Fiat Bravo Arrives

Posted by: Gail Edmondson on January 31, 2007

Fiat bravo photo.jpg


Well here it is — Fiat’s new Bravo compact. This is the car that has to power the Italian automaker’s recovery into higher gear. Unveiled in Rome on Jan. 30, the car hits showrooms in Europe in the coming weeks.

The challenge for the Bravo, which goes up against the long-time compact segment leader, the Volkswagen Golf, was to turn heads the way stylish Italian fashion does. And the early votes are thumbs up. “We are seriously digging the Bravo’s styling,” says Autoblog. It’s true. This model is sportier and more Italian-looking than a generation of Fiat cars has been. The low-end model has 90 horsepower, but the upper end includes two 1.4 liter turbo-charged engine variants that boast 120 and 150 horsepower.

Fiat has long excelled at inexpensive, chic small cars like the Panda Mini and Punto sub-compact. The Bravo was first launched in 1995 and was replaced by the Stilo in 2001. But the over-engineered Stilo failed to match the benchmark Golf in quality build and it’s German look-alike design was dubbed BOORRRING. Sales fell far short of the ambitious targets, provoking massive losses for Fiat.

Fiat invested $454 million to develop the new Bravo and rushed it to market in just 18 months, half the usual development time. The new Bravo represents, “the speed with which Fiat moves today,” said Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, who has reversed a disasterous string of losses at Fiat that threatened its survival. The turnaround started with the relaunch of the Panda and Punto in late 2004. But the real test is whether Fiat’s new Bravo can battle for a slice of the European compact segment.

Fiat’s management is betting on it. During a gala launch dinner near the Roman Forum, the Bravo was feted by Cirque de Soleil dancers and fireworks. To put a little pizzazz in Fiat’s finances, though, the new Bravo will have to claw market share from the hot-selling Opel Astra, the Peugeot 307 and the Renault Megane. I’ll be back telling you about the car after I drive it. Meanwhile, does anyone out there approve the Bravo’s rediscovered Italian design?

Reader Comments

herault

February 2, 2007 8:10 AM

Initial UK reviews have been under-whelming on this new FIAT BRAVO with its familiar GRANDE PUNTO exterior design. Cheap prices may help but the French are playing the same game. FIAT is stronger in basic micro-hatchbacks like the PANDA made in Poland. Resale values influence consumer demand....and thats why people buy German or Japanese for financial protection.

Albert

February 12, 2007 5:39 PM

I believe that FIAT is doing things strongly and with substance, builing strong in character cars with personality.The Grande Punto and now this Bravo have that instant 'I want one' factor wich makes it to sell big without a big seeling.

Nice smooth engines, good mecanics, good looking and cheap with resale values becaming higher, with the full speacs.

mat

February 21, 2007 11:28 AM

fantastic car...with panda punto croma and this bravo fiat has come back

adam

February 21, 2007 11:31 PM

my wife owns a punto and we love it to bits...
have alredy placed my order for the new bravo and can't wait to bringher home...

chris wilson

June 19, 2007 5:14 PM

Bravo looks so much nicer than golf or focus and deserves to succeed

Ann Ran

July 4, 2007 4:43 PM

Hi,
Bravo looks great! Excellent car. Fiat has a rich history, it can turn around to being a great company. I am looking for books on Fiat history at http://www.aaabooksearch.com , great site.

justin

July 8, 2007 4:09 PM

I can't think of a european car of the bravo's cathegory and is more buetifull then the bravo, only the new honda civic has an original style like the bravo.

Daniel Molefe

July 19, 2007 12:20 PM

Fiat Bravo is simply Fantastic.

Marcel Niemann South Africa

September 14, 2007 7:39 AM

Hi

The car has just been launched here - hope it does well as i want one also - only problem is FIAT has to address their image here.

ilco taleski R of Macedonia

October 4, 2007 6:56 PM

i own this car for over 3 months and this much beter car then the golf and others c segment cars becouse i tested already all of them inclouding astra, golf, auris etc. BRAVO for fiat bravo

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