Earlier this month we reported that Fiat were heading to the Geneva Motor Show in March with a new compact MPV – the Fiat Elle-Zero, which they are. But instead of using the code name for the new mini MPV as the production moniker, they’ve decided the new car will join the 500 family as the Fiat 500L.
Looking much as you’d expect a bigger Fiat 500 to look, the 500L is actually running on a widened version of the platform that underpins the Fiat Punto and will, in standard guise, be around 60mm longer than the regular Fiat 500 and accommodate five.
Incredibly, Fiat are going to add a second version of the 500L – just 10mm longer – which will seat seven, which sounds like a compact journey for all concerned. Unsurprisingly, although the regular 5-seat 500L will be heading to the U.S., Fiat has decided there’s no way they can market the 7-seater in the States, so that will be a European model only.
Aimed at competition like the MINI Countryman and Ford B-Max, the 500L will be built in Serbia and offer the usual mix of MultiJet Diesels and the 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol offerings, together with the Fiat TwinAir 2-cylinder engine.
Designed to replace the Fiat Idea (which we no longer get in the UK) the Fiat 500L will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and go on sale in Europe in July.