higher segment, such as certain sophisticated climate and infotainment devices that improve the comfort and quality of the time spent on board: from automatic climate control, the Blue&Me® system with USB port, a radio with CD-player (including MP3 files) and Cruise Control, down to rain, dusk and parking sensors. In other words, there are endless possible combinations, all offering excellent value for money and the best price-content ratio.
Finally, the Fiat Linea is equipped with a reliable suspension layout which guarantees very easy, precise steering, excellent roadholding and the best possible comfort for passengers: an independent MacPherson system at the front, and semi-independent wheels connected by a torsion axle at the rear.
But the Fiat Linea is not only styling, plenty of personality, modern reliable engineering, a wealth of equipment and outstanding comfort. It is also a very safe car. Rather than the individual devices, it is the combination of the many solutions adopted that make it one of the safest cars in its segment. Stable, effective braking, good acceleration guaranteed by the engines and predictable handling, get the Fiat Linea out of even the most critical situations. The new model is also very well equipped where passive safety is concerned, a fact borne out by the presence of 6 airbags (Multistage at the front, curtain-bags and sidebags) which are standard depending on the version and the market. What is more, it also adopts a number of innovative technical elements that ensure the driver always has total control of the car (active safety). These include latest generation ABS, complete with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and, optionally, the sophisticated ESP (Electronic Stability Program).
These briefly are the winning features of the Fiat Linea which aims to play a leading role in this category, where all the world’s major carmakers compete. Segment C accounts for 20% of the Western European car market, in other words the core of the market, with about 3,000,000 registrations per year. However, the majority of the cars in segment C are two-box hatchbacks, while 3-box models (saloons) only account for 5% of that market, with 150,000 registrations per year (this is expected to reach 160,000 units by 2013).
The share in other non-European countries is more significant. In
The Fiat Linea is destined to become a strategic car for the Fiat range in
And finally, in
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Designed by the Fiat Style Centre, the new Fiat is 4.56 metres long, 1.73 m wide, 1.5 m tall and with a wheelbase of 2.6 m. I'm not sure though if the Linea is based on the Grande Punto or the upcoming Bravo C-Segment hatch (the Grande Punto has a wheelbase of 2.520 mm). Finaly, the Linea has a luggage compartment boasting an impressive 500 litres.
Produced in collaboration with Tofas, the Turkish joint venture between Fiat Auto and Koc Holding, the Fiat Linea will be first manufactured in the joint venture's Bursa plant in Turkey (at an annual production of 60,000 units) and marketed in a number of European and non-European countries starting in the second half of 2007 (in most countries, sales of the Linea will start October & September 2007).
As for the engine range, according to Fiat the Linea will get a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines coupled to both manual and automatic transmissions.