04.07.2005 Fiat Automůveis HAS presented an update of the Marea and Marea Weekend which comes with a new engine, cosmetic and trim revisions and new options

Fiat Automůveis has presented an update of the Marea and Marea Weekend for the Brazilian market, which comes with a new engine, as well as cosmetic and trim revisions and new options.

The main change to what has been dubbed the 'Novo Fiat Marea' is the adoption of the popular 1.6-litre 16V 'Hi-Torque' petrol engine for the SX version. Maximum power for the unit in this application is 106 bhp at 5.500 rpm, while torque is 15,4 kg/m at 4.500 rpm. By creating this new cheaper and more basic entry-level version, Fiat Automůveis (Fiat's Brazilian division) intends to widen the sedan and stationwagon's participation on their domestic market.

Some fresh new external visual modifications have been made. At the front a new grille and headlights, together with spoiler revisions, identify the new model, while at the rear, the new, large round Fiat logo is presented. The outward changes are completed by new 15-inch alloy wheels. Inside the door pull-handles and the central console are finished in silver, while bluetooth technology now comes as standard for ELX, HLX and Turbo versions, and as optional addition for the SX.

FIAT MAREA - BRIEF HISTORY

The Fiat Marea sedan, based on the Bravo/Brava platform, was Fiat's largest saloon at the time of its introduction, taking up the market position left vacant when the Croma ceased production. The Marea entered production in 1996 and was immediately available as either a four door saloon or a five door estate (the 'Weekend').

The floorpan (including the wheelbase) along with most of the mechanicals were carried over from the Bravo/Brava model, while the engine line up to be offered in this model were the 1581cc 16V (103bhp), 1747cc 16V (113bhp) and 1998cc 20V (154bhp) petrol engines (all four valves per cylinder, dohc) and the 1910cc (75bhp or 105bhp in JTD) and 2387cc (130bhp) turbo diesels. For a limited number of markets the five cylinder 20V 1998cc turbocharged engine drawn from the Fiat Coupť was also made available, while for other markets an entry-level 1.4-litre 12V FIRE unit was an option.
 

click here for Novo Fiat Marea photo gallery

click here for Novo Fiat Marea photo gallery


As far back as the B-pillar the styling was effectively the same as the Bravo/Brava, but behind that the body was new, and in the saloon version it ended in a distinct boot. The Weekend had an extended estate body with characteristic high mounted rear lights and integrated roof bars. It also featured a fold down edge in the rear bumper to reduce the height of the lip, to ease loading of the 1540dm3 (with the rear seats folded) luggage space. Equipment fitted in its role as the top of the range Fiat model included air conditioning, electric windows, drivers airbag, three 3-point rear seatbelts and ABS as standard, with numerous additional items also available as options.

A dual-fuel vehicle, known as the Marea Bipower was is available. This featured a 1581cc 16V engine modified to operate on either petrol or methane, switchable from the drivers seat. Two sets of injectors were fitted and a special tank in the boot held the methane at high pressure. A light commercial vehicle, the Fiat Marengo, was also offered, which was basically a Weekend with no rear seats and various modifications to optimise it for its role as a light commercial vehicle.

The Marea ceased production in Europe during late 2002. However secondary assembly in Brazil (which began shortly into the model's life) still continues where the Marea remains Fiat's flagship sedan. This year now sees the car gain a mild all-round final facelift to extend its life further, with a new entry-level version that is aimed at widening its market appeal, as well as an increase to its options package, trims and cosmetic finish.

by Iinuma Wesley in S„o Paulo
 
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Fiat Marea history: www.carsfromitaly.com © 2005 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed