More details of
Fiatís new large family hatchback have broken cover, with the sighting of this
lightly camouflaged prototype providing further impressions of
the front and rear design.
Referred to as the ĎNew Largeí, the car, expected to be called the Croma, will
return Fiat to the full-size segment for the first time since production of the
original Croma ceased in 1996.
One of Gianni Coda's first decisions on taking over as head of the Fiat-Lancia-LCV
business unit in 2002 was to restyle the New Large. At the time, the carís
styling had been undertaken by Pininfarina and was already heavily in the
In the meantime, Italdesign-Giugiaro were given the task to restyle the car,
with lessons learned from the Lancia Thesis also being incorporated.
The redesign appears to have paid off, with the interior looking stylish and
comfortable. Audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, together with a
clearly legible instrument binnacle, give the impression of a highly ergonomic
A central multifunctional armrest will add to the comfortable driving
experience, whilst this particular prototype has been fitted with a GM-sourced
automatic gearbox. The gearlever is positioned mid-way between the centre
consol and the dashboard for enhanced ergonomic efficiency.
The dashboard has a high-placed and centrally-mounted LCD screen, ultimately set
to display Fiatís Microsoft Windowís based telematics system with Bluetooth
It is most likely that two dashboard colours will be available,
dark grey and tan, depending on the colour of the upholstery. Silver and chrome
accents together with perforated leather on the steering wheel add to the luxury
The carís two-box five-door bodywork fits with the latest trend in family car
design. This body shape matches the practicality of an estate or wagon, whilst
the style is still suitable for executive transport.
The rear end has the
advantage of low-entry tailgate, most likely incorporating a separately hinging
The generous taillights include round elements, whilst the lenses
continue a sharp horizontal crease which runs beneath the glasshouse area.
Large front headlights with twin projectors are the most obvious details of the
front at this stage. A full-width air inlet is provided in the bumper, with
mist lights (most probably optional equipment) positioned within the scoop on
A key part of Fiat's snowballing revival, and since it will be their newest
large car since 1985, they are keen to get this model absolutely right. In order
to achieve this, technology has been drawn from Lancia's large Thesis executive
This aims to provide the New Large with class-leading comfort.
Insiderís opinions suggest that this will be a competitive segment player and a
worthy successor of the popular Croma.
The new car will be based on the General Motors Epsilon platform, which made its
debut on the Opel Vectra.
It is in the mid-sized segment where the car will
compete, and is expected to debut in mid-2005. Meanwhile, much interest focuses
around a longer term four-wheel-drive 'Crossover' version, which is believed to
enhance the cars looks and appeal.
Prices and engines are as yet unconfirmed.