Search This Blog

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fiat Bravo: In Depth

The good looks of a coup, the roominess of a saloon

Developed by the Fiat Style Centre, the design of the Bravo is a perfect blend of aggressiveness and power, as you would expect of a 5-door compact, set off by an extraordinary amount of roominess inside. A sporty, flowing line that guarantees robustness and agility in spite of its aesthetic refinement.

To start with, the new model is generously sized 434 centimetres long, 179 cm wide, 149 cm high and with a wheelbase of 260 cm “ even if the Bravo smooth, almost aggressive lines give it a sporty, sparkling and extremely dynamic look, designed to underline its “muscles simply and straightforwardly. The Fiat Bravo strong personality is particularly evident at the front; the front end is important, like that of a small GT, into which the elongated headlights are set with original tension and strong Italian styling (they are the work of Magneti Marelli - Automotive Lighting).

The externals a succession of classical references, an excellent opportunity to re-read the brand traditional styling elements in a modern key. Take a quick look. First, the original rear light clusters which recall those of the previous Bravo, which were also the work of Magneti Marelli - Automotive Lighting. The front reiterates the distinctive features of recent Fiat models, particularly the Grande Punto: from the raked, forward windscreen to the drop-shaped headlights, inspired by the well-known Italian GT tradition, down to the graphics of the lower air intake and the grille. The tapering of the front and rear underline the impression of great compactness conveyed by the Fiat Bravo. But this in no way diminishes the elegance of the lines that run smoothly from front to back, into the integral bumpers and the light clusters with their converging wedge shape. Suffice it to say that in the rear, the waistline is high and slopes sharply, to emphasise the sense of sportiness.

The styling of the Bravo reconciles stylistic elements that were once irreconcilable. For example, a front end that is aggressive but modelled to respect pedestrian safety requirements. Both the structure and the modelling are the fruit of detailed analysis, developed in line with the latest legislation, which envisages rounder shapes, a wider bonnet and a tapered bumper structure, which is easily perceptible in the plan view, to reduce the area involved in a collision to a minimum.

And if the Fiat Bravo conveys a new concept of sportiness on the outside, the inside environment is one of superb quality and painstaking attention to detail, giving a sensation of great solidity and compactness. The design, materials and fabrics used are all enhanced by the carefully chosen colour combinations, which underline the elegance or sportiness of the different versions. The Active outfit offers 2 interior environments, the Dynamic and Emotion versions offer a choice of 3 environments with 3 different shades, and the Sport outfit proposes 2 environments in 2 different colours. Bravo customers are also offered leather upholstery: on the Dynamic and Elegance versions, this comes in black with grey or blue stitching, or in marmoset with contrasting stitching. The Sport outfit offers black leather upholstery with red or blue overstitching.

The front and rear seats of the Bravo deserve a special mention. They were designed to guarantee the best possible comfort to all passenger percentiles, and developed in close collaboration with the best Italian ergonomics and sports medicine specialists. First of all, to enhance comfort and to absorb vibration in particular, the front seats incorporate an improved lumbar support system that sustains the back better. The front seats are also padded with foam that adapts to the shape of the body and have an 'antisubmarining' structure that prevents the body from sliding forward, under the seat-belt, in the event of a violent head-on impact. The front seats also offer various adjustments: height, longitudinal (with a stroke of an amazing 240 mm), squab rake (by a knob that provides continuous step adjustment), and lumbar. The height of the head-restraints can be adjusted and, on request, they can be fitted with an anti-whiplash system, which brings the restraint closer to the occupant neck in the event of a collision. And finally, the front seats offer the option of electric movement and adjustment, with intuitive, ergonomic controls.

The rear seat squab splits 40/60, and the seats incorporate an antisubmarining structure and padding with differentiated support in different parts of the seat cushion (this is a parameter that measures the compression of the padding under the weight of the body). The rear seats are also fitted with Isofix attachments for child seats, and three head-restraints.

Great care has gone into the design of the instrument panel (developed by Magneti Marelli), which is enclosed in a dashboard that is turned entirely towards the driver, with soft lines that blend aesthetically with the lines of the facia. The large, immediately visible digits of the instrument graphics make the information easy to read and readily available. At night the illumination is orange, a shade that allows the pupil to focus more rapidly when alternating between the dark of the road outside and the luminosity of the dashboard. The onboard instrumentation is available in two versions, depending on the outfit, and includes a number of important functions. For example, the multi-function display gives access to several menus, and sub-menus. These speak the driver language (there is a choice of Italian, English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish and Turkish), and offer a wide range of functions, including the time, date, programmable acoustic signal, radio visualisation, check control and more besides. There is also a trip computer, of course, which provides a data set regarding previous journeys and the current journey.

Class-beating ergonomics and roominess

The Fiat Bravo is friendly and practical, with an unbeatable amount of living space and passenger room, that is hinted at by the exterior dimensions. The new model promises comfortable journeys, and the enjoyment of tangible, all-enveloping well-being on board. The engineers have achieved this goal by adopting the latest ergonomic criteria from the earliest stages of the development of the Fiat Bravo to define the parameters that measure a car capacity to respond to the demand for well-being and comfort on board. As a result, the Bravo achieves excellent values for the essential ergonomic functions: space and interior volume, roominess, access, visibility, loading capacity and user-friendliness.

These characteristics have always been winning qualities, and today they are even more important, because we spend more time in our cars, we are becoming more accustomed to cars from higher segments, which are therefore roomier, and the average height of the population is increasing. This is another reason why the Bravo achieves excellent results in terms of transverse roominess at shoulder height, in the front and rear, with values that are outstanding for segment C, in all fields: from roominess to access, visibility and ease of use. This means being able to get in and out of the car easily and comfortably, and finding yourself in a comfortable, protective environment once you are seated.

The interior space in the Fiat Bravo is the result of a good balance between the volumes of the passenger compartment, even though, from the outside, the car is clearly compact and dynamic. The parameters that define the posture, the position of the driving seat and of the passenger seats in the many possible configurations, the overall roominess and the interior volume have all been optimised. The end result puts the Bravo firmly at the top of its class in this context. For example, the combination of a driver seat that adjusts for height and a steering wheel that adjusts for height and reach, produces excellent values of roominess as well as a perfect driving position for drivers of all heights (from 1.50 to about 2 metres). Even if the driver himself is tall, there is still room for an equally tall passenger to sit comfortably behind him; it is the only car in its segment that can accommodate 184 cm tall passengers comfortably on the rear seat when those in the front seat are in the 90 percentile, in other words 183 cm tall. And this does not detract from the luggage capacity which is 400 litres in the normal configurations, and 1175 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Driving is made particularly enjoyable by the position of the pedals, the steering wheel alignment, the position of the armrest and footrest, the excellent manoeuvring of the gearshift and the perfect visibility of the instrumentation and the main controls. This sensation of enjoyment is heightened by the excellent profiling of the wrapround seats that support the body even in more dynamic driving situations. And the adoption of the latest virtual ergonomic structuring techniques on the Fiat Bravo ensures that all the onboard instrumentation and primary controls are extremely user-friendly; all the controls are within easy reach, perfectly visible and easy to use. The interior is one of the most practical in its category, with a useful storage unit under the passenger seat, pockets in the doors, a centre console with space for bottles, documents, maps and coins, storage compartments on the facia for keys, eyeglasses and remote controls, and a large glove compartment in front of the passenger.

A new logo for the Fiat brand

A new logo, which underlines the new strategy that has been implemented by the brand in recent months, now debuts on the front of the new Bravo, and will gradually be adopted on all Fiat models. In this dynamic context, there has been a constant succession of new products (from the Croma to the Grande Punto, the Panda, the Fiat Sedici and now the Bravo), and a tangible sign was needed to symbolise the turnaround that is driving Fiat towards new challenges.

Created jointly by RobilantAssociati (an agency specialising in Brand Advisors & Strategic Design) and the Fiat Style Centre, the new symbol is derived from the famous shield that decorated the front of Fiat cars from 1931 to 1968, with the vertically elongated letters of the word 'FIAT' standing out against a ruby red background, encased in a chromed round frame. It has a three-dimensional effect which conveys an idea of technology, Italian design, dynamism and a strong personality, while it also harks back to the round logo (white wording against a red background, surrounded by laurel leaves) that identified powerful, high performance Fiat models for many years.

The essential, strong new logo therefore conveys 'change in continuity', a sign of the past re-read in a modern key which is particularly representative of Fiat today, a brand with its sights on the challenges of the future but also proud of its historical identity. The two main elements of the new logo (the shield shape and the red colour) immediately bring to mind the Fiat 524 of 1931, which was the first to sport a rectangular logo that blended into the new grille, designed with stylistic but also aerodynamic pretensions, in the shape of a shield with vertical elements.

The new Fiat logo sums up the mission of an Italian company that for over one hundred years has been building cars with beautiful styling, that are accessible and capable of guaranteeing a better quality of everyday life.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Related entries:

Fiat Bravo Revealed
Fiat Bravo Now With A 1.6 Turbo Diesel Option
Fiat Presents "New" Stilo in Brazil


Post a Comment