More importantly for buyers in the west, a new hatch version will follow next year, aimed directly at the likes of Volkswagen’s Golf range.
While the new Linea sedan will replace the model that debuted in 2007, the new hatch - which could also wear the Linea name - will replace the small Bravo that left western markets in 2014.
The Bravo had a brief turn in Australia, where it was sold in 2008 as the Ritmo, but a sales run of fewer than 500 units saw its local run cancelled the following year.
Details for the new hatch are likely some months away, although an interview back in 2011 saw Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne promise the Bravo’s replacement will wear a more radical look.
“To replace the Bravo with another ‘me too’ product would be completely inappropriate,” Marchionne told the UK’s Autocar.
In 2010, the Bravo’s 44,850 sales meant that it had failed to find a place on Europe’s top 10 small-car sales ladder, while the segment-leading Golf achieved 501,671 sales to take the top spot.
“I have been looking at various versions in the future. We have no conclusions but what we launch will not be a traditional offering,” Marchionne said.
Fiat has since launched the compact 500L MPV and the 500X crossover, with both models performing well in Europe. For now, however, the brand is without a player in the crucial volume-selling small-hatchback segment.
In replacing the Bravo/Ritmo, the so-called Linea hatch is expected to be built on the same platform that underpins the 500X and 500L, along with the new Jeep Renegade.
Watch for details of the Bravo/Ritmo’s replacement, along with word of its Australian potential, to come in the months ahead.
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