Fiat's 500 minicar will have yet another variant: journalists at the launch of the 500L multi-purpose vehicle were treated to a brief look at the previously rumored 500X crossover, and it's going into production.
The car in question had no camouflage and little to no explanation: instead, Fiat opened a backdrop behind Fiat global brand head Olivier Francois, who was on stage speaking about the 500L, let the audience get a good look of the car's right side profile, and then closed the curtain.
The 500X has long been rumored as a sort of masculine answer to the sweeter 500 hatchback, and Mini's success with the Countryman (and excitement about the upcoming Paceman) underscores Fiat's need for a compact utility vehicle.
The Fiat 500X is that car: a five-door hatchback with a noticeably taller stance than the 500, some black body cladding, and what appear to be larger wheels. Like the 500L, the 500X will probably use the same engines as the 500 hatch and convertible. European buyers will have an option of the 0.9-liter turbocharged two-cylinder TwinAir engine producing 104 hp, the 1.4-liter MultiAir four cylinder making 101 hp, or a 1.3-liter turbodiesel making 84 hp.
Automotive News is reporting that the 500X will come to the United States (and perhaps provide the platform for an upcoming small Jeep SUV). No engine details have been finalized, but the US-market 500X would do well to use the 500 Abarth's turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 (which makes 160 hp in American Abarth spec) for some added grunt. The Fiat 500X is also said to feature either front- or all-wheel drive.
The 500X will go on sale late this year in Europe and come to American shores early next year.
Photos below are of the 500X, 500L, and a possible 500X mule spotted earlier this year.