NEXT ADDITION TO THE 500 FAMILY: Fiat’s crossover 500X could make its debut at the 2014 Paris auto show. Image: Automedia
BERLIN, Germany - To coincide with the announcements of its major five-year plan, Fiat is surging forward with development of what could be it most important car since its original 500 – the 500X.
The 500X combines the design of the little city car with the practicality of a rugged crossover. Images of a prototype were captured in a little village in Germany, suggesting (and judging by the Stuttgart registration plate) it’s currently under development at component supplier Bosch.
As part of its five-year plan, Fiat has set out to achieve 100 000 sales per year in North America and the 500X's rise to fame will certainly not be helped by Jeep's Renegade, built on the same architecture but tailored to US consumer tastes.
Spy images reveal its styling is nothing like that of the Jeep Renegade. It's a combination of the 500 city car and the 500L MPV. Rugged black fender flares protect the bodywork and give off an assertive road presence.
Like the Mini Countryman, the 500X features a very diluted version of the core brand's design. Only the rounded headlights and taillights are vaguely related to the original Cinquecento.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Fiat 500X
The 500X is a global product but engine choices will vary depending on the market. In Italy, Fiat's biggest market, most will opt for small displacement engines. Other European buyers might also be tempted by a 1.6-litre diesel used in the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross or a 1.4-litre turbo.
US-bound crossovers will receive a four-cylinder 1.8-litre unit, reports Fiat.The debut of this new crossover has already been publicly announced by Fiat and is likely to take place at the 2014 Paris auto show.