The Italian marque is targeting mainstream VW Golf, Audi A3 and BMW Compact owners with its newcomer.
Peter Newton, Fiat group UK spokesman, said: “The 147 will help carry on the renaissance of the brand which was really triggered by the 156. It is coming at a time when we have huge demand for 156 and have already sold out our full 2000 allocation of the Sportwagon despite increasing our UK build numbers by 25%.
“We have no doubt the 147 can attract buyers from Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and even Mercedes-Benz C-class hatch owners. This car will catapult us into the mainstream market against many of the big boys.”
* Fiat launched the Doblo, based on a new light commercial van, which is lined up to go head-to-head with the Kangoo and Berlingo. Built on an all-new floorpan, the MPV will be shown at the Birmingham motor show in both commercial and private versions.