Defined by Style, Technology, Comfort, Sportiness and Safety, the Argo, known internally as X6H, is the result of a recent R$20-million (R80.8-million) investment into Fiat's Betim, Minas Gerais Plant, with the additional aim of producing a true premium product in one of the most competitive segments in Brazil.
Styling-wise, the Argo takes after the recently launched Tipo and South American market Toro pick-up, with a so-called wraparound design highlighted by a honeycomb grille, angular elongated headlights, sculpted front air intakes and a specific rear facia design meant to emphasise, as per Fiat, a jovial character.
Again taking hints from the Tipo, the interior is said to incorporate passion and sportsmanship with the biggest attraction being a freestanding seven-inch UConnect touchscreen system, customisable 3.5-or seven-inch TFT instrument cluster display, use of soft-touch materials, painted centre strip and a centre facia whose buttons are inspired by the keys on a piano.
Claimed to offer the largest cabin space in its class with 2 806-litres, including a 300-litre boot, the Argo will initially be available in a choice of three trim levels, three engine options and two transmissions with drive going to the front wheels.
Starting the range off, the base Drive makes use of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder Firefly engine producing 57 kW and 107 Nm when running on ethanol, or a bigger 1.3-litre four-cylinder Firefly with 80 kW and 139 Nm. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on both, with a five-speed automated manual, or Gear Smart Ride in Fiat speak, optional on the latter.
At the sharp end, the mid-range Precision and sporting HGT are offered solely with a 1.8-litre E.torQ Evo engine capable of 104 kW and 189 Nm, with transmissions consisting of a five-speed manual or brand-new six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Top speed is a claimed 192 km/h for manual and 191 km/h for the automatic, with the 0-100 km/h dash taking 9.2 and 10.4 seconds respectively.
Prices start at R$46 800 (R189 279) for the 1.0 Drive and end at R$70 600 (R285 537) for the 1.8 HGT automatic, with an array of options, including a range of Mopar accessories, also available.
Developed mainly for South America, reports from India have suggested that the Argo could perhaps debut at the Indian Auto Expo in January next year, hinting at a possible entry to the South African market later that year or in 2019.