A special edition version for Fiat’s high-riding 500 variant

There once was a time when a high-riding Fiat 500 would’ve amounted to some form of ridicule. The 500, after all, has been around for 60 years and at no point did it venture past being a small compact car. But time has a way of flipping long-standing narratives in the auto industry, and no more is that more evident than the launch of the Fiat 500X back in 2015. Essentially a small crossover version of the 500, the 500X checks off some boxes that the traditional 500 can’t. It’s bigger, more spacious, and provides a fresh alternative to the established compact city car. Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the 500X will be well-represented at the event with a special edition model called the 500X S-Design Special.

Mind you, this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for the biggest variant of the Fiat 500. We’ve seen it get an Opening Edition in the past and it’s also been a staple in SEMA for the past few years. But the S-Design Special is different, not only because it’s Geneva-bound, but because it’s also arguably the most dressed-up version of the Fiat 500X that we’ve seen so far.

Okay, so it’s not exactly dripping with exclusive features, but it does have a lot of unique qualities unto itself. It has a new paint finish and a slew of unique exterior and interior details that help shape the exclusivity attached to this model. It also has tinted windows, which apparently is significant enough to warrant a mention in the Italian automaker’s press release.

Altogether, these features help create the identity of the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition. For what it’s worth, we’re all going to see how appealing the special edition 500X is in the eyes of customers since Fiat plans to open orders for the model in June 2017, a few months after it debuts in Geneva.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition

What makes the Fiat 500X S-Design special

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Exterior
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There are a bunch of details that piece through here so let’s get started.

First of all, take a good look at the car in the photo above. It looks fantastic, doesn’t it? I’m willing to bet that the new matte Alpi Green paint finish that Fiat chose for the Geneva-bound model has a lot to do with it, but I’m also aware of the magic of digital photography. Rest assured, the dramatic shadows created by the studio lights that were used in the photo shoot won’t be visible on the 500X S-Design Special Edition won’t be visible all the time in the real world. Still, props to whoever took that photo of the crossover because it highlights what Fiat has been touting about the 500X from the very beginning. It may be bigger than the 500 in terms of size and dimensions, but the automaker also did something meaningful with the bigger canvas and that’s to make the 500X look fit for what a sporty crossover should be.

Fiat also dressed up the crossover in a number of exclusive matte livery and sporting details in polished steel

Obviously, the color of the body isn’t the only thing that contributed in giving the 500X S-Design Special Edition that aura. Fiat also dressed up the crossover in a number of exclusive matte livery and sporting details in polished steel. The front spoiler gets that treatment, as do the door handles, side moldings, mirror caps, trunk handle, and the rim surrounding the rear headlights.

The combination of the two treatments – the body and the polished steel details – and the inclusion of burnished Xenon headlights and a set of 18-inch wheels with its own distinctive two-color black and copper finish, all come together to create a sporty and aggressive-looking 500X that is unlikely to find any sort of difficulty in getting attention on the auto show floor in Geneva.

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Exterior
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At the very least, Fiat’s work on the exterior of the 500X S-Design Special Edition looks much better than some of the company’s previous SE work on the crossover. The Fiat 500X Opening Edition, for example, received two body colors, one of which came with a Pastel Art Grey body finish that, at best, is an acquired taste.

Likewise, the range-topping variant of the 500X Opening Edition also got its own exclusive paint finish called tricot Amore Red, which is actually just red with a fancy name to it. In other words, neither did anything meaningful in establishing the 500X as a crossover that’s worth the legitimacy Fiat was banking on it to have. Oddly enough, that’s exactly what the 500X S-Design Special Edition achieves. It makes the 500X look like an actual crossover.

2015 Fiat 500X Opening Edition High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Fiat 500X Opening Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Note: side-by-side photos of the Fiat 500X Opening Edition.

Move to the interior, and you’re greeted by a rather subdued-looking cabin that features S-Design seats with a sporty fabric and is embroidered with a copper colored logo of the 500. A similar logo can also be found on the glove box and while we’re speaking of similarities, the dark, burnished treatment of Xenon headlights on the exterior was also translated into the interior, most notably in the dashboard panel and in the moldings of the central tunnel and door panels. And that’s about it.

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Interior
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2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Interior
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It’s a relatively simplistic approach that doesn’t come close to matching the appeal of the exterior, but then again, you take what you can get when it comes to a car like the Fiat 500X.

On the engine front, there are no changes to the existing 1.4-liter Multijet engine that pumps out 140 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 9.8 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 120 mph.

It is a little unclear if Fiat has plans to offer the 500X S-Design Special Edition in other variants of the crossover or if the SE will be made available in the US market for that matter. What the company did say is that orders for the 500X S-Design Special Edition is scheduled to begin sometime in June 2017. That should give interested customers a few months from the time the crossover makes its debut in Geneva to when orders begin to decide if the exclusive qualities of the 500X S-Design Special Edition are worth the expected bump in price to get it.

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Exterior
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Speaking of which, the price for this special edition 500X has also not been disclosed, but considering that the trim on which it’s based on carries a price that’s a little north of $20,000, the 500X S-Design Special Edition should command a price of somewhere in the $24,000 vicinity.

Red our full review on the Fiat 500X here.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Introducing the Fiat 500X S-Design, the new special series which combines a new concept of urban sporting feel and attention to detail in its two identities: City Look and Off-Road. Available for order from June, the car on the stand, an S-Design City Look in the new matt Alpi Green colour, is fitted with the high-performance 140 HP (103kW) 1.4 Multijet engine and has an automatic DCT dual clutch transmission.

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Exterior
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Its exclusive matte livery sports details in polished steel such as the side mouldings, door handles, front spoiler, the rim of the rear headlights, the handle of the boot and the mirror caps. It also features tinted rear windows. The car on display has 18" wheels and a distinctive two-colour finish. To complete the effect, the Xenon headlights, also burnished, give the 500X an immediately recognisable, dynamic, distinctive "face". These dark details are also replicated in the style of the interior, for example in the dashboard panel and in the mouldings of the central tunnel and door panels. Again in the interior, the specific S-Design seats feature a sporty fabric with embroidered, copper coloured logo.

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special High Resolution Exterior
- image 707244

With S-Design, the unmistakeable elegance of 500X is enhanced with a touch of modern style and a sporty identity.

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Press release

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