As of this writing, we only know that the second model will use a versatile architecture. Even among the Fiat leaders, there haven’t been any finalized decisions yet.
“We need to decide what we’re going to do with that plant,” said Marchionne. “The likelihood is that we will bring in an architecture that is more versatile and will give us an opportunity to produce more than one top hat [bodystyle].” Marchionne made this statement to reporters during a 500 event in Mexico City.
Naturally, we’d expect the mystery car to be the future four-door subcompact, aka Project L-Zero. Designed with international homologation in mind, the small Fiat should be a bit larger than the 500 and is due for a mid-2013 launch. And if there’s anything that’s missing from Chrysler Group’s United States lineup, it’s small cars. Then again, we wouldn’t be totally surprised if Fiat pulls a fast one and builds something completely different.
The Fiat 500 is assembled in Mexico, but their 1.4-liter MultiAir mills are built at GEMA in Dundee, Michigan.
The drop-top version is due this summer before the highly anticipated Abarth arrives early 2012. By the end of 2012, an electric model will be in production before the four-door Fiat hits dealer networks.
During the event, Marchionne also said Chrysler’s Saltillo, Mexico, location could possibly receive more commercial vehicles. The plant currently builds Ram trucks and chassis cabs.