The Fiat Viaggio, the first car that the company will build in China in partnership with Guangzhou Auto (GAC), is to have its global debut later this month at the Beijing motor show.

The new sedan, which is closely related to the Dodge Dart, uses Fiat Group’s CUSW architecture, and is the production version of the model formerly codenamed ‘C Medium’. It will be built at a Fiat-GAC joint venture plant in the city of Changsha in China’s Hunan province. The Chinese market name will be ‘Fei Xiang’.

Production at the greenfield plant is set to commence in July, with cars for the local market due to be delivered in September. The Viaggio will be a rival for the hugely successful Shanghai Volkswagen Lavida.

At launch, all versions of the Viaggio will be powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, which Fiat calls ‘T-Jet’. Buyers will be able to choose from 120- or 150hp units. As for gearboxes, these will be either a five-speed manual or a DDTC (Dual Dry Clutch Transmission). Fiat and GAC are believed to be aiming to sell an ambitious 140,000 units per annum of the car.

Sources have suggested that the Viaggio will be exported, possibly to European markets. There have also been suggestions that a possible five-door hatchback derivative would serve as the replacement for the Bravo when that car reaches the end of its lifecycle at the Cassino plant in Italy during 2013.