Four-door Fiat 500L gearing up for Geneva debut

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Fiat is unleashing a new four-door version of the 500, the 500L. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Fiat announced some time ago that the company was working on a four-door version of the 500. The car, which is called the 500L, is about to debut at the Geneva Auto Show.

Pint size four-door ready for debut

The Fiat 500 is a very successful minicar abroad and hasn’t been a total dud in the United States, either. Fiat announced some time ago that it was going to be bringing out a four-door version of the 500 to augment its lineup.

According to Inside Line, the first rendered photos of the car were recently released by Fiat, which is going to be called the 500L. The car is slated to debut at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show and will be on sale in the United States by 2013.

L is for Large

The “L,” according to AutoBlog, stands for “Large,” and Fiat is not kidding. The car is not just a 500 that’s been given a chassis extension with two more doors; this is the super-sized version.

The 500L is taller, wider and longer, measuring 162.9 inches long, 70 inches wide and standing 65.3 inches tall. The typical 500, according to Fiat, is 139.6 inches long, 64.1 inches wide and 59.8 inches tall.

The car is getting three engines, according to AutoCar, though it isn’t known if all engine options will come to the United States. There will be two 1.4-liter gas engines, one being the 1.4-liter MultiAir engine and the other being the 1.4-liter two-cylinder engine, the TwinAir, that’s available in Europe. There is also a 1.3-liter MultiJet II diesel. The two-cylinder and diesel options seem less likely for the United States.

AutoCar also reports the 500L will share design elements from the 600 Multipla, produced from the mid-1950s into the mid-1960s. The Multipla was “cab-forward,” as the front of the cabin sat atop the front axle, giving the car more interior space. The car is a five-seater, but Europe is going to get a seven-seat version as well, according to AutoBlog

Head to head with some others

This Fiat could make for a serious contender in the “B” segment as a roomy compact, especially if it prices close to $20,000. The Fiat is a little bigger than the MiniCooper Countryman and about the same size as the Toyota Matrix and the Kia Soul.

[New Matrix models available at Sandy Springs Toyota]

The Nissan Juke Crossover is roughly the same size, though a little shorter. Many other models are a bit longer, such as the Hyundai Elantra Touring, Subaru Impreza hatchbacks, the Ford Focus and the Mazda CX-5.

However, assuming fuel economy for the 500L is roughly the same as the 500, which gets up to 37 miles per gallon highway with a manual and 34 with an automatic, few eclipse it. Only the Ford Focus does better than 37 mpg highway, as it can get 40 mpg highway with the Select Shift package.


Inside Line




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