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Fiat Doubles its Range in Brisbane!

January 4th, 2008

Fiat will double its Australian range at the Brisbane International Motor Show (1 February 2008) with the national launch of the Fiat Ritmo, the all new model that will sit above the Fiat Punto range providing the Italian car maker with a stylish and advanced model in the increasingly important premium small car sector.


Not to be left behind by the arrival of its big brother, the Brisbane International Motor Show will also see the launch turbocharged version of the Punto Sport, providing the Punto with a new performance edge.


“This year is going to be really exciting for Fiat in Australia and it all starts in Brisbane,” says David Stone, General Manager for Fiat Cars in Australia. “The Brisbane Motor Show marks the coming of age for Fiat’s return to Australia market. The Ritmo is our move into a market sector that is becoming increasingly important in the Australian market – premium and prestige small cars. These are cars that have the economy and ease of use of existing small cars, but combine it with performance, equipment and style for car buyers who wish to move down a size category, but not give up the features and driving pleasure that have had with larger cars. The Fiat Ritmo epitomises this category. It is unequivocally the most stylish car, inside and out, in its class. Performance, from both of its turbo engines, is exemplary with the turbo diesel adding further economy and low emissions. All versions of the Ritmo are fully equipped and featured, while pricing, which will be announced at the Brisbane show, will be highly competitive.”


The new Fiat Ritmo was created in just 18 months from design ‘freeze’ to production. To achieve this record-breaking development time, Fiat employed new, groundbreaking, state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) systems of unprecedented power and complexity, allowing the development of this new hatchback to be undertaken almost entirely through virtual analysis and engineering.


So sophisticated is the computer software involved, that not only could Fiat’s engineers simulate every aspect of the Ritmo’s structural, dynamic, NVH and space utilization characteristics to a level of unprecedented detail, but they were also able to create a virtual production-line to ensure consistently outstanding component and build quality.


The benefits of these all-encompassing developments in virtual design and engineering are clearly evident in every aspect of the new Fiat Ritmo, from consistently high build quality and class-leading passenger accommodation, to superior driving dynamics, minimal NVH levels and, of course, outstanding safety provision.


The new Ritmo has been awarded a maximum 5-star rating for adult occupant protection in the gruelling Euro NCAP crash test programme. Achieving 5 stars for adult occupant safety, 3 stars for child protection and a further 2 for pedestrian protection, the new Fiat recorded 33 points, placing it among the leaders of its category in terms of passive, active and preventive safety.


The Australian Fiat Ritmo will be offered with a choice of two engines, the advanced 1.4 litre 110 kW T-Jet petrol engine and the 1.9 litre 110 kW JTD Turbo Diesel and two trim and equipment levels, Emotion and range topping Sport, with six speed manual gearboxes being joined by a Dualogic self-shifting gearbox later in the year for the 1.4 litre 110 kW T-Jet petrol engine.


Augmenting an interior design founded on the fundamental pre-requisites of class-leading space, exemplary build quality, and visual and tactile sophistication, the new Fiat’s equipment specification has been carefully considered to simplify and enhance life on board. ABS anti-lock braking, remote central locking, driver and passenger front and side airbags, electric front windows, a CD player, Dualdrive electric power steering and Follow Me Home headlamps are fitted as standard. This is further boosted in the Sport versions with dual zone climate AirCon, cruise control, the innovative Blue&Me telematics and communications Bluetooth system and well as sports seats, alloy wheels and body kit. Interior trim is not just good to look at; it also provides a wonderful tactile experience, with different textures to delight on touch for interior trim and upholstery.


The 1.4 litre T-Jet 110 kW turbocharged petrol engine, makes its debut in the Ritmo. This is the first example of a new family of turbocharged petrol units developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies to combine the sporting performance and low NVH characteristics of a petrol engine with fuel economy comparable to a diesel unit and CO2 emission levels which readily comply with increasingly stringent European regulation.


Through cubic capacity downsizing allied to the adoption of the smallest possible turbocharger, Fiat’s responsive new 110 kW 1.4 litre T-Jet engine combines performance equal to or better than a conventionally aspirated 1.8/2.0 litre petrol engine, but with a reduction of between 10% and 20% in fuel consumption and emissions.


The T-Jet engine offers an ‘overboost’ button located on the centre console in Sport versions, will deliver an impressive 230 Nm at 3000 rpm, endowing the Ritmo with a 0-100 kmh acceleration time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 208 kmh. Notwithstanding such lively performance, this superbly responsive powerplant will still return 7.1 l/100 km in the combined cycle and restrict CO2 emissions to just 167 g/km.


The 110 kW 1.9 litre MultiJet unit in the New Ritmo boasts an impressive 305 Nm torque delivered at just 2000 rpm, allowing acceleration from 0-100 kmh in just 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 209 kmh, whilst returning a fuel consumption of less than 5.6 litres in the combined cycle.


With a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating to its name, the new Fiat Ritmo builds on an already impressive safety portfolio with the full range of braking, traction control and stability systems available on the market today: ABS anti-lock brakes, complete with electronic brakeforce distribution, ASR to limit wheel spin during acceleration, MSR to modulate engine brake torque whilst changing down, and a sophisticated ESP to control vehicle stability through bends, which includes hydraulic brake assistance and a Hill Holder function to facilitate smooth hill starts.


Prices and specifications for the Fiat Ritmo will be announced at the Brisbane International Motor Show on 1 February 2008.

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