An undisguised image of Fiat’s new Nissan Juke rival, the 500X, has leaked on the forum of Italian title Quattroroute.
It shows a sportier-looking shape than its sister car, the Fiat 500L, with pronounced wheelarches that flow into chunky sills, and a more raked rear than the MPV-style 500L. It seems a sleek car that should shake off the dull image of its aged, long-gone predecessor, the Fiat Sedici.
The 500x uses the same platform as the large 500L, and will share bespoke crossover-tuned underpinnings with the Jeep Renegade small crossover that was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show 2014.
Fiat will build both models in Italy.
The 500x will benefit from the Jeep association by being much more off-road ready than many small crossovers. The Renegade is actually available in Jeep Trail Rated Trailhawk guise – this means it meets a challenging set of off-road specification issued by the Nevada Automotive Test Centre. The 500X will inherit some of this capability, particularly in four-wheel drive variants, although it won’t be quite as extreme as the Jeep.
Expect MultiAir petrol and MultiJet diesel engines, including Fiat’s characterful 0.9-litre MultiAir two-cylinder motor – although the 2.4-litre four cylinder that’s fitted to the Jeep is unlikely to be offered.
Gearboxes will include a five- and six-speed manual plus an intriguing nine-speed automatic.
To date, Fiat has only released a teaser video of the new 500X ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show 2014 next month. Watch this space; if this changes, we’ll be first to bring you more of the firm’s new rival to the Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Mokka and Ford EcoSport…