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Future models - Fiat - 500X

Fiat teases bulging bambino

Silver bullet: Fiat revealed the 500X mini SUV to journalists in Italy.

Sneak peek of 500X reveals Fiat’s plans for its own ‘Countryman’ micro SUV

5 Jul 2012

FIAT has offered this glimpse of its future – the 500X – courtesy of a teaser unveiling at a media preview in Italy this week.

Expected to make its public appearance at the Paris motor show in September, the jacked-up version of the long-wheelbase Fiat 500 is a chance for Australia, provided it is offered in right-hand drive.

Fiat Chrysler Group Australia corporate affairs director Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto that she could not confirm the vehicle, but commented: “Whatever vehicles Fiat offer to an international audience, we will be interested in.

“And if they are offered in right-hand drive, we will be extraordinarily interested.”

Fiat is believed to have shown the vehicle to journalists attending a preview of the long-wheelbase, five-door 500L in Italy, teasing them by pulling back the curtains for a few seconds – a move caught on video and subsequently posted on the internet.

The video shows a high-riding silver 500X with black plastic cladding around the wheelarches, side sills and bumpers, in the SUV style.

36 center imageLeft: Fiat 500L.

The front appears to have no fewer than six lights – pairs of headlights, driving lights and fog lights.

The 500X appears to be the same overall dimensions as the stretched 500L, which is not only longer than the standard ‘bambino’ but also wider and taller, making it a more logical competitor for BMW’s Mini Cooper and its many variants, including the Countryman.

The alloy wheels shown on the leaked image look identical to those on the 500L concept shown by Fiat at the Geneva motor show in March.

The 500X will likely go into production in 2013, armed with the same three engines as the 500L – a 900cc twin-cylinder TwinAir, 1.4-litre MultiAir four-cylinder petrol and 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel.

Logically, it will be built in the same Fiat factory in Serbia as the 500L, rather than Italy, from late 2013.

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