The Fiat Linea has been launched in Brazil, built locally it features new engines and technologies that have been developed by Fiat Automóveis specifically for the Latin American market.

Fiat Linea 1.9 16v Flex Dualogic

Fiat Linea 1.9 16v Flex Absolute (I)

Fiat Linea 1.9 16v Flex Absolute (II)

Fiat Linea 1.4 T-Jet

The Fiat Linea has been launched into the Brazilian showrooms this week; built locally it features new engines and technologies that have been developed by Fiat Automóveis specifically for the Latin American market. Brazil therefore becomes the second global location to manufacture the Linea, after Turkey, when it was launched in the spring of 2007 (it is also being assembled in CKD kit format in Russia).

Fiat Automóveis has made its return to the luxury saloon segment in Brazil with a memorable event last week. The combined work of the Fiat brand in developing and testing Linea for this market, culminated in a night of pure pomp with all the style and the daring that that exciting new model releases bring to the streets of Brazil.

The venue for the launch party was the luxurious WTC Hotel, São Paulo, with the unveiling taking place in its Golden Hall, with more than 3,000 guests being invited, including celebrities, civil authorities, journalists and dealers representing the network of concessionaires in Brazil and right across Latin America. The event brought together the performing arts, multimedia and Brazilian music of the very best quality to present in a memorable way the most important new model launch by Fiat onto the Brazilian market in 2008.

The group 'Nau de Ícaros' opened the proceedings combining circus art, music and contemporary dance in a scenic performance that revealed Fiat Linea in a choreographic manner, the new car appearing boldly from the abstract scenery in striking movements, presented in its three versions, and traversing curved ramps up to the front of the stage. The CEO of Fiat Latin America Mr. Cledorvino Bellini, welcomed the guests and presented Linea formally as the main new release from Fiat in 2008, an addition that is the result of the continuous concern of the brand with the evolution of design, style and technology.

According to Bellini, the new car is the fruit of the never ending evolution in design, management and engineering by Fiat from its more than 30 years of presence in the country. "Symmetrical or asymmetrical, several lines have brought us here. Today, we have a line expressing design, concept, technology and attitude. Fiat writes Linea: a modern line, glamorous, sophisticated and technological," said Bellini as he welcomed the guests.

The guests appreciated a dinner which boasted the famous 'Buffet França' and then watched as Caetano Veloso and Roberto Carlos, two icons of the Brazilian music scene, shared the stage to bring a repertoire of classics from the “bossa nova” rhythm, in an unforgettable show held in the honour of that undisputed genius of Brazilian music, Tom Jobim. It was an unusual night, marking a very special moment for Fiat Automóveis and the market of luxury automobiles in Brazil. The same aesthetic union and innovation that there is in each detail of Fiat Linea, perfectly translated into a sophisticated and modern event.

Fiat Linea

Looking outside, one sees is a saloon of elegant and surprising lines. Entering into the car, one is immersed into a refined atmosphere, comfortable and rich in technological resources, involving and capturing. Driving the car, it stands out for its performance, the safety and the pleasure of driving. This is the Fiat Linea. And its arrival places Fiat Automóveis once again into the segment for the medium sized sedans, and it proves its characteristic as a full-liner brand, with a complete range of up-to-date and very competitive models, spread across several segments of the market.

The new car represents both, the state-of-the-art and the starting point for new achievements in the future: a new plateau and a new reference for the Brazilian market. The Fiat Linea is the most pure translation of modernity and the efficiency of a company engaged in offering the best. The new model is a world project by Fiat, developed to compete in several countries, which means the globalization of the marque; however in Brazil the Linea has received some characteristics desired by national market, with increases in technology and sophistication.

The engineering of Fiat Brazil, together with Italy, developed the project. Launched in May 2007, Linea is already sold in different countries, such as Germany and Portugal, and has already received the prize Autobest 2008, elected by a jury of 15 automotive journalists representing different European countries. Traditionally, Fiat listens to its customers during the development of a product. With the Linea this was no different. They wanted an elegant, luxurious and remarkably designed car, modern engines, a fully equipped car which could be customised and available with an exclusive line of accessories.

To offer all this Fiat Automóveis has spared no resources to develop the new 1.9 16v Flex engine, and has brought to Brazil the latest generation T-Jet engine, that reconciles small size, economy and high performance, from Italy. The Fiat Linea offers features such as exchange Dualogic; Blue&MeTM; parking sensors; rain sensors, up to six airbags, digital air-conditioning and much, much more. The Linea’s harmonious and slim lines, carefully refined interior, is all of this, pure Italian style with Brazilian relish.

With such attributes, the new top line model from Fiat has enough impact to be the new reference point in the segment, which is increasingly important, and is the most competitive on the market. Today, it is the fourth largest segment of the national market. From 2006 to 2007, growth was nothing less than 30.6 percent, while the total market grew 26.4 percent during the same period. In 2007, more than 181,000 cars in this segment were sold in Brazil, worth a combined figure of 12 billion reais. This year, from January to August, the segment has already seen sales of more than 140,000 cars, with an estimated volume of 220,000 units to be sold up to the end of 2008. The time could not therefore be more appropriate, and the Fiat Linea arises in this scenario as a differentiated car, full of attractiveness, with the mission to conquer the most demanding clients.

In addition, to reach this goal, the Linea is offered in four different specification versions:  1.9 16v, 1.9 16v Dualogic, Absolute and T-Jet. Two new engines, two new gearboxes and three finish levels. Externally, it has unquestioningly Italian lines. Internally, refined and extremely functional, an absolutely harmonious and original car. Created by 'Fiat Centro Stile', in Italy, the originality of the new car is evident in its clean and fluid lines, which give it a dynamic appearance, unmistakable Italian.

The generous dimensions of the Fiat Linea, 4.56 meters long, 1.73 m wide, 1.50 m high, confirm the large size impression when you see it for the first time. And the same way that the outside is perceived, the passenger compartment of the Fiat Linea is a legitimate expression of Italian style, with the quality of the internal finish to be found in all places, in the tasteful colours of the coverings, in the textures of the materials, in the round outlines and across the dashboard.

The Linea brings with it the sophisticated Blue&MeTM NAV, and becomes the first car to be fitted with this type of equipment in Brazil. The system has a pen drive of 2 GB, which covers 111 cities across the national territory, as well as more than 48,000 kilometres of roads. There exists 709 interlinked cities through the highways. It also includes more of 3,800 points of interest divided in 15 categories, carefully organised to facilitate easy searching. It is also possible to customise Linea with a wide line of exclusive accessories.

The Linea will be marketed with two new engines, the 1.9 16v Flex developed  by Fiat Powertrain Technologies in Brazil, and manufactured by the unit of the brand located at Córdoba in Argentina, and the highly-regarded 1.4 T-Jet, that is imported from Italy. The 1.9 16V Flex engine brings with it the highest technology available today, resulting in a latest generation engine with better performance, improved fuel economy and lower emissions. It has the highest cubic capacity of all engines produced by FPT Latin America, and was developed from zero to equip the new model of Fiat. This work consumed 350,000 hours of project time, more than one hundred prototypes, and more than 1,600,000 kilometres of running time.

The result is an engine which produces a power output of 130/132 bhp (petrol/alcohol) and a maximum torque of 18.1/18.6 kgm at 4,500 rpm (petrol/alcohol). A major innovation of this engine is the system of cold start, patented by FPT. It has a dedicated injector (aside from the ones which feed each of the four cylinders) located in the admission collector. The system is much more precise, because it injects the correct quantity of fuel only if it is necessary, with optimised spraying, resulting in better transmission when cold, with more efficient and smooth starting, as well as reducing the level of emissions.

The new owners of the Linea will be part of an exclusive club, the Clube L'único. A relationship program with an extensive list of personalised accessories available in the dealerships, a three-year warranty, an exclusive call centre and a specialised professional for the maintenance and revisions.

by Claudio Perlini

Linea 1.9 16v Absolute - Technical Specifications


No. of cylinders: 4
Arrangement: in line, front transverse
No. of valves per cyl: 4
Capacity (cc): 1839
Compression ratio: 11,5:1
Max. power output: 130/132 (petrol/alcohol)
Max. torque: 18.1/18.6 kgm (petrol/alcohol)
Fuel supply: Magneti Marelli MPI phased sequential electronic


Drive front
Clutch control hydraulic
No. of speeds 5 (1st 3.909 : 1; 2nd 2.238 : 1; 3rd 1.520 : 1; 4th 1.156 : 1;; 5th 0.919 : 1; Reverse 3.867 : 1)


Type rack and pinion with hydraulic power steering
Turning circle (m): 10.9

Brakes - D (disc)

Front: (mm): D 284 (ventilated)
Rear: (mm): D 228


Front: independent MacPherson type, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar with small con rods and spherical joint;
Rear: torsion axle, telescopic hydraulic dampers


Wheelbase (mm): 2603
Front/rear track (mm): 1476/1482
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4560/1730/1505
Luggage capacity VDA (dm3): 500


Tyres: 205/55 R16


Weight ready for the road DIN (kg): 1320
Max. weight towable (kg): 500
Fuel tank capacity (litres): 60


Top speed (km/h): 186/188 (petrol/alcohol)
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (sec.): 10.7/10.5 (petrol/alcohol)
Consumption (km/l): Urban cycle: 11.5/8.1 (petrol/alcohol); Out of town: 15.3/10.7 (petrol/alcohol)

© 2008 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed