What the Fiat 500L represents is the future of the ‘500’ sub-brand. It had recently debuted last month at the Geneva Motor Show and is the first of a series of multi-purpose vehicles to arrive. When the 500 was launched by Fiat in 2007, the automaker didn’t hesitate in following Mini’s example in its presentation and marketing for it to be an in-demand fashion item.
The campaign was very effective in making the 500 the top-selling model in Europe. Fiat threw out the prospect of making a stand-alone brand such as Mini but it thinks that the 500 family can be extended beyond the Panda-based A-sector model. The L in 500L means ‘Large’ and is considered as a counterpart of the Mini Countryman but is priced lower.
When compared to the Countryman, the 500L, at 4140mm, is longer by 50mm longer and taller by 100mm than the Countryman. The 500L looks more like a typical compact MPV but with conventional doors and just five seats. Roberto Giolito, Fiat’s design chief and the ‘father’ of the 500, has carried over the “smiling face” of the original car for this bigger model.
It has more interior space that’s light and airy due to its deep windows, narrow, twin A-pillars and a panoramic glass roof. It comes with new finishes and it uses high-quality materials that are durable and easier to clean. Like the existing 500, the enlarged model will be offered with three trim levels: Pop, Easy and Lounge.
It also comes with a wide variety of options. The 500L uses the Punto Evo platform which Fiat refers to as ‘Small Wide’ and will be featured in various future vehicles in the Fiat-Chrysler group such as the new Fiat and Jeep SUV to be made in Turin. The 500L would be the second Fiat model to be available in North America.
In 2014, a seven-seater version, which is 200mm longer but on the same wheelbase, will be launched. It is likely to be tagged XL. The future versions come with a ‘Cross’ version that’s more rugged. It also features front-wheel drive but with sophisticated traction control to make it appropriate for mild off-roading.
In addition to comfort and function, the Fiat 500L’s design is divine. Its Italian style and distinct look express Fiat's singular ability to think up and design innovative cars, in material and in engineering. The most ground-breaking Fiat embraces its "space-efficiency" concept.
The 600 Multipla was the harbinger of the compact people carrier concept, and the 500L is Fiat’s new reading of the Simply More thinking applied to the Multispace ideals. The Fiat 500L rethinks the emotion of the modern family compact car, developing unprecedented styles for the 500.
The 500L’s familiar features of a body styled without edges and tight lines for a gentler, non-aggressive shapes convey appeal and presage a more harmonious style for cityscapes and environment.
Looking at the new 500L reveals the true nature, the driving character and force behind the design, forming an atmosphere over the entire project. Developed for the new Fiat B segment, the Fiat 500L is an innovation reaching a more diverse and broad base and aiming to set higher standards in on-board room and comfort. This resulted in a high functioning vehicle that can practically talk to its driver and passengers and that offers quality to be appreciated over time.