Fiat Press Information
For The UK Launch - 7th December 1995
The following information
is from the press information pack given out to motoring journalists
at the UK launch of the Bravo and Brava in December 1995. This
was not released to the general public until now! Page down to
the bottom for adverts and road test information.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 December 1995
FIAT BRAVO AND FIAT
BRAVA - ON SALE IN THE UK
Already the subject of
widespread customer demand and resounding critical acclaim -including
the prestigious 1996 European Car of the Year Award - the all-new
Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava go on sale here in right-hand drive
at the end of December.
Designed and developed
to reflect the desires and requirements of today's motorists,
Bravo and Brava exhibit features that distinguish recent Fiat
Auto production, including strong, personal styling; state-of-the-art
engines with outstanding performance, reliability and low running
costs; responsive handling; comfort and practicality in even the
smallest detail, and the highest safety standards.
Bravo is a sporty two-box,
three-door compact destined primarily for a youthful public. Brava
is a dynamic, practical five-door 'fastback', which is extremely
roomy and comfortable. A completely new range of multi-valve engines
makes its debut at the same time.
These are two different
models with a common design base, setting new standards in the
medium saloon bracket (known as C-segment), which currently accounts
for some 30% of the European market (3.5 million cars). Not surprisingly,
it's an area in which all major manufacturers compete, with the
result that it is viewed as perhaps the most competitive segment
of the entire European market.
For Fiat Auto the arrival
of Bravo and Brava represents an important new challenge, just
two years after the launch of the Punto. These two new vehicles
are the outcome of an extensive renewal and growth that has been
taking place in Fiat Auto over the past five years.
A bold investment plan
launched early in the nineties envisaged expenditure of some 40,000
billion lire, over 70% of which is already accounted for. It has
resulted in new models for every sector of the market, a return
to the convertible and coupé markets, an entry in the people-carrier
segment, the creation of innovative facilities at Melfi (an integrated
car manufacturing plant) and Pratola Serra (automated production
of engine 'families'), and the refurbishing of others, with the
introduction of the integrated factory concept throughout Fiat
Auto's industrial network.
Fiat Auto has set its sights
firmly on Europe, convinced of the need to create and market cars
with a European character in terms of reliability, safety, quality
and respect for the environment, but with an Italian flair where
styling and driving enjoyment are concerned.
This cultural and industrial
revolution has brought significant results; from the success of
the Punto in Europe (over one million manufactured), to Fiat Auto's
increased share of EU markets - in the first half of 1995 the
Italian group recorded the largest sales increase among large
Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava
called for an investment of some 1,500 billion lire, while development
of the engines accounted for over 2,000 billion lire.
It is the first time in
Fiat Auto's history that two models, with complementary origins
and components but different dimensions, designs and targets,
have been launched simultaneously. This is a philosophy that extends
customer choice and offers a real alternative in the many versions
of the Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava.
These two new cars are
a further step in Fiat's dramatic rebirth. Designed by an interfunctional
team of 200 specialists working with simultaneous engineering
techniques -a process adopted for the Punto - they entered production
after just 32 months, and 3.5 million hours of work. They are
built in the refurbished Cassino factory, but some production
also takes place in the Rivalta plant outside Turin.
The names, Bravo and Brava
- similar but not identical - underline the cars' Italian origins
and different personalities. Bravo and Brava project the core
values of the European car, combining them with originality, styling
and creativity typical of their country of origin. This is a combination
that has produced new, innovative cars from all viewpoints, with
fresh, personal styling, performance and driveability that stand
the test of roads and traffic, and an excellent level of comfort
that is derived from their structural integrity.
Developed in the Fiat Styling
Centre, the design of the Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava was inspired
by natural shapes, and refined by painstaking aerodynamic research
to keep noise to a minimum (the Fiat Bravo has a Cd of 0.32, and
the Fiat Brava a Cd of 0.33). The effect is not one of 'collage'
but a single image, enhanced by the matching of fixed and mobile
parts (doors, tailgate, bumpers/wings), the absence of sharp edges,
and smoothly curving surfaces.
The styling is lively, fluid and muscular,
conveying a sense of safety, solidity and quality. The Fiat Bravo
and Fiat Brava share certain elements, like their tapering sides,
large window areas flush with the body, and large wrapround bumpers.
The Fiat Bravo stands out for its compact profile, muscular flanks,
original elliptical lighting clusters, and truncated tail; the
Fiat Brava for its small rear overhang, arched roof, and gem-shaped
As for the Punto, colour is used to highlight
the innovative elegance of the Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava. Two
separate ranges underline the cars' different personalities: brighter,
more assertive tones on the Bravo (11), more elegant, classical
shades for the Brava (13).
The interiors meet the latest ergonomic
and space criteria, featuring soft lines, a homogeneous design
of all details, and great attention to every element: from the
ash tray to the boot release. The result is a well furnished interior,
with basic measurements larger than those of previous Fiat models.
The Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava are the
result of an advanced project designed to ensure dynamic handling
and roadholding. Fundamentals include a five-speed gearbox, independent
suspension, twin cross-over braking circuits, the option of ABS,
standard equipment power steering, and bodyshells with class-leading
Three new multi-valve petrol engines become
available in the UK at the cars' launch: 1400cc with 12-valves
and 80 bhp; 1600cc with 16-valves and 103 bhp; 1800cc with 16-valves
and 113 bhp. They will be joined in the UK by powerful new intercooled
turbo-diesel versions next year, together with an automatic transmission
version, and a five cylinder 20-valve 2-litre petrol version of
The 1400 and 1800 engines belong to the
new generation of modular Fiat power units manufactured in Pratola
Serra. The 1600 Torque engine, so-called because of its particularly
generous torque delivery, is built in Fiat Auto's Mirafiori plant,
and is also new. All the engines feature high specific power,
impressive fuel economy, flexibility, low maintenance requirements
and quiet running, thanks to Fiat Auto's advanced manufacturing
The Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava also lead
the field where passive safety and environmental protection are
concerned. Features include a bodyshell reinforced to EU 1998
standards, side impact beams, pretensioned seat belts, anti-intrusion
beam on split rear seats, energy absorbing steering, fire prevention
system, standard equipment driver airbags, and the Fiat CODE electronic
security key. The engines meet EU 'Phase 2' (1997) emissions standards,
and no elements harmful to the environment are present during
manufacture or on the cars, which are built to be fully recyclable
at the end of their working lives.
Bravo and Brava went on sale in Italy
on 16 September. Some idea of the impact these cars have already
made can be gauged from the fact that on this weekend alone, (16/17
September), more than 3 million Italians took the opportunity
to view the cars at Fiat Auto's 2200 sales outlets. Some 125,000
visitors took a test drive in the 35,000 demonstration vehicles
available, and no less than 88,500 registered with their dealers
as potential customers.
Less than two months after its introduction
in Italy, and barely one month after it went on sale in most of
mainland Europe, 130,000 orders for the two new cars had been
taken by dealers. Some 90,000 Fiat Bravos and Bravas will have
been delivered to customers by the end of 1995.
Four brand new petrol engines made their
debut with the Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava. They already conform
to EC 'Phase 2' standards on exhaust emissions control, due to
come into force in January 1997 for newly registered cars.
Each engine is fitted with an aluminium
alloy multi-valve head and is produced using the most sophisticated
computer technology, from the first stage of CAE (Computer Aided
Engineering) design to the final stage of quality control. Each
is a carefully balanced amalgam of high power, low fuel consumption,
lasting dependability and simple maintenance requirements.
Three of the engines belong to the modular
family produced in Fiat Auto's new Pratola Serra factory, which
is equipped with the most modem technologies and capable of turning
out 3600 units a day in eight different configurations of modularity.
The fourth, the so-called Torque unit, a 1581 cc engine, is manufactured
in Turin and has rational design and production in common with
The range is capable of meeting the most
diverse demands in terms of running economy and performance.
The 1.4 12-valve engine
Aimed at a broad user category, this unit
puts the onus on economical running and refinement, without losing
anything in the way of verve. It is a four cylinder in-line unit
(1370 cc, 80 bhp-EC at 6000 rpm) with 3-valves per cylinder and
a single overhead camshaft driven by a toothed belt. It boasts
self-adapting SPI Monomotronic Bosch integrated electronic management
with active knock control, hydraulic tappets and an automatic
- the presence of three valves per cylinder
(two for induction, one for exhaust) ensures high levels of performance,
but using simplified and lighter weight timing gear;
- the unit delivers strong torque across the whole rev range:
between 2000 and 5500 rpm, available torque is constantly at 90%
of its full potential;
- the hydraulic tappets maintain constant valve clearance and
thus guarantee lasting stable exhaust emissions ratings and low
- an automatic belt tensioner maintains the tension of the timing
belt and poli-V auxiliaries control. Periodic maintenance checks
thus become unnecessary;
- careful balancing of the crankshaft with eight counterweights
and an ultracompact cylinder head help to maintain quiet running;
-the bore/stroke ratio (0.79) is particularly conducive to power
production, allowing engine height to be contained and reducing
average piston speed. The consequently increased rigidity of the
assembly improves refinement.
Finally, for lasting and total reliability
the engine has a self-adapting electronic control unit capable
of recognising progressive adjustments of the engine, reoptimising
the main control parameters and eliminating emissions and performance
drift throughout the engine's life cycle. It also has active knock
control, whereby it is possible to recognise the phenomenon of
detonation and adjust ignition advance to compensate for irregularities
inside or outside the engine, and hence to restore optimal combustion
The Torque 1.6 16-valve engine
This is a technically sophisticated four
cylinder in-line 1581 cc unit which delivers 103 bhp-EC at 5750
rpm and 106 lb.ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Its distinctive feature
is a 4-valves per cylinder head with twin overhead camshafts driven
by a toothed belt. Hydraulic tappets for automatic valve clearance
adjustment and an automatic timing belt tensioner are also fitted.
The engine has a notably efficient torque
curve - hence its name - with as much as 90% of peak torque available
between 2500 and 5500 rpm.
Special care was taken in the development
of this unit to optimise fluid dynamics. CAD-CAE mathematical
computer simulation programmes were used to define the shape and
dimensions of the intake and exhaust manifolds to optimise the
mixing and division of the fuel/air split among the cylinders.
The same amount of care was also devoted
to the design of the combustion chambers, whose geometry was defined
to reduce harmful exhaust emissions to a minimum and to optimise
combustion, and to the design of the cylinder head cooling circuit,
the efficiency of which is fundamental for lasting reliability.
Other interesting features are:
- the 'long branch' (400 mm) geometry of
the intake manifold, ensuring an optimal delivery curve at low
and medium RPM.
- the fitting of a new type of piston which contributes significantly
to noise reduction;
- a new MPI Weber-Marelli integrated electronic management system
with static ignition and sequentially phased, self-adapting injection
and new fuel injectors, and a new Marelli central computer unit
specifically developed to ensure better response and exhaust emissions
control in all conditions.
Highly innovative casting and machining
process techniques were used to build some of the components.
- by using the new 'policast' process it has been possible to
cast the oil passages to the hydraulic tappets and the camshaft
mountings. This translates into optimised channel geometries and
simpler component manufacture (Fiat Auto patent);
- the process of polishing the cylinder liners with a 'plateau'
finish keeps engine oil consumption extremely low.
The 1.8 16-valve engine
Like the other units in the new family,
this engine (1747 cc, 113 bhp-EC at 5800 rpm) has been designed
to ensure maximum efficiency in terms of low fuel consumption,
low exhaust emissions and high power, as well as easy maintenance
and notable refinement.
Its dimensions are, effectively, square
(82 x 82.7). This means not only high thermal efficiency, thanks
to the compactness of the combustion chambers and the low surface/volume
ratio, but also excellent volumetric efficiency, thanks to the
adoption of generously sized valves and optimised manifold design.
Refinement is ensured by a crankshaft
with eight counterweights; a torsional damper fixed to the end
of the crankshaft; and a cast aluminium alloy oil sump with a
The ignition system is fitted with an
active, selective knock control system: by maintaining ignition
advance close to knocking without it actually taking place, the
system ensures optimised performance with minimum fuel consumption.
The fitting of single coils immediately above the spark plugs
avoids dispersion: this is why there are no high voltage cables
inside the engine compartment.
The phased sequential injection system
has single-jet fuel injectors.
Like the other engines in this new family,
the 1.8 1 6v has hydraulic tappets and automatic tensioning of
the timing belt and poli-V auxiliaries control belt to compensate
for variations in tension caused by changes from ambient temperature
to running temperature, and by the load imposed by accessories.
Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava are complemented
by their respective colour ranges. Visually exciting, these stress
the different personalities of the two cars. Each has a carefully
researched and defined range of its own, but the ranges are clearly,
visibly interrelated as part of a single chromatic system.
The Fiat Bravo comes in the 'louder',
crisper colours of a compact sporty car in tune with the tastes
of younger buyers.
The colours chosen for the Fiat Brava
are comparatively 'classic' and sober, as befits a fastback designed
for users with more traditional tastes.
Some of the colours have been dedicated
to leading names in the history of Italian architecture, the architects
who designed the buildings which give Turin, Fiat Auto's headquarters
since 1899, its present-day appearance.
Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava transmissions
have been engineered to ensure consistent handling and precision,
and to minimise noise without increasing fuel consumption.
The gearbox linkage mated with the 1.4
1 2v engine employs a 'hybrid' arrangement -that's to say flexible
cable engagement and rigid rod selection. The gearboxes mated
with the other engines have a rigid rod control configuration.
Other features - from the damping double wall structure of the
central control rod, to the noiseproof coating on the lever fulcrum,
and the vibration-proof bushing on the driving gear in proximity
to the gearbox - are designed to ensure refinement.
Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava have independent
suspension, twin crossover braking circuits and power steering
as standard equipment on all versions.
The MacPherson strut front suspension,
which incorporates an anti-roll bar and telescopic hydraulic dampers,
has offset coil springs, which avoid friction on the suspension
and thus improve comfort; the end-of-stroke plates and pads are
also optimised to reduce noise during running. High-resistance,
forged steel wishbones are fitted, to reduce unsprung weight.
They are inclined 50 to ensure an antidive effect and are anchored
to an auxiliary crossmember. The steering axis has a 30 angle
of incidence for greater agility during parking manoeuvres, and
for greater stability at high speed.
The independent rear suspension employs
trailing arms secured to the body through a rigid frame. The many
advantages of this choice of build include the reduction of unsprung
weight to improve grip; reduced weight of the suspension for better
stress absorption, and the elimination of roll vibration and the
transmission of noise to the cabin.
The rear suspension is designed to be
compact in size, allowing Fiat Auto's designers to incorporate
a more uniform boot shape and a larger fuel tank. Flexible suspension
mounting to the body allows a slight rear wheel steering effect,
giving sharper handling.
The main components of the rear suspension
are gas-filled dampers, coil springs and lightweight, high-strength,
cast iron trailing arms. These arms are mounted to the hub and
the braking unit, the latter housing the ABS sensor. An anti-roll
bar is mounted to the ends of the arms. Finally, a rigid 'H' frame
is used, consisting of a transverse tubular element with two pressed
steel side members welded to it; the frame is anchored to the
body with special flexible damper mountings to further reduce
the transmission of vibration to the body and to offer maximum
resistance in the event of accidents.
This has a twin crossover circuit. Thus,
if one of the two branches of the system were to fail, controlled
braking is still possible on both sides of the car, since each
circuit operates on one front wheel and the diagonally opposite
rear wheel. In practice it is always possible to maintain control
of the car when braking.
In addition, the anti-dive geometry distributes
the braking loads carried by the front wheels to the rear wheels
as well, and thus keeps the car correctly balanced.
All versions of the Fiat Bravo and Fiat
Brava have front discs and rear drums, with the exception of the
high-performance 2.0 version which uses disc brakes on all four
Front brake discs have a diameter of 257
mm when teamed with the 1.4 1 2v and 1.6 16v engines, and are
of the same diameter but in a ventilated version with the 1.8
16v engine. All ensure efficient braking and prompt response in
line with the performance of the engines. The components used
are Teves front brake calipers, featuring two-stud centring and
protected guides with self-lubricating rubber slide bushing. The
two studs ensure effective, silent braking, while the protected
guides ensure its lasting reliability.
Rear drum brakes have self-centring shoes
and automatic clearance adjustment; with a diameter of 180 mm
on the 1.4 1 2v, and 203 mm with other engines. All versions include
a pad wear indicator, and employ ecological linings (asbestos-free).
An eight inch brake servo with optimised characteristics operates
in conjunction with an automatic brake adjuster on the 1.4 1 2v,
allowing correct apportioning of the braking effort on the rear
wheels. A brake compensator on other versions allows the braking
effort to be split in relation to load. Pedals and kinematic mechanisms
are designed to allow reduced pedal stroke with low effort and
easy modulation. The handbrake is precise to use and quiet in
operation. Thanks to automatic clearance adjustment, the stroke
stays constant throughout the rear brakeshoes' life cycle, and
adjustment is thus unnecessary.
ABS anti-lock brakes are available as an
option throughout the Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava range, and are
standard on the Fiat Bravo 1.8 HLX and Brava 1.8 ELX. The system
adopted is a four-sensor ITT-Teves type with built-in electronics.
The electro-hydraulic system consists
of a central electronic unit which receives data collected by
speed sensors and controls the electro-valves in the hydraulic
unit. An hydraulic unit incorporates eight hydraulic electro-valves
with two positions, and a scavenge pump recirculates the oil discharged
by the circuits when the system is running.
The advantages of this solution are reduced
weight and size (the electrohydraulic unit fits into a space of
less than l6xlOxlO cm); a consequent simplification of the layout
of the engine compartment; and high reliability thanks to the
adoption of a single main wiring system.
The Fiat Bravo and Fiat Brava use two
different steering configurations. All versions have rack and
pinion power steering as standard; but it is available in two
settings according to the version ordered.
Its specifications are: