First Look: 2013 Fiat 500L

March 1, 2012
2013 Fiat 500L Side
The Fiat 500 may be a spunky and convenient hatchback, but its Achilles heel is that, well, it's quite small. No more: Fiat has unwrapped a new, larger 500 at the Geneva Motor Show, called the 500L.
The 500L is to the 500 what the Mini Countryman is to the Mini Cooper: a stretched, larger version of the donor car, yet based on the same platform. The 500L (L stands for Large) will be 23.4 inches longer, 6.0 inches wider, and 5.6 inches longer than the smaller 500 and 500C models. Speaking of Countryman, the 500L is within a couple of inches of that hatchback: the 500L is 1.3 inches longer, 0.3 inches narrower, and 3.9 inches taller than that car.
Underhood, there shouldn't be any surprises: Fiat claims that the car will feature its TwinAir twin-turbocharged two-cylinder engine, MultiAir four-cylinders, and a diesel when it goes on sale in Europe. It would seem likely that the American market 500L will only get the 1.4-liter MultiAir inline-four-cylinder engine from the 500, which produces 101 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque in that car. Considering that the 500L is designed to hold more people and things than the smaller car, we'd imagine there will be more power on tap, perhaps from a version that borrows the turbocharged I-4 from the 500 Abarth. That engine produces 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque.
There aren't any surprises on the exterior, either: Fiat fans will see plenty of design DNA from another small Fiat, the E.U.-market Panda. The roofline also looks a bit Mini Countryman-esque, if we do say so ourselves.
The car will go into production at the Fiat plant in Serbia, and will make it to U.S. Fiat studios some time in 2013.


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