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Image6. Fiat Linea T-Jet

Fiat India began its second innings in India with the launch of Fiat Linea in January 2009. Like in most of the European markets, the Linea was also offered with a 1.3-litre multijet and 1.4-llitre FIRE power plant options.

The sedan has a very Italian looking design and has been aggressively priced considering the features that it comes with.

After showcasing the T-Jet engine at the Auto Expo'10, Fiat will now add another engine to Linea's portfolio which is basically the 1.4-litre with a turbocharger producing 110bhp. The Linea with this new engine should be launched in October 2010.

Design/Styling: The Linea T-Jet just gets an additional T-Jet badge and also a rear spoiler to add some downforce for the rear. Apart from this the Linea will have the same body shell as its other variants. The bluff, Maserati-like two-part grille and twin-pod lights enliven things up at the front, and flow into the wheel arches, waistline and windscreen.

The only external clue that distinguishes the diesel from the petrol lies on the grille: a discreet 'Multijet' badge sits to the left of the Fiat badge. Door-mounted mirrors mounted on stalks instead of the window frame that made their Indian debut on the 500 are present on the Linea as well.

The side view also brings out the staid three-box profile of the car which somehow doesn't seem unexciting at all where the Linea is concerned. It's probably because of those wonderful alloy rims on the top-end variants, whose multi-spoke design, as with all Fiat alloy rims, will make you want to steal them if you own a Fiat.

At the rear, the Linea echoes the front with the boot lid and bumper mirroring each other, and a row of three reflectors in each tail-lamp. The other new features in the T-Jet will be the new leather upholstery.

Mechanicals: The Linea T-Jet will be Fiat's first turbocharged petrol engine in India and will be the second petrol engine to be launched in India to come with a turbocharger.

The T-Jet will produce about 110bhp and will be a car to compete with the likes of Honda City and the upcoming Volkswagen Vento which will be a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 105bhp.

Fiat fans who have been waiting for a Fiat which is has good outright performance, this is the car to watch for. This car is capable of speeds in excess of 200kph.

Competition: The segment that Fiat is targeting for its Linea T-Jet is already packed with players like Honda City, Hyundai Verna Transform and the Maruti Suzuki SX4.

Volkswagen is gearing up to enter this segment too with the Vento which will be available in petrol and diesel options. The Honda City has a 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 1.5-litre which is highest of all.

The SX4 and the Verna Transform both produce power in excess of 100bhp, and so will the Vento. With things now really working out that well for Fiat when we consider the after sales service, Fiat is chalking out its issues and putting everything together.

Overall Evaluation: The Fiat Linea T-Jet will be a car for the enthusiasts and the Italian auto maker based out in Ranjangaon claims it to have similar fuel efficiency like its 1.4-litre petrol engine which if true will workout in its favour, as the only two negatives of the Fiat Linea was its power and its service.

The performance will be sorted with the T-Jet and Fiat has been working on its service which will eventually be solved, as Fiat is serious about sales in India.

Price: its price is estimated to be around Rs 8 lakh (Rs 800,000).

Image: Fiat Linea T-Jet
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