2014 New Delhi - Fiat springs a surprise in the form of Avventura

On the days leading up to and during an auto show, we automotive journalists are often used to surprises thrown by the manufacturers. But, quite honestly, we didn't see this coming one bit. Of all the brands active in the Indian market right now, Fiat sprang the biggest surprise at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi as it unveiled the Avventura Concept, that shone in a bright orange shade under the glitz and grandeur of the biennial event in the Indian capital.

Anything On Wheels brought out the first spy-shots in the country of Fiat testing the Punto with partial camouflage at the rear last month. While the protrusion in the camouflage did reveal the presence of spare tire on the tailgate, the rest of the car was left untouched which made us think that Fiat was working on a jacked-up Punto on the lines of Volkswagen Polo Cross and Skoda Fabia Scout with minimal visual changes. But, the Avventura is a lot more than that. Dubbed a Contemporary Urban Vehicle (CUV), the Avventura is Fiat's take on the compact utility vehicle space that's seeing a lot of action these days.

Though its origins from the Punto are clearly obvious, the Avventura is a thoroughly rugged version of the hatchback that quite lives up to its crossover segmentation. The front end is significantly revised, with the stretched and masked headlights with inbuilt projectors, the redesigned radiator grille and the muscular bumper with interesting detailing giving the Avventura a tough look. Flared wheel arches that accommodate bigger wheels, black plastic cladding across the full length and thick rub-strips in the doors beef up the profile while the rear sees the addition of a spare wheel mounted on the rear bumper through a swing arm. LED taillights, a redesigned rear bumper and roof rails are the other additions on this Punto-based crossover, apart from interiors that see a host of interesting add-ons aimed at increasing the sporty look and feel.

Though Fiat hasn't revealed the engine options for the Avventura, we can safely assume the standard 1.3-liter Multijet diesel engine to power the car when it goes on sale. Who knows, Fiat might surprise us again by plonking in the 1.6-liter Multijet diesel too, which remains elusive to us Indians till date. Well, the concept has vowed us all, no doubt. But, will Fiat go all guns blazing and launch the Avventura as it is? Or, will it go the conservative way and just add a spare tire and cladding to call it a CUV? Let's hope they do the former and do that real quick while at it.

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