Posted: 29 Oct 2012 01:00 AM PDT
Fiat 500 range set to grow from February with new five and seven-seat MPVs and rugged crossovers
This five-seat compact MPV will be followed in September by a seven-seater (tagged 500XL in development), a rugged 500L Trekking by the end of 2013 and, in spring 2014, a 500X crossover to take on the Mini Countryman.
The 500XL is described by insiders as a "further development of the 500L". It will be "longer and wider" and sit beside its smaller sister car just as the Ford Grand C-Max and Ford C-Max do.
The Trekking will have a raised ride height, rugged body cladding and electronic traction control to give it some of the off-road abilities of an all-wheel drive vehicle while remaining front-drive only, much like the Panda Trekking.
The 500X was previewed at the launch of the 500L in the summer, but Fiat has yet to announce its Countryman rival. Insiders say it is still some way off production, but is being conceived with bigger, more powerful engines and sleek crossover styling to give the 500 range its most upmarket and expansive push yet.
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