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500X Abarth coming?

by Bill Cawthon on

According to a report in today’s Il Sole 24 Ore, an Abarth version of the Fiat 500X crossover might debut at the 2015 Frankfurt International Auto Show next month. Allpar will be covering the show.

Supporting the rumor is FCA Europe chief Alfredo Altavilla’s statement that, “In addition to the future 124 and 500, we are thinking about a brand new addition to the line-up of Abarth. The 500X is one of the options taken into account.”

Fiat-500X-Abarth

If the Abarth 500X gets the green light for production, it would allow Abarth, a separate brand in Europe, to become a player in the growing crossover market. It would compete with the the Nissan Juke Nismo and Mini Countryman JCW.  Il Sole 24 Ore wrote that a high-performance version could also help drive sales of the regular 500X in the United States.

The first to suggest an Abarth upgrade was Roberto Giolitto, design director for the Fiat brand and the “father” of the 500X. Last year, he said the crossover was “absolutely perfect in terms of handling and control. The driver’s seat is ideal for maximum control. Abarth, in short, would be perfect.”

To replace the 500X’s current engine, 500X Abarth could use a version of the 1750 cc four in the Alfa Romeo 4C.

FCA Italy has denied the rumor, but with the expansion of the Abarth line onto the upcoming Fiat 124 and Mr. Altavilla’s desire to build the Abarth brand, one can never be sure.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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