Fiat’s remarkable turnaround has stunned industry insiders, who had all but written off the ailing Italian automaker. The Punto has been a big hit, but the real sign of Fiat’s return is the new Bravo, which was unveiled by CEO Sergio Marchionne today. Fiat has spent €350m on developing the new mid-size competitor to VW’s venerable Golf, the GM Astra, and Ford’s Focus. The Bravo is a replacement to the disappointing Stilo and will go on sale next month. The all-new car was made in just 18 months, so we’ll have to try it out and see if any corners were cut during development, which usually takes around 36 months. Fiat has targeted sales of around 120,000 in the first year of sale, which should be a no-brainer considering the stylish design.

The Fiat Bravo has a compact five-door body that’s 434cm long, 179 cm wide, and 149 cm high, with a wheelbase of 2.6m. Loading capacity is 400L, which is big for a car of this size. Engine options include turbodiesel 1.9L Multijets (120 and 150 bhp), the 90bhp 1.4L, and a new family of turbocharged T-JET petrol engines (120 and 150 bhp 1.4L Turbo) making their debut with the Bravo. The model will be built in the Fiat plant in Piedimonte S. Germano plant (Frosinone) and will be on sale next year.

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