Fiat Confirms 500X Crossover and New Jeep Model to be Produced in Italy
The Fiat 500X promises to be slightly larger, and slightly more rugged-looking than this 500L.
Production on the long-rumored Fiat 500X crossover and an unnamed new Jeep model will begin in 2014 at Fiat’s Melfi, Italy, plant, it was announced this week. Both models will make use of the Fiat Group’s Small Wide platform—first introduced to the world underneath the 500L—which will require a €1-billion retooling of the Italian production facility to be compatible with the architecture.
Fiat describes the 500X as a “larger, more spacious, and more capable than the 500L,” which doesn’t lend itself to a belief that this Fiat will be headed stateside. When we spoke with the head of the Fiat brand, Olivier Francois, he said that the brand’s U.S. lineup would get “just a little bigger.” Based on the patent drawings we stumbled upon in the summer, we think he’s hinting at the seven-passenger 500XL rather than the 500X.
- Instrumented Test: Fiat 500 Turbo
- Comparison Test: 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth vs. Mini John Cooper Works
- Comparison Test: 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550
The Jeep—which will be the first of the two vehicles to make production—will be sold worldwide, and Melfi its sole place of manufacture. Said to “mark the brands entrance to a new market segment,” the new model is expected to fill the B-segment–size gap in Jeep’s product lineup. While it’s a good bet the pair will share a significant amount of mechanical DNA, neither Jeep nor Fiat would comment regarding the extent of badge engineering.