Fiat, in something of a current fashion craze, is bringing back a classic name from its back catalogue for a new model and will call its new family saloon and hatchback the Tipo.
Cynics will doubtless note that this is, therefore, harking back to the last time Fiat actually had a competitive family saloon on its books, but ignoring them for a minute, we can see that this is the production version of the Aegea project, unveiled earlier this year at the Istanbul Motor Show. Designed to be built in Fiat's factory in Turkey, the Aegea is designed to function both as a low-cost model for emerging markets, and to be specced-up to be competitive for western European countries.
It'll be based on the same platform as the current 500X SUV and the Jeep Renegade, and will use the familiar line-up of 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engines and 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre diesels. In spite of being a spacious car, with a 510-litre boot in four-door saloon form, Fiat is already claiming that the most frugal version will be able to top 70mpg (4.0 litres/100km).
Even with its low-cost origins, there will be some sophistication in the Tipo - it will get the latest version of the uConnect touchscreen infotainment system, which will include smartphone connection and Bluetooth, while a satnav system and a rear parking camera will be optional extras. It's part of Fiat's 'Functional Family' line-up that also includes the Panda and the van-based Doblo Familia, which focus on offering space and practicality at a low price. The 500-badged models can do the fashionable stuff.
When it is launched in 2016, it's certain that the five-door hatchback and estate versions will be coming here, as the UK market is due to get them in right-hand drive. Ireland is less certain to get the four-door saloon though, in spite of our traditional love affair with compact, affordable four-doors, as the UK isn't taking it so right-hand drive production may not be possible.
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