2015 Fiat 500X “Baby Jeep” Spied

The smallest Jeep goes testing.

Our spy shooters caught the 2015 Fiat 500X testing in Europe, a notable prototype because it will also spawn an America-market “baby” Jeep. Potentially called the Jeepster, the subcompact-size Jeep model should debut by late 2014 or early 2015.

Product plans leaked in January revealed that Chrysler Group had plans to bring both the Fiat 500X and Fiat-produced Jeep model to the U.S. by 2014 or 2015. Such plans have been in the pipeline at least since 2012, when we first heard inklings that both the Fiat 500X and “baby” Jeep were destined for the American market. Most recently, we reported that the 2015 Fiat 500X will make its public debut next year, at least for European buyers.

The prototype spied in these photos is based on a chopped-up Fiat 500L, and it’s clear that the 500X will have a narrower track and shorter wheelbase based on the fact the wheels barely fill out this test mule’s fenders. Expect the 2015 Fiat 500X to keep some of the cutesy, rounded styling seen on the larger 500L, whereas the Jeep derivative will probably have the brand’s familiar grille design and more butch, angular shapes. Front- and all-wheel drive will be offered, likely with four-cylinder engines only.

The two cars will be built in Fiat’s Melfi, Italy, plant starting next year; the automaker is currently spending $1.3 billion to renovate the facility in order to produce the 500X and small Jeep. Both will reportedly be built on a Fiat platform called “Flexible Small Wide.”

The car seen here is obviously a very early prototype. Expect to see many more spy photos of the 2015 Fiat 500X and small Jeep over the coming two years as they are further developed.