Fiat will bring a feistier, more powerful version of the 500X to market in 2017, according to a report in motoring magazine and website Autocar.
Autocar claims Fiat will bolster its line-up with an Abarth-tuned version of the 500X, which would coincide with plans for an Abarth 124 Spider – although neither model has been officially announced.
Power for the 500X Abarth and 124 Abarth is said to come from the 1.4-litre MultiAir II found in the 124 Spider, but tuned from the usual 138bhp to 170bhp, with the former able to send power through an all-wheel drive system and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.
Various aesthetic revisions are also expected such as Abarth badging, a meatier body kit, distinctive alloy wheel designs, sportier exhaust and a more plush interior. The usual, then.
Fiat also said it would like to return to rallying, with the 124 Spider and its MX-5 underpinnings the most likely candidate, but let’s not rule out the 500 supermini just yet.
With the UK and Italy two of the biggest Abarth markets, it is unlikely an Abarth version of the 500X and 124 Spider will miss old Blighty. But a focus on the US ─ where one in five Fiat 500s are sold as Abarths ─ is expected.
We love an Abarth as much as the next man but, in the case of the beefy 500X, 170bhp might not be enough, especially when the Mini Countryman JCW offers 230bhp. Here’s hoping the Italian engineers can eke a bit more power out of that 1.4-litre.
Check out our Fiat 500X review for a more in-depth look at the non-Abarth car.