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The new Fiat crossover will replace the Fiat Sedici, and become the fourth variant in the Fiat 500 range. It will share Fiat’s small vehicle architecture platform with the Fiat Punto and the 500L (Shown Above). The 500X and the new Jeep, which is going by the codename B-SUV, will be offered with a four wheel drive setup likely borrowed from the Fiat Panda.
The 500X will go on sale in worldwide markets before the new Jeep is introduced in North America, with production slated to begin at Fiat’s plant in Mirafiori, Italy in December 2013. This means that the Jeep B-SUV will likely not start production until mid-2014.
The Jeep should receive a “trail-rated” version thanks to its four wheel drive capability, and is also going to be available with Fiat’s MultiJet diesel engine. A 900cc TwinAir motor and a 1.4-litre four-cylinder are the likely candidates for gasoline engines.
Plans for a new Jeep model below the Compass and Patriot have been pushed back as part of a larger financial reorganization within Chrysler parent company Fiat. The new model, code named B-SUV, was to be built at the automaker’s Mirafiori plant in Italy, but a $1.3 billion expansion of that facility has been pushed back a year.
Further delaying the process, Fiat will first move ahead with a sister-vehicle to the B-SUV for sale in Europe to replace the Sedici model, which is currently based on the Suzuki SX4. That model will begin production in later 2013, with the Jeep not planned for assembly until mid 2014. Once the expansion is completed, Fiat expects to built up to 280,000 of the compact crossovers based on the new Small Wide platform, which underpins the recently revealed Fiat 500L.
The new platform is capable of running all-wheel drive and so it’s expected the B-SUV will get Jeep’s “Trail Rated” stamp of approval.
With Italy as one of its main markets, it’s no surprise that the Fiat Group would bring a huge collection of new and special edition models to the Bologna Motor Show. This year, the Fiat Group will headline the local auto show with a new 2012 Fiat Sedici model, a Fiat 500 Nation Limited Edition, a Fiat TwinAir 500, a Fiat 500C by Gucci, a Lancia Ypsilon Black&Red, an Abarth 595 turismo, 595 competizione, 695 Assetto Corse, and a Punto scorpione.
Fiat’s Sedici receives a minor facelift for 2012, six years after its initial launch. It’ll be available in three different trim levels, Dynamic, Emotion and Experience, with two engine options, a 1.6L 120-hp and a 2.0L 135-hp MultiJet diesel. Both models can be purchased with front-wheel-drive or selectable all-wheel-drive. Updates to the Sedici’s exterior includes a new color option (Rebellious Purple), painted roof rails and 16-inch wheels for the Experience model.
We’ve already seen Fiat’s 500C by Gucci, and the Fiat 500 Nation Limited Edition, so we’ll turn our attention to the four Abarth special editions that’ll be making an appearance. The new Abarth 595 will be making its world premiere in Bologna in two forms, the turismo and competizione, with the turismo targeted towards personality and comfort while the competizione is built for the racing purist.
Both Abarth 595 models will be powered by a 1.4L Turbo T-Jet powerplant with 160-hp and 170 lb-ft of torque in Sport mode. The turismo model sports a two-tone paint job and the vehicle on display at Bologna will feature Fiat’s Rosso Officina and Grigio Pista accented by a white liner. Turismo graphics are a finishing touch alongside the 17-inch titanium-colored wheels.
On the competizione model, Abarth outfitted the 595 with a five-speed manual transmission, metallic Grigio Record scheme with 17-inch titanium-colored wheels. Behind each race-styled wheel are yellow Brembo brake calipers. The interior further lends the racing spirit to the car with Abarth Corsa by Sabelt leather and alcantara seats. Both 595s also have customization suspension kits and brakes available as options.
The Abarth 695 Assetto Corse has been designed for track racing, and features an aggressive front-end design with a complete aerodynamic spoiler and screen-printed grilles. In the rear of the car is a winged spoiler and twin exhaust pipe. Under the hood is a 205-hp 1.4L turbocharged powerplant while 17-inch racing wheels puts the power to the ground. The interior features all the safety equipment required by FIA regulations including a roll-bar welded to the body. The side windows have been lightened thanks to the use of Lexan, making it 66-lbs lighter than the previous 500 Assetto Corse.
The last of the Abarth models is the Punto scorpione, a limited edition model with just 99 vehicles being made. A two-tone Nero Scorpione paint scheme is further contrasted with a special matte black paintwork on the hood and roof. Under the hood is a 1.4L MultiAir engine with 180-hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. Braking performance is enhanced with four-piston yellow brake calipers while the suspension features front and rear Koni shock absorbers and specially lowered springs.
Lastly, the Fiat Group will be introducing a Black&Red edition of the Lancia Ypsilon coming in four different color choices, two reds, a black and a two-tone black and red scheme. Other the hood is a 1.2L 69-hp engine or a 95-hp 1.3L turbo diesel.