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Fiat 500 to spawn the 500X SUV / Crossover

Sat, 31 Mar 2012

The Fiat 500L (pictured) will turn in to the butch Fiat 500X SUV

With the Fiat 500, 500C and 500L aiming to take on MINI, Fiat has decided the next step is a Countryman SUV 500 – the Fiat 500X.

The two most successful reincarnations of iconic cars to hit the market have been the MINI and the Fiat 500. Both have managed to evoke the spirit of the original in a cohesive and appealing modern iteration. And both the MINI and the 500 have spawned endless versions of the core car to mop up niche sales in their sector.

And now it looks like we’re about to get Fiat’s answer to the MINI Countryman in the guise of the Fiat 500X, a compact SUV come crossover aimed to take on the role of proper little urban warrior.

Under the skin the 500X will get the same platform as the new Fiat 500L, which is itself based on the underpinnings of the new Punto. It’s also expected to be even bigger that the 500L at around 4.2 metres and is going in to production at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant in Turin at the end of 2013.

Built alongside the 500X will be a Jeep variant based on the same Punto platform - currently called B-SUV – which will sit at the bottom of the current Jeep range and mop up sales from American car buyers looking for a compact version of the iconic Jeep (assuming such a buyer demographic exists).

Engines on offer for the 500X (which will replace the Sedici) are likely to be the 900cc TwinAir, the 1.3 litre MultiJet and the 1.4 litre petrol. The baby Jeep looks like it will get the same engine options, although how Americans will take to a 2-pot Jeep is anyone’s guess. Both 2WD and 4WD versions are expected.

The Fiat 500X will go in to production at the end of 2013, so a debut at Geneva next year – or even Frankfurt – for the production version seems likely, although we’ll probably see a 500X Concept before that.

By Cars UK