TURIN – Fiat says its latest model, the 500L, will combine minivan and SUV features in a bid to win new customers for its 500 minicar range.
The 500L - the L stands for "large" - is the fourth 500 variant following the hatchback, convertible and Abarth versions.
The five-door, high-roof 500L will debut in March at the Geneva auto show.
The 500L will be a "distinctive alternative" to cars with traditional designs in the minicar and subcompact segments, Fiat said in a statement released on Thursday along with the first pictures of the car.
The car's front end is similar to the 500 but the 500L variant sits on a widened version of Fiat's small vehicle architecture used by the Punto subcompact.
The 500L is 4140mm long, about 600mm longer than the 500 hatchback. It is 1780mm wide and 1660mm high.
Fiat will eventually offer two versions of the 500L: a five-seat model which will debut first, followed two months later by a seven-seat variant.
Sales of the 500L in Europe will begin in the fourth quarter. The seven-seat variant will only be sold in Europe while the five-seat model will also be exported to the United States beginning early next year. Fiat believes American customers won't buy a seven-seat vehicle as small as the 500L.
Engines include Fiat's TwinAir turbocharged two-cylinder 900cc gasoline unit with 85hp, a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with 77hp or 105hp, as well as a 1-3-liter diesel with 75hp or 95hp.