Fiat to luanch new Palio, powerful Linea

Italian auto manufacturer Fiat has decided to give its oldest surviving model, the Palio, a facelift and a major marketing push, thereby ruling out any phasing out of the model.

The company will launch a refreshed Palio in the next three to four months with a “competitive price tag”, according to an executive from Fiat India Automobiles. The existing Palio (base model) is sold at Rs 3.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

In addition, the petrol engines — 1.1 litre, 57 bhp and the 1.6 litre, 100 bhp seen in the existing Palio — may either get upgraded to suit Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) emission norms or may get replaced by engines that power another Fiat model, Grande Punto.

The Punto is driven by a 1.2 litre (FIRE) engine that develops 68 bhp of maximum power, as well as a 1.4 litre (FIRE) engine that generates 90 bhp of peak power. The 1.3 litre multijet diesel engine seen in the Palio is already BS-IV compliant and does not require upgradations.

Though the company preferred to maintain secrecy about the product until its launch, sources say the new Palio may get a new grille and a new dashboard assembly, much on the lines of the recently launched and facelifted Brazilian Palio.

Fiat t India, which is pulling out all stops to enhance its market share in the midsize sedan segment, is looking to unveil a high-powered diesel version of Linea at the upcoming 2010 Auto Expo in New Delhi , scheduled for January next year. The Linea could be powered by either a 1.6 or 1.9 multijet engine with a power output of 100-120 PS.