Fiat bosses have given the green light to a new model offensive which will see the company launch two extra models by the end of the decade and unveil radical new engines. Top of the list is a new supermini that will sit between the Panda and Punto and will revive the famous Uno nameplate. The all-new Uno will be built on a shortened version of the Punto platform and is likely share the bulk of its engines and other key components. It’s understood that Fiat’s engineers are enamoured with the new Mazda 2 and, at around 3.8-metres long, the new Uno will have similar dimensions. “We want to out-Mazda 2 the Mazda 2,” said a senior source, indicating that the new car will major on style and interior space – but with an extremely aggressive price tag. One of the likely powerplants for the Uno is a newly developed 900cc two-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, producing around 100bhp. This so-called MultiAir motor will also be introduced into the Panda and 500, with promises of exceptional fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Also coming along in 2009 is a new crossover 4x4, larger than the new Sedici, that Fiat sources describe “a better-looking, cheaper Nissan Qashqai”.The new car will share lots of mechanicals with the just-launched Bravo and, like the Nissan, be available in front wheel drive and four wheel drive variants. It will also have the option of five and seven seats. Further afield, the all-new Panda will emerge in 2010.