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Thursday, October 2, 2014
Fiat 500X Introduction
The long awaited Fiat 500X crossover made its debut today at the Paris Auto show. The stylish Fiat 500X was designed by Fiat Centro Stile in Italy to be elegant, athletic and to offer high performance. The new 500X will be offered in two versions: one that is geared towards the urban sophisticated type and the other the active, outdoor individual.
The first version offers distinctive, elegant style details for a metropolitan look. The other has a more off-road look, equipped to tackle leisure and outdoor activities.
The Fiat 500X will be offered in 12 colors including a matte bronze and triple layer red and yellow. Each complementing the curvaceous 500X body. There will be a total of eight different designs for the 16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior will feature fine materials, high-quality finishes and practical storage compartments and be offered in seven different interior configurations. The functional yet stylish interior is said to have numerous seat adjustments and a large luggage compartment. Luggage capacity without seats being folded is approximately 18.5 cu ft or 350 liters.
Dimension wise the European Fiat 500X is 167.32 inches long (4.25 M) with the active version being a little longer at 168.11 inches. The 500X is 70.87 inches (1.8M) wide and 63 inches (1.6M) tall. Four wheel drive versions are a little taller at 63.78 inches (1.62M) and cars with roof bars are 63.39 inches (1.61M) tall. For perspective, the Fiat 500X is a little over 4 inches longer than the 500L MPV, 0.5 inches wider and about 2 inches less tall.
In Europe, the Fiat 500X will offer various diesel and gas engines and three types of transmission – manual, 9-speed automatic or twin-clutch 6-speed automatic. There will be front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive with Traction Plus configurations.
Initially, the 500X will feature one gas and two diesel engines:
•140 HP 1.4 Turbo MultiAir II(front-wheel drive and 6-speed manual or DDCT gearbox)
•120 HP 1.6 MultiJet II diesel (front-wheel drive and 6-speed manual gearbox)
•140 HP 2.0 MultiJet II diesel (9-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive)
Later on, more powertrains will complete the lineup:
•110 HP 1.6 “E-torQ” ethenol(5-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive)
•170 HP 1.4 Turbo MultiAir II gasoline(9-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive)
•184 HP Tigershark 2.4 gasoline(9-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive)
•95 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel(5-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive)
•140 HP 2.0 MultiJet II diesel(with 6-speed manual and 4-wheel drive)
The 9-speed automatic sourced from ZF offers many advantages according to Fiat, including high capacity for acceleration and smooth delivery of power. The new nine-speed automatic transmission features "shift-on-the-fly" mapping, with the possibility of switching to manual-sequential mode.
4WD and Rear Axle Disconnect System
The 4 wheel drive version of the Fiat 500X uses a rear-axle disconnect system that automatically switches between two- and four-wheel drive depending on conditions without any input from the driver. This improves fuel economy and efficiency.
"Drive Mood Selector" and Traction Plus System
The new 500X has a three position " Drive Mood Selector," switch that allows a the driver to choose how the car drives for road conditions. The selector switch adjusts engine, brakes, steering and gearbox/transmission calibrations. The modes are: Auto (for comfort, best fuel economy and CO2 emissions), Sport (for performance driving) and All-Weather (maximum safety even in low grip conditions).
On 500X versions aimed at outdoor activities, All-Weather mode is replaced by the “Traction” function, which on four-wheel drive version, allows for quicker torque transfer to the rear axle. On the versions with front-wheel drive, it activates the “Traction Plus” control system, which improves grip on rough, slippery terrain, perfect for light, everyday off-road conditions.
Handling and Safety
The new Fiat 500X uses MacPherson suspension on all four corners and a body with the most modern active and passive safety features.
Some of the standard safety equipment is six airbags (front, window bags and side bags), front headlights with daytime running light function and fog lights with cornering function. Sophisticated ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is also standard. Advanced Lane Assist (lane departure warning system) and Blind Spot Assist (lane change assistance system to get around blind spots) are available depending on versions and market location. Optional on the 500X is a new ParkView rear camera for reversing and the "Brake Control" (assisted braking system).
The Fiat 500X will use the Uconnect™ system in 5 inch or 6.5 inch touchscreens configuration. Both versions come complete with Bluetooth interface, Aux-in connector, USB port, SD port and voice commands. The Uconnect 5 inch Radio Nav device offers TomTom 2.5D navigation. The Uconnect 6.5 inch Radio Nav features satellite navigation with 3D maps, progressive route guidance and ‘One Shot Voice Destination Entry’ to enter addresses with voice commands.
The analogue and digital radio (DAB) multimedia sources (media player, iPod, iPhone, smartphone) can be connected via USB port or Aux-in socket or through Bluetooth audio streaming. Steering wheel controls allow the driver to use the system without having to look away from the road or take your hands off the wheel.
The new Uconnect ™ Live system integrates with smartphones and allows users to be in contact with Facebook and Twitter; listen to millions of music tracks on Deezer and over 100,000 real radio stations with TuneIn. The system also allows for real-time news updates from Reuters and information on traffic, speed cameras and weather through TomTom Live services.
The Beats Hi-Fi audio system, first offered in the 500L, is optional on the 500X.
Fiat's "eco:Drive" system is also standard and offers driving hints and suggestions on improving fuel economy.
Expect to see the Fiat 500X on sale towards the end of the year in Europe. North American sales are said to begin in the second quarter of 2015.
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