Fiat is working on an all-new four-door B-segment car dubbed Project L-Zero, which is meant for the U.S. market and is slotted above the 500. In an interview with Motor Trend, Fiat North America head Laura Soave revealed that a mid-2013 launch is being targeted. A joint project between Auburn Hills and Turin, the B-segment car is not based on any existing European Fiat model.
Soave didn’t say if the vehicle will be a sedan, hatch or both. It appears that the vehicle is oriented specifically towards the U.S. market, but it’s unclear if it will be available in other markets.
Soave said that since the Fiat brand has been absent from the U.S. market for more than 27 years, the majority of customers don’t have any perceptions of the brand or its history. Because of this, Fiat can create a unique brand identity that’s tailored for the U.S. market, instead of trying to adapt the brand’s fundamentally European identity to America, says MotorTrend.
This brings new opportunities to brand’s marketers but Fiat isn’t planning on drifting too far from its origins as a small car company. As Dodge and Chrysler already cover the larger segments and Alfa Romeo is on its way to U.S. Fiat showrooms in the future, Soave said that it isn’t likely that Fiat will build anything larger than a C-segment car for the U.S.