When Fiat unveiled the Fiat 500L, the larger version of the Fiat 500, at the Geneva Motor Show last month, onlookers, the media and other interested parties were not able to know how many persons the car could carry. The main reason was that Fiat did not bother to open the doors of the Fiat 500L, as the company has yet to finalize the interior of 500’s big brother.
But thanks to Roberto Giolito, head of the Fiat design centre in Turin, the puzzle has been solved! According to Giolito, the Fiat 500L that will be rolled out at the end of the 2012 in Europe -- and in February 2013 in the United Kingdom -- will be a five-seater car.
Fiat is planning to showcase the 500L’s new interiors at the Paris Show in late September. Giolito further revealed that Fiat is planning to unveil a seven-seater 500L right after the five-seater version.Seven seats may seem awkward for a small vehicle like the 500L, but Fiat has already done it with the 1957 Fiat 600 Multipla, which the company claims was the world's first multi-purpose vehicle.
The new 500L is produced to expand the target market to families, which would surely love the car’s longer, wider and taller looks as well as the ample cargo space. A customer could choose from three available trim levels -- pop, easy and lounge.
According to Fiat’s head of colours and materials, Rossella Guasco, the pop trim carries a similar package as the current 500, with a combination of metals and plastics for the trim, and comes with bold colour mixes like red and black. The easy trim, meanwhile, will have lighter and brighter colours, with “a softer feel” to the instrument panel.
The lounge is designed for elegance and bears warmer, more formal colours, and features softer micro fabrics on the seats. A customer could also opt to have his Fiat 500L installed with a full glass roof, either fixed or opening, for a full panoramic view.
To describe the Fiat 500L, it is not enough to say it is functional and comfortable. It is just as important, and true, that this latest offering is indeed cool. The new 500L continues to have that Italian style added with a unique look. This model also serves to interpret the brand’s unique ability of being able to design and create models that show innovation not only in form but more importantly in substance.
When it comes to substance, this has been made to a space-efficiency concept and thus making it different for the rest of the innovative models to come from the brand. One of the features that make the 500L unique is that even during the initial packaging planning phase, the goal was to make sure it offered excellent volume for the interior.
This was made possible through the careful compacting of the different mechanical components that were shared not only by the designers but the engineers as well. The architecture of the vehicle has its general lines following what is known as the cab forward philosophy. It is here where the body, as well as the bonnet section, has been reduced in order to be able to offer more space for the interior. This can also be seen given the height of the waistline and the 500L’s roof.
There is no doubt that Fiat has long practiced innovation. When it released the 600 Multipla, it started the compact people carrier. For the new 500L, it serves to interpret the Simply More principle and then apply it to the Multispace concept.
As such, the 500L is able to emotionally reformulate the compact car class as it makes use of the styling of the 500 in an extraordinary manner. Features that allow the 500L to be easily recognized are marked with a design on the body that uses gentler shapes instead of tight lines and edges. This is what is known as the placid and non-aggressive object which not only expresses charm but also predicts a layout that is more harmonious and apt for the urban environment. What many will eventually realize though is that the personality and force of the design are what makes it iconic.
In fact, these have served as the template for the whole project. The 500L was made by utilizing the B-segment platform of the brand, which means that this is an innovative model that can appeal to a wider and more diversified customer base. It also means that this latest offering from Fiat will be able to set higher standards when it comes to comfort and space, especially on the interior. As a result, this model is a vehicle that is considered highly functional with the ability to “talk” with the driver. In addition, it also has the quality that is expected to appreciate as the years pass.