Fiat is working hard on three projects in Brazil that may reach other markets. They are the X1H, the X6H and the X6S. You probably have not heard of them so far, especially because these are the cars development codes, so let’s introduce them to you.
The X1H will be a new A segment vehicle, with a small wheelbase (under 2.38 m), in order not to compete with its bigger brother, the Uno, built over the same platform (the 327). These images have been produced by our friends at Autos Segredos, a website that counts among its feats discovering the name of Fiat’s new pick-up, the Toro, well ahead of everybody else.
The car will compete with the Volkswagen up! in Brazil, already a roomier competitor, with a wheelbase of 2.42 m, the same measure found in Renault’s model for the segment, the Kwid. Expected for 2016, the Kwid is already a huge success in India due not only to its style, but also to its modern new engines. Something the X1H will not have.
It will have the only option of an old Fire 1.0 four-cylinder engine, already used by Uno and Palio. The new 1.0 GSE (Global Small Engine) will be a three cylinder, as most modern 1.0 engines are, and will only be ready for 2017. The new Fiat will have to rely heavily on price and appearance to succeed.
The other contender will come from GM. It is working on a new A car which is currently called Ambar, according to Automotive Business, and that was formerly referred to as Jade. The new car has recently had its development halted, due to the Brazilian economic crisis, but will probably get back on track with the good moment GM faces in Brazil, paradoxically. The new A hatchback will be built over the same GSV platform that is under Onix, Cobalt and Spin. It is being developed in Brazil, but will very likely be sold in other markets, such as India.
The X1H will be boxy, as the Uno, but will present a glass rear door, like the VW up! in Europe. It is expected to cost more than R$ 30,000, or US$ 8,000. Since it is being designed to be the cheapest model in Fiat’s range, that may cause some confusion, but it is easy to explain. All new models are first presented in their most sophisticated trims, the ones that sell best for the so called “trend setters”, the ones that love a novelty and pay whatever it takes to have them. In that phase, the X1H will share space with Palio Fire, a 1996 model that has already paid all its costs of development hence can be sold at lower prices. But make no mistake: the X1H will retire the old guy. Just not now.
X6H and X6S
The X6H and the X6S are the hatchback (H) and the sedan (S) versions of the same car, the replacement for Punto and Linea, as well as some other models, such as the Grand Siena, sold in Brazil and Argentina, where it is produced, and in Mexico as the Dodge Vision. The car in the picture has been photographed by Alexsandro Pimenta, a reader of Carplace.
The new car mule uses a Fiat Palio body, but a Grand Siena front end. The rear wheel is pretty close to the end of the back fender, what shows the car bears a larger wheelbase, one that pushes the rear axle backwards. The new cars must have a 2.55 m or even 2.60 m wheelbase, in order to replace Linea and Punto in a proper way, with roomier cars.
The cheapest trim will have a new 1.4 four-cylinder engine, also from the GSE family. It will produce around 74 kW and its valvetrain will use chain instead of belt, for dependabily. Although Carplace states that the car may get revised 1.6 and 1.8 E.torQ engines, we would bet on the 2.0 GME (Global Medium Engine). Unless Fiat is considering to sell a proper C segment sedan, one that would deserve such engine, in place of Linea, a B sedan that the Italian automaker tried to sell as a Honda Civic competitor. In the end, the brand only managed to have an expensive Ford Fiesta Sedan opponent.
In case you are asking, the X6S has nothing to do with the new Tipo. It will be produced in Argentina. Fiat has announced it will invest US$ 650 million in its Cordoba plant to produce the new sedan. Both cars are expected for 2017.