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Fiat 500L five-door spotted

Wed, 16 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700

Autoweek spotted this manufacturer-plated Fiat 500L earlier this week on the streets of suburban Detroit. With its round headlights and cheerful grille, the five-door hatchback's resemblance to its three-door cousin is apparent even under its coat of liberally applied camouflage.

While the 500L and the smaller 500 models share similar styling cues, the subcompact hatch is not just a slightly stretched 500 with two extra doors. Instead, the 500L is based on a widened version of the subcompact Fiat Punto. Fiat plans to use the Punto platform to expand the 500 range even further—in Europe at least—with a crossover named the 500X.

The 500L will hit European markets this summer in both five- and seven-seat variants. Only the five-seat version will be available to American consumers when the 500L arrives in Fiat's showrooms in early 2013. Engine details are sparse, but some variation of the 1.4-liter four-cylinder available in the 500 is likely.

A rear shot of the Fiat 500L under camouflage.

By Graham Kozak