According to Brazilian enthusiast site bestcars.com.br, Fiat will start selling the 500 L in Europe this month. Deliveries will begin in October. The good news is that the minivan will be available in 100 countries, including the good old USA. Fiat took the opportunity to supply more info on the first stem off its iconic Cinquecento that will spawn a slew of cars including the 500 X. Read on to find out the details.
The minivan will be available with three engines. The smallest is a turbo twin cylinder with MultiAir technology that displaces just 900 cm³ and is good for an astonishing 105 hp and 14.7 m.kgf (3.01 pounds per in²) of torque. Fiat will also offer a more traditional 1.4L 16v gasoline engine producing 95 hp and 12.7 m.kgf (2.6 pounds per in²) of torque. The diesel will be a turbo 1.3L MultiJet with just 85 hp, but 20.4 m.kgf (4.18 pounds per in²). They will be mated to 5 and 6-speed manuals. At least initially. Of course, once in America, an auto will be available.
On the safety side the car comes with frontal and side curtain bags. Knee bags and side torso bags will be optional. Stability control, air conditioning et al are all included. As far as I know, in a first for Fiat, the 500 L will feature a gizmo called City Brake Control. It consists of auto brakes which will brake the car independently of the driver’s reaction at low speeds.
In terms of decoration, the 500 L will follow the 500’s lead and offer two-tone body paint (black or white roof), 3 color combos for the wheels and a variety of internal colors. The minivan will come with Fiat’s UConnect system that lets the drives navigate, control the audio, Bluetooth among other functions via its 5 in. touchscreen display. The back seat can be adjusted in 12 different positions.
Size-wise, Americans will be forgiven if they think of this minivan as a microvan. It stretches out 4.14 m (4.53 yd.), it is 1.78 m (1.95 yd.) wide and 1.66 m (5.45 ft.) tall. It seats 5 and the trunk is largish and holds 400 L (14.13 ft.³) of bags.
So, what do you say, on paper at least, does this car have what it takes to make it in America’s big, open, flat spaces, or will it be forever condemned to eke out a living in America’s congested, coastal, urban centers?
To my Brazilian readers, the word is no, we can’t have it! Fiat prefers to force-feed us the Idea that is produced locally. The 500 X however, might make it to our shores. If this holds true, it lends credence to the production and eventual sale of the 500 X in America and Canada as it will likely be produced in Mexico.