Search This Blog

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fiat Bravo: In Depth

The quality of life on board

Motorists have come to expect not only an enjoyable drive but also well-being on board from any Fiat model. This means surrounding the driver and passengers with technologies that guarantee the highest levels of acoustic and climatic comfort. The result is a muted, enveloping interior environment, free from vibration thanks to the car excellent soundproofing and the high torsional and flexural rigidity of the bodyshell. There is more: the Fiat Bravo proposes new versions of the Blue&Me system and CONNECT Nav Plus, both developed by Magneti Marelli; dual-zone automatic climate control, two audio systems (Hi-Fi and Hi-Fi Sound System); comfortable, functional seats; and a large opening sunroof. It is clear that the model fears no rivals where comfort is concerned. And the Bravo offers the best equipment available in the field of automatic systems that reduce driving stress, like Cruise Control, a rain sensor and a parking sensor. And last but not least, the new model offers a tyre pressure sensor and numerous other features that make travelling in the Bravo an extremely comfortable experience.

NVH (Noise-Vibration-Harshness) comfort

The Fiat Bravo has achieved an outstanding level of comfort, which translates into quiet driving and an absence of vibration. Quietness on a car is expressed by the articulation index, which is an excellent 66% on the new model, at a speed of 120 km/h. This has been made possible both by the usual soundproofing packages and by the extensive use of expansible diaphragms (positioned inside the boxed elements to prevent noise from propagating inside, and to isolate the passenger compartment from the outside world). Vibration has been contained by building an extremely rigid bodyshell structure. In terms of flexural rigidity, an excellent value of 960 daN/mm has been achieved, while torsional rigidity is 121,800 daNm/rad. Particular attention was also addressed to the local attachment rigidity of all the mechanical organs and the suspension, which was designed to achieve the best possible result in terms of handling and comfort on the road, in all driving conditions.

Climate control

The climate inside the car is one of the main factors of comfort during a journey, and it is also important for preventive safety, because temperature, humidity and ventilation affect the driver well-being and therefore his attention level. Nor can we forget that the heating and ventilation system is also responsible for demisting the windscreen and side windows. The new model offers a choice of three climate systems: a conventional heater, a manual climate unit and an automatic dual-zone climate system. The latter incorporates a control unit that automatically controls the temperature, air flow, air distribution, and activation of the compressor and the recirculation function. The system also adopts an 'equivalent temperature' climate control strategy. A number of sensors measure the indoor and outdoor temperatures, and assess the sensation of thermal well-being perceived by the passenger, i.e. the energy exchange between the human body and the passenger compartment, which is influenced by the humidity, temperature and treated air flow. Another sensor, positioned centrally at the base of the windscreen, measures the solar radiation in the vehicle and the slope with which the rays hit the passenger compartment. This makes it possible to envisage any excessive increase in temperature inside the car caused by the rays of the sun, and to predispose the climate unit in time. The dual-zone system also allows occupants to set two different temperatures and air flows, on the left and the right sides of the passenger compartment.

Panoramic sunroof

Life on board the Fiat Bravo is made more enjoyable by a large sunroof (approximately 1.24 sq m, or 77% of the total surface). It is made of two glass panels, a fixed panel at the rear, and a front panel that opens electrically, and two sunshades inside that slide towards the rear of the car.

The panoramic sunroof modifies occupants relationship with the surrounding environment, letting them enjoy all the luminosity and sense of freedom provided by the large glazed surface. To give more light to the interior, it is possible to open the sunshade and leave the window itself closed. To travel in the 'open air', it takes a flick of the switch and just seven seconds to open the front glazed panel and the sunshade, and enjoy a 'window onto the sky'.

The radio and Hi-Fi system

The audio system on the new model is particularly interesting, with the option of two radios and two audio systems (Hi-Fi and Hi-Fi Sound System). The systems share the same painstaking attention to the specifications and distribution of the speakers (which feature Water Resistano technology), designed and calibrated for the passenger compartment. The first system, with a power output of 40 W, includes two tweeters positioned close to the door handles, two woofers in the front doors and two full range in the rear side panels. The second level Hi-Fi Sound System has the same equipment, plus two additional tweeters and a subwoofer (260 W bass-reflex amplification) in the luggage compartment, which creates a warmer, more enjoyable sound.

There is a choice of two radios (with a CD player or a CD and MP3 file player) which are incorporated ergonomically into the design of the dashboard. They are positioned in the upper part of the facia (the best position for the driver) where they are easily reached by the passenger, but can also be managed by the controls on the steering wheel. Both units have a Polished Black trim and grey keys, and include RDS (Radio Data System), TA (traffic news), and PTY functions (the code with which radio stations indicate the type of music they broadcast, allowing the radio to automatically select only the type of music preferred by the listener). Every time the radio is turned on, it restores the settings in place when it was turned off, while another device automatically corrects equalisation on the basis of the vehicle speed.

The customer can also choose between the 'pre-set equalised effects', or carry out and memorise a personal setting of the sound parameters. A 10-CD changer is also available from Lineaccessori, which fits into the luggage compartment and is managed by the radio controls.

Blue&Me: communicating and travelling without borders

One year after its launch, the Blue&Me system is enjoying huge commercial success: it is requested by 20% of purchasers of Fiat Auto models. That is not all. The sophisticated device has also received a number of prestigious international awards:

  • from 'Frost & Sullivan', the 'Excellence in Technology of the Year Award for European Automotive Telematics and Infotainment market' (January 19, 2006);
  • 'Telematic Update of Detroit' awarded it the prize for the best telematic solution of the year (May 23, 2006);
  • 'Automotive News Europe' awarded the 'Eurostats 2006' prize to Giuseppe Bonollo, Vice President Product Portfolio Management, for the success of the system installed in Fiat Group cars (August 22, 2006).

Today, to mark the debut of the Fiat Bravo, Blue&Me takes another step forward, offering the new Blue&Me Nav version. In addition to the version marketed until now (hands-free with Bluetooth interface and advanced voice recognition USB port, MP3 player and SMS text interpreter), the new Fiat model will offer a new version that incorporates the convenience of a navigator, at an extremely competitive price.

In future, Blue&Me Nav will also activate additional telematic services such as SOS and Concierge, and insurance services.

Blue&Me Nav offers a simple, intuitive pictogram navigation system that features an innovative method of introducing the destination using voice controls.

The destination is located in real time: the map of the country is memorised on the USB pen drive, and this makes access to the data faster and quieter than when a CD is used.

And with Blue&Me Nav, all the functions are built in, and the telephone, music and navigation information is available on the instrument panel. What is more, as he navigates, the driver can listen to his favourite music, which he has memorised, together with the map, on the same USB pen drive or media player, or make a telephone call using the hands-free device.

All the strong points of the system

Blue&Me was developed in 3 years by Fiat Auto and Microsoft. The partnership was ratified in June 2004, with the long-term goal of designing innovative telematic systems for cars, and it has created a product that has established itself on the market, exploiting perfectly integrated technology that is in complete harmony with the user, as its name implies.

Based on the Windows Mobile for Automotive system, this device features an open system that is always in step with the times, updateable, flexible and modular. With the help of Magneti Marelli, Fiat Auto and Microsoft offer a platform that adapts to most cell phones, music players and other personal devices, replacing current expensive, rigid hardware, with the great benefit of being able to constantly adapt to innovations on the market, remaining perfectly integrated into the car. All at an accessible price.

Blue&Me is extremely safe and easy to use. The voice control system, which is perfectly integrated into the controls on the steering wheel and the information on the instrument panel, allows a customer with a Bluetooth cell phone to use it even if the phone is in a jacket or bag, without taking his hands off the wheel. And the advanced voice recognition system allows immediate interaction, because the voice does not have to be 'learned', even allowing incoming text messages to be interpreted aloud.

Occupants can listen to hours and hours of digital music in MP3, WMA and WAV format recorded on an iPod, a cell phone, an MP3 player or a USB pen drive, by connecting a digital device to the USB port, which is in an obvious position on the centre console of the Fiat Bravo.

The customer who purchases the Blue&Me Nav system will receive a navigation kit comprising a USB pen drive with the memorised map, and a back-up CD that can be used to transfer the map onto a personal MP3 player or iPod.

The Nav key positioned on the special board on the ceiling, connects directly to the navigation menu, which can also be accessed via the controls on the steering wheel, or vocally. The USB key is inserted to start navigating, and the driver uses the keys on the steering wheel to choose his destination by selecting the initial letters of the address; he can even complete it vocally.

Like all other information, the navigation details can be displayed on the control panel: destination address, pictograms of the directions to follow, information on arrival and the usual vocal suggestions of the manoeuvres to make, reproduced through the speakers.

Unlike other navigators, on which it is not possible to navigate and listen to music CDs at the same time without a CD changer, with Blue&Me Nav it is easy to navigate and listen to the music saved in the media player.

The navigation program can be used on a personal computer together with the back-up CD, to save the maps of a number of countries, purchased separately, on the USB pen drive. Then the driver can select a whole country (for example Italy, France, Germany, etc.), or part of a country (for example northern/central/southern Italy), or even a region that groups together maps of different countries (for example northern Italy and Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany).


On request the Fiat Bravo can be fitted with the CONNECT Nav Plus system, a sophisticated, latest generation infotelematic system that incorporates a satellite navigator, radio, CD player, GSM dual-band hands-free telephone, voice controls and the infomobility services.

Positioned at the centre of the facia, this device has a 6.5256-colour TFT active matrix screen, where the driver can follow the indications regarding the route. CONNECT was designed to put technology at the service of the driver and to make life on board even more comfortable and easier during the journey to one destination: the driver only has to press the green key to access the GPS/GSM network and the advantages of satellite communications, dialoguing aloud with an operator, a personal assistant who is ready to respond to any request for information, in the driver language.

The various services available include:

  • receiving information about traffic conditions on the Italian motorway and superhighway network in real time, customised to a particular route or area of interest;
  • requesting the address or telephone number of a private individual or company, from the Drive Me service. The operator will send the information to the instrument display panel by text message, after which the destination may be selected by touching a single key, and it is equally simple and immediate to call the number in the message without having to key it in;
  • a 24-hour online medical consultancy service.

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