The new Fiat Avventura is slated to hit showrooms later this year, and is now in the final phases of testing on Indian roads. The Italian carmaker showcased the Avventura in concept form earlier this year at Auto Expo 2014, announcing its entry into the 'cross hatchback' segment, which includes vehicles like the Volkswagen Cross Polo and the recently launched Toyota Etios Cross.
However, as this photograph sent in by Dattaprasad Shirodkar reveals, the production Avventura will look almost exactly like the concept car, with most of its rugged styling details having been retained. The heavy body cladding is clearly visible, extending from the bumpers onto the wheel arches and along the doors. There are prominent roof rails, which on the Auto Expo concept memorably carried a pair of bicycles, so it's likely that they'll be functional in production too. The design of the large, ten-spoke alloy wheels seems very close to that of the concept too, and going by the large space between the tyres and the wheel arches, it appears that the suspension has been raised slightly too - something VW and Toyota didn't do on their rugged hatchbacks.
An important detail is the tailgate arrangement; although it appears that the spare is mounted onto the bootlid, it actually sits on a spar that is hinged on the bumper, as it did on the concept. The Avventura is, of course, based on the Punto, and so retains the conventional hatchback boot opening underneath the spare wheel. The new look given to the nose of the Avventura - raked back headlamps, a slot-like grille and an aggressive bumper - will be shared with the facelifted Punto, which will also be launched this year.
The Avventura and the Punto facelift will get upgraded interiors too, quite similar to those that debuted on the Linea facelift seen earlier this year. Expect an all-new, upmarket-looking, dual-tone dashboard, new switchgear for the centre console, and a longer equipment list.
Fiat's big push with the Avventura is interesting especially since the rugged hatchbacks that have come to Indian market so far haven't really done all that well. The company has in fact already planned for an all-new, next-gen replacement for it at the end of 2016, so it's clear that it has faith in this segment of pseudo-crossovers.