Fiat is planning to make an SUV inspired by the dinky 500 supermini. The Fiat 500X, which will go on sale from 2014, is Fiat’s latest attempt to wring every dime from the popular 500 badge, with the 500L MPV and the slightly larger 500XL people carrier also scheduled to debut.
The 500X will reportedly use Fiat-Chrysler’s ‘small-wide’ platform as a basis, according to Auto Express, which is the same undergubbins used by the current Fiat 500L. It makes sense to assume the 500X will be similar in size to the Nissan Juke and VW Taigun, as this would allow Fiat-Chrysler to fill a niche not yet covered by existing models in its product range.
The company has yet to reveal any concrete specs, but you can bet the engine will be small and, most likely, turbocharged to ensure it’s fuel efficient, fast and wallet-friendly. We have heard rumblings that Chrysler will offer a Jeep-branded variant that will differentiate itself offer a more premium feature set.
With this area of the market becoming increasingly popular with consumers, it’s no wonder car manufacturers are offering these mix-and-match alternatives. We can’t but feel some of the original 500’s charm will be lost in the translation, though. Based on what we’ve seen of it so far, the 500X is hardly as iconic or stylish as the current supermini or the thing that predates it.
As yet, we’ve no word on price or availability but Fiat has said it will produce the new 500X at its factory in Melfi, Italy, which recently benefitted from a sizeable £810 million deposit, meaning up to 1,600 vehicles can now be made every day.
More as we get it.