Much like the Mini Cooper , the Fiat 500 evolved from a tiny economy car into a full lineup of vehicles incorporating various body styles and engines. Crossover -like four-doors, sporty two-doors, and fuel-sipping diesels are some of the versions Mini enthusiasts did not see coming half a century ago. Same goes for Fiat , which is about to unveil the 500X , a small crossover aimed at the Mini Countryman and the Nissan Juke . More specifically, the 500X is the Italian version of the 2015 Renegade, Jeep’s smallest vehicle yet.
Built on the same platform as its American brother — yes, we know the Renegade is actually assembled in Italy — the 500X replaces the Fiat Sedici in Europe and joins a lineup that includes the 500 hatch, 500C, 500L, the peppy 500 Abarth , and the all-electric 500E. Based on a concept vehicle shown in 2012, the 500X is expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show and cross the pond to North America for the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Until then, let’s have a look at the latest batch of spy shots we received in our inbox.
Click past the jump to read more about the Fiat 500X.
Although its skin is still hidden under heavy camouflage, we don’t expect for the production vehicle to change much compared to the concept. In spite of its connection with the Renegade, the 500X will bear no resemblance to the Jeep . Instead, the mini crossover will showcase cues borrowed from the existing 500 family. Much like the 500L, the 500X will display a pair of headlamps that extend into the fenders and hood, a beefier bumper and a slightly larger grille.
Around back, however, the 500L’s horizontal taillights are being replaced by vertical units, while the tailgate becomes narrower towards the bumper. The latter sports a different design too, the spy shots suggesting Fiat opted for simpler, rugged cues. From the side, the 500X become unique in its own right with plastic cladding covering the wheel arches and the side skirts and a raked rear glass giving it a sporty look. Higher ground clearance will set it further apart from the boxy 500L.
The interior, mostly an amalgam of duct tape and loose wires in our spy photos, appears to include similar features to the current Fiat 500 lineup. The body-colored dashboard and the five-inch touchscreen infotainment are the main details that catch the eye in the heavily camouflaged cabin.
As far as engines go, the 500X will become available with a bevy of gasoline and turbo units, including the 0.9-liter TwinAir two-cylinder, the 1.4-liter MultiAir, and the 1.6-liter MultiJet oil burner. Of course, very few of these mills will make it to the United States, but we could get the larger, 2.4-liter Tigershark available in the Jeep Renegade.
Why It Matters
Fiat’s desire to expand the 500 range comes at no surprise. The compact is already popular thanks to its various offerings and adding a crossover will only help increase sales even further. Everyone wants a piece of action in the ever-growing crossover segment - be it mini or compact - and Fiat is finally joining the fun with a vehicle that’s more appropriate than the 500L. It remains to be seen whether the 500X will enjoy success in Europe and the U.S., but all we know is this crossover has some potential. The Renegade’s underpinnings will enable the Italians to deliver various versions, including an off-road capable one, which could be big news for Fiat enthusiasts around the world. Pricing is a major factor here and the Italian must play their cards right.