“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.
The 600 Multipla had been one of the pioneers in the concept of a compact people carrier. The 500L is not much of a departure as it is the new Fiat interpretation of the Simply More philosophy utilized by the Multispace concept.
Aside from being comfortable and practical, the Fiat 500L is exceptionally attractive. Its Italian-style flair expresses a distinctive look and interprets Fiat's unique ability to produce and design cars which are innovative in substance and in form. In this case, substance is well-defined in the concept of "space-efficiency" that separates all of the most innovative Fiats.
The Fiat 500L reinvents the category of compact cars for the modern family by developing some of the 500's stylistic details in an unprecedented manner. The recognizable features of the Fiat 500L include that of a body design that does away with edges and taut lines to favor and emphasize "gentler" and more graceful forms. In its entirety, the vehicle gives out an aura of being a "placid", non-aggressive object that conveys charm and foretells a more harmonious layout for the urban landscape and environment.
Developed within the context of the new Fiat B segment platform, the Fiat 500L is an innovative car that addresses a more diversified customer demand base. Fiat shows that it wants to set higher standards in terms of available on-board space and comfort, with the overall appeal of a sophisticated and classy car. The result is a highly functional car able to "converse" with the driver, and that offers quality sure to please every user over the years.