The first images of the Fiat Viaggio, China’s version of the Dodge Dart, have been teased almost two weeks ahead of its official debut. This isn’t uncommon as many automakers leak images (either willingly or unwillingly) before a major auto show, and China’s Dart doesn’t appear to be any different in that sense. What is different about this Dart destined for the Chinese market includes the badging and a bit of restyling here and there. Obviously the name of the all-new sedan differs from in its American sibling with “Viaggio” standing for “voyage” in English and “flying” in Chinese.
The Fiat Viaggio will make its official debut at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show in a few weeks and will then enter production under the Fiat-Guangzhou nameplate. The Viaggio checks in measuring just over 15-feet long, six-feet wide, and with a shade under nine-feet for its wheelbase. For those of you keeping track at home, these dimensions are very similar to the Americanized Dodge Dart. Some styling cues that separate the Fiat Viaggio and the Dodge Dart are an oval grille, different taillights, a trunk lid spoiler, and a boatload of chrome. The Viaggio’s taillights will still utilize LEDs though, just like the Dart.
Under the hood, the Viaggio will sport a turbocharged 1.4-liter T-Jet four-cylinder engine that can be tuned in two separate ways. The first version churns out 120 horsepower, while the other gets a bump up to 150 hp. For reference, the Dodge Dart is rated at 160 horsepower courtesy of a 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine. The Fiat Viaggio’s engines can be hooked to a six-speed automatic transmission with a dual-clutch or a five-speed manual gearbox. The Dart gives owners the option of automatic or manual gearboxes as well.
Rumor has it that Fiat is considering selling a hatchback version of the Viaggio later on down the road. Don’t get too excited though wagon fans, as it’s highly unlikely the Dodge Dart will be offered in hatchback form in the U.S., ever. The Fiat Viaggio is expected to enter production in July of this year with sales starting in the third quarter of 2012.