“Large” is what we can expect of the fourth variant of Fiat’s 500 car, which is named the 500L (L for Large). Set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show this March, the 500L used to be known by its L-Zero codename. This five-door, high-roof subcompact hatchback has a front end that’s similar to the 500 but the 500L variant uses a widened version of Fiat's small vehicle architecture that the Punto subcompact uses.
The 500L measures 4150mm long, around 60mm longer than the 500 hatchback. Fiat will later present two versions of the 500L. Debuting first is the five-seat standard model.
It will be followed a couple of months later by a seven-seat variant, which is about 10mm longer than the five-seat model. Sales of the 500L in Europe will start in July. Fiat intends to offer the seven-seat variant just in Europe. Meanwhile, the five-seat model will be exported to the U.S. starting early 2013. Fiat thinks that U.S. customers won’t be interested in a seven-seat vehicle as small as the 500L.
The Idea will stop production at the end of the year and this leaves a gap in Fiat's European product lineup that will be filled by the 500L. It’s likely to be available with the following engines: Fiat's TwinAir turbocharged two-cylinder 900cc gasoline unit with 85hp, a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with 77hp or 105hp, and a 1-3-liter diesel with 75hp or 95hp. In the Europe market, the model will compete with cars like the Citroen C3 Picasso, Ford B-Max and Mini Countryman.