The 500X will be sold in 100 countries including European markets and the United States. It is almost identical to a styling model briefly shown in July 2012. The 500X is especially important to halt losses and sliding market share at Fiat's operations in Europe.
The 500X will arrive in European dealerships in the first quarter of next year, and next summer in the U.S. It will be offered with front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive options but won't target customers of its sister model, the Jeep Renegade, which is aimed at the U.S. brand's off-road enthusiasts.
While the models have common underpinnings, "the 500X and Renegade are two very different cars," Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the auto show here. The Fiat is a crossover, and "the Jeep is a Jeep," he said. "You wouldn't be able to follow a Jeep Renegade uphill with the 500X," Marchionne said.
Francois said the 500X will target the mainstream customers and its 4250mm length helps to make it roomy inside. Luggage capacity is 350 liters.
The two vehicles share engines, transmissions and other key components to cut costs. Like the Renegade, the 500X will have a nine-speed automatic as one of its transmission options. Other transmission options are six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes.
The 500X will be offered in Europe with four gasoline and three diesel engine options. U.S. engine details have not yet been released. Safety equipment will include blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.
The 500X's all-wheel-drive option may help the car compete with Europe's subcompact crossover segment leaders, the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, which are only available in front-wheel-drive variants.