Fiat needs to expand its franchise in the U.S. if it’s to make it here, and with the standard 500 and 500 Cabriolet in all their trim configurations and the hotrod Fiat 500 Abarth, all on the market now, plus the Fiat 500 electric due out late this year and the 500L arriving early in 2013, the Fiat 500 has a good start. But if Fiat is to match Mini in all of its permutations, there must be more Fiats. There, perhaps, lies the Fiat 500X.
Take the “X” in 500X to mean crossover or four-wheel drive and you’ll be half right. The Fiat 500X will ride on the same platform as the long wheelbase—relatively speaking—five-door Fiat 500L, but will have increased ground clearance, and along with standard front-wheel drive, it will also have four-wheel drive as an option.
The Fiat 500X will be butched up with extended fenderage over the wheels in contrasting color, but with headlamps and taillamps taken directly from the other 500 models, the 500X will be instantly recognized as a Fiat. If not, the 500X will have the large Fiat badge centered on the front end.
Like the 500L, the 500X will get a widened version of the Fiat Punto hatchback’s platform, which should make it same size as the Punto, which is just over somewhere over 150 inches long. With seatbelts for five, the 500X will likely be more comfortable for no more than four adults.
Expect the Fiat 500X to be powered by the same motor as the basic 500, though engine from the 500 Abarth would help move the greater mass of the 500X.
The Fiat 500X will makes its debut at the Paris auto show in September and go on sale next year across the pond. For North America? A Fiat spokesman basically said “no comment.”
But is there any way Fiat can’t bring the Fiat 500X? Or is it simply a matter of time?