Fiat’s new Viaggio comes from three continents
The Dart was high on the shopping list for Australia when it was unveiled at the Detroit show in January. Since then, Fiat-chrysler Australia decided to cull the Dodge name and badge from its local line-up. A lack of right-hand drive production is also a hurdle.
Switching to the Viaggio would make more sense and, with the Dart just confirmed with a $15,999 starting price in the US, it could easily make it to Australia in the second half of 2013 with prices starting about $25,000.
Fiat-chrysler admits the Dart thrust has been blunted but will not be drawn on the Viaggio. ‘‘ The Dart is still a very attractive car but at present, it’s not made with the steering wheel on the correct side for Australia,’’ says spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher.
‘‘ We need to team up with some right-hand drive markets and see what we can do.’’
So is the Italian connection a more likely link? The Fiat Fremont, a re-badged Dodge Journey with some extra European flair, is already a near-certainty for Australia.
Given the Viaggio’s original Alfa DNA, it would also be easily tweaked for right-hand drive production and Australian design rules and customer preferences. ‘‘ It’s too early to comment on the Viaggio,’’ Fletcher tells Carsguide.
Dart deliveries begin in the US in June and the line-up points to the various options for the Viaggio. The range of US engines includes Fiat’s 1.4-litre Multiair turbo and there are five trim levels up to the R/T at $23,290. There is also a potential highperformance SRT.
Pointer: The Dodge Dart gets the Italian treatment to become the Fiat Viaggio, a likely contender here under thenewfiat-chrysler operation