North America missed on the ermm…unique…Fiat Multipla, sold in Europe in the late 1990’s, but Fiat dealers, clamoring for another product, will get the Multipla’s spiritual successor, the 500L.
Although it bears the 500 moniker, the 500L is closer in size to a Mini Countryman. Built in Fiat’s factory in Serbian (making the 500L the first Balkan car to hit the U.S. since the Yugo), engine choices for Europe include both the 1.4L 4-cylinder from the 500 and the 900cc TwinAir turbocharged 2-cylinder engine. A 1.3L Multijet diesel will also be offered. These engine choices will likely not make the cut for North America – the anemic 1.4L naturally aspirated engine will be painfully slow, and both the diesel and the TwinAir, fabulous as they are, are too bizarre for our tastes. The Abarth’s 1.4L turbocharged motor is the most probably candidate.