After weeks of grainy images being leaked onto the internet, the Fiat 500X baby SUV has finally been revealed to the world at the Paris Motor Show.

THE NEW FIAT 500X joins the city car 500 lin-up, comprising of the 500, 500C, 500L, 500L Trekking and 500L Living models. The new Fiat 500X will be available in two different versions – one with more an urban focus and the other for rough road pursuits. Both variants will be available with a range of diesel and petrol engines, and at launch (in Europe) will be: a 1.4-litre Turbo MultiAir II (104kW) available with front-wheel drive and six-speed manual gearbox; 1.6 MuiltJet II (90kW) also matched with front-wheel drive and six-speed manual gearbox; and the 2.0 MultiJet II (104kW) which will power all-wheel drive models and be paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Fiat 500X official

Following the initial launch, other engines will be rolled out, including: a 1.6 “E-torQ” (82kW) paired with front-wheel drive and five-speed manual; a 1.4 Turbo MultiAir II with all-wheel drive and nine-speed automatic (this engine will also be offered on front-wheel drive models with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic); and the same configuration for the big-banger 2.4 V6 Tigershark (137kW).

The Fiat 500X, like the Jeep Renegade it’s based on, will be offered with front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive with Traction Plus configurations. Traction Plus on all-wheel drive models speeds up the shuffling of torque to the rear axle while on front-wheel drive models is able to, when it detects slip, shuffle torque to the rear axle.

Fiat 500X official

On all-wheel drive models, the Fiat 500X will be available with, again like the Jeep Renegade, rear-axle disconnect which allows the vehicle’s on-board computer brain to switch between front- and all-wheel drive without input from the driver; to improve fuel efficiency (Fiat didn’t release fuel consumption details, but you probably wouldn’t be far off if you assumed they’d be almost identical to the Jeep Renegade).

Fiat 500X official

Also available on the 500X will be a ‘Drive Mood Selector’ which is able to tweak the engine, brakes, steering and transmission behaviours to suit one of three modes: Auto selects the best settings for the situations; Sport tightens up throttle reaction, gearshift speed and steering; while All Weather allows the car to alter the drive to suit the conditions, say, for instance when you’re driving up a slippery dirt road.

With a clear connection back to its 500 family, the 500X measures 4250mm (long), 1800mm (wide), and 1610mm (high), so getting the thing around in the traffic shouldn’t be a problem. There’s no word on ground clearance, but again, the Jeep Renegade’s probably the best guide, although it’s unlikely the 500X will be offered with the same off-road oriented bits and bobs. Over in the boot, with the seats up, there’s 350 litres of storage space which is more than the hatchback version of the Mazda3 (308 litres).

Fiat 500X official

In terms of safety, the Fiat 500X will get six airbags (front, curtain and side), daytime running lights and fog lights with cornering function, as well as traction and stability controls. Depending on the market and the spec, the 500X will also offer lane departure warning, blind sport assist and a reversing camera (we’re hoping this will be standard in Australia).

Fiat 500X official

There’s no word on pricing or what model variants will be offered in Australia, but the Fiat 500X is expected Down Under late in 2015 (at the earliest).


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