The fourth member of Fiat’s 500 family is a baby SUV bandwagon dubbed the 500X, which would go on sale in 2013. It brings the brand into a new segment where it will compete with the MINI Countryman. Several images have been released, demonstrating that the production version would have the most rugged looks in a 500.
It features thick wheelarch cladding and more ground clearance. It will be available with front or four-wheel drive. Fiat said that the 500X aims to widen its customer base by attracting male consumers. Already, the 500 and 500L have gathered a huge number of mostly female fans. Even with its rugged looks, the car can still be easily identifiable as a 500.
They share the same headlamp and tail-light treatments. They also have the same chrome badge on the nose. The side windows are flatter, which means that several of the hatch’s cute bubble-car styling weren’t carried over. As a result, it appears bolder and more solid, especially when combined with the chunkier bumpers.
Just like the 500L, the 500X is built on a broader version of the Punto hatchback’s platform. Hence, it is as big as the MPV, which is slightly longer than 4 meters. It could accommodate 5 adults and holds more than 400 litres of boot space. But in four-wheel-drive models, the load capacity may decrease.
Fiat has other rugged, high-riding models. Due later this year is a new Panda 4x4, which will use a simple hydraulic clutch system. It is fitted ahead of its rear differential. The 500X may use the same set-up, which adds 100kg to the kerbweight.