New saloons for Turkish show
20 October 2006

So you thought small saloons were dead? Think again. The Turkish motor show (of all places) will see new baby notchbacks from Fiat and Opel.Produced as part of Fiat's expansion into Turkey, the Linea has a nose that could point to the forthcoming Brava hatchback. In fact, the car is based on a slightly longer wheelbase than the Grande Punto and features reasonably pretty saloon lines.

It's 4.56 metres long and 1.73m wide and Fiat is promising a choice of petrol and diesel engines, manual and automatic transmissions and 'features usually found in higher segment vehicles'. One of its biggest selling points will probably be its 500-litre boot, though.

The Astra will be built in Poland and will have a four-engine range (two diesels and two petrols, with power outputs between 89bhp and 138bhp. It's longer than the Fiat (and the Vectra saloon, if Opel's figures are to be believed).

No word from Fiat on whether the Linea will make it to the UK, but we'd be surprised if it or the Astra reached British roads. Opel says its new model is designed for 'central and eastern Europe', which almost certainly means markets like Turkey and Russia where the majority of C-segment buyers still choose a saloon.

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