Fiat’s new 500X compact SUV has gone official at last, following months of spy photos, teasers and, back in 2012, a first on-stage glimpse.
An Australian launch for the 500X remains an ‘under consideration’ prospect, but there can be little doubt that a compact SUV would do much for the brand’s local sales.
Today’s event saw the 500X revealed in two forms, one with a town-focused chic style and the other with a more rugged look.
Both models, of course, are built on underpinnings shared with Jeep's new Renegade crossover, although the 500X is a touch longer.
The Renegade measures 4230mm long, the 500X comes in at 4250mm in ‘urban’ form, while the ruggedised model’s bigger bumpers add another 20mm.
The Jeep and Fiat models both measure 1800mm wide however, and while not confirmed, it is believed the 500X rides on the same 2570mm wheelbase.
The 500X will be initially be offered with Fiat’s 103kW 1.4 turbocharged MultiAir II petrol engine, matched to a six-speed manual and a front-wheel-drive layout.
Diesel options will also be offered at launch, including the 88kW 1.6 MultiJet II in manual/FWD form, and a range-topping 103kW diesel with all-wheel-drive and a nine-speed auto.
Sometime after launch, the 500X range will pick up an 1.6 litre 80kW ‘E-torQ’ model in five-speed manual and FWD form.
More powerful models will follow, including a 127kW 1.4 turbo petrol and a flagship 137kW 2.4 turbo petrol, both matched to the nine-speed auto and all-wheel-drive.
As with the Renegade, the 500X’s all-wheel-drive system will feature a rear-axle disconnection system that reduces drag when all-wheel-drive isn’t needed - switching the SUV to front-wheel-drive.
Importantly, the ‘rugged’ version of the 500X will also feature a Drive Mood Selector, adjusting engine, transmission, steering and brakes to suit the mode selected and the driving conditions.
Those options will include Auto (focused on comfort and fuel efficiency), Sport and All-Weather.
Watch for details on the 500X’s potential for an Australian launch.