23 September 2004

Fiat’s long absence from the large family car market will end next year when it launches the unusual Tipo 194 project. First revealed in Autocar last month (10 August), the so-called ‘New Large’ is based on the same stretched Epsilon platform as the Vauxhall Signum, so the car is said to have exceptional rear space. JTD diesels and the new GM V6 will be offered and four-wheel drive is a possibility.

These exclusive spy shots show the very high roofline and deep tailgate. Although much of the car is disguised, the new, smooth-sided corporate Fiat look is quite clear.

But the real surprise is the innovative interior with it high-mounted auto gearbox shifter. Close inspection reveals Vectra-sourced heater controls, but Fiat’s upmarket aspirations are clear in the surprisingly lush finish of the door trim: note the quilted door insert and neatly fitted wood fillets.

Fiat is said to be looking for 50,000 sales per year.

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