Fiat plans 4 more versions of 500
Turbo, electric models planned by early 2013
Photo credit: LUCA CIFERRI
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TURIN, Italy -- The United States will get four more versions of the Fiat 500 subcompact in the next two years.
This fall, a turbocharged 500 joins the lineup. Early next year, Fiat will begin sales of an electric. In mid-2013, a four-door, five-seat, high-roof 500L will join the range. In 2014, Fiat will add a 500X small crossover.
Now, Fiat sells the 500 hatchback, 500C convertible and Abarth sporty version.
500 hatchback: A redesign is planned after 2014, but the company has not said when. Meanwhile, Fiat will continue to add versions of the hatch.
Turbo: Fiat will add a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine rated at 135 hp and 150 pounds-feet of torque to the 500 hatchback range. Pricing will start at $20,200, including shipping, when U.S. sales begin this fall.
The 500 Turbo for North America uses a five-speed manual gearbox. Fiat says it gets up to 34 mpg on the highway. The car comes with larger brake rotors than those on the base 500 hatchback, sport-tuned springs and shocks and a rear spoiler.
500 Abarth: The entire allotment of the 2012 Abarth was sold within three months after its April introduction. The 2013 Abarth goes on sale in September. New for the 2013 model is a 368-watt Beats by Dr. Dre audio system with six speakers and an eight-inch subwoofer. Next spring, Fiat is expected to add a convertible variant to the 500 Abarth.
500 EV: An electric version of the 500 goes into production by year end, with sales beginning early next year. Chrysler's Technical Center in Auburn Hills, Mich., which is the center of electric powertrain expertise in the Chrysler-Fiat alliance, is doing most of the work on the 500 EV.
Two years ago, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the production model would start at about $32,000, with batteries accounting for half the car's cost.
500L: A four-door, five-seat, high-roof hatchback version of the 500 is due in mid-2013. The 500L, based on a widened Fiat Punto platform, is 163.4 inches long compared with the 500 hatchback's 139.6 inches. In Europe, the model competes with the Mini Countryman four-door.
The 500L goes on sale in Italy in September at 15,500 euros, or about $19,450. Fiat builds the vehicle at its new plant in Serbia for European and North American sales.
Among the options is a portable espresso machine, which in Europe retails for $310.
500X: Fiat is co-developing the 500X small crossover with Jeep. The 500X will be based on the same widened Punto platform as the 500L and is expected to be about 6 inches longer than the 500L. Fiat will offer the 500X with fwd and awd.
Fiat's plans -- under review because of the soft European market -- call for 500X production for Europe and North America to begin at the end of 2013 at the Mirafiori plant in Turin. The plant will start producing the Jeep variant in mid-2014.
U.S. sales of the 500X are scheduled to start in mid-2014, but that could change if Fiat moves production to Serbia or Mexico. The current 500 range for North America is assembled in Toluca, Mexico.
You can reach Luca Ciferri at firstname.lastname@example.org.