The Fiat 500X-based “baby Jeep,” likely to be called the Jeepster, will make its debut at the 2014 Geneva auto show, Australian publication Drive reports. The new model will reportedly draw design inspiration from the original Willys Jeep used in World War II.
As was evident from our spy photos, the Jeepster will be based on the 2015 Fiat 500X — a taller, more butch version of the existing Fiat 500L hatchback. Leaked product plans revealed earlier this year that Chrysler Group planned to bring a version of the Fiat 500X to the U.S. market by 2015, and Fiat itself has confirmed that its Melfi, Italy, plant will build the 500X and a small Jeep model from 2014.
Fiat is currently spending $1.3 billion to renovate its Melfi facility in order to produce the 500X and small Jeep. Both will reportedly be built on a Fiat platform called “Flexible Small Wide,” and will offer both front- and all-wheel drive. Expect the Fiat 500X to copy some of the cutesy, rounded styling of the 500L, while the Jeepster will get the more butch styling reported by Drive. Based on our spy photos, expect the two new models to have a narrower track and shorter wheelbase than the current Fiat 500L.Though there are no official details so far, the Fiat 500X and Jeepster will almost certainly use small four-cylinder engines.
The Fiat 500X is slated to go on sale in Europe next year. The Jeepster, after its debut at Geneva, will likely arrive in the U.S. market for 2015.