Performance version of Fiat’s crossover is under consideration, with four-wheel drive and 170bhp
21 December 2015

Fiat is likely to bring an Abarth-tuned version of the 500X crossover to market in 2017 as the Italian company looks to expand its line-up.

While plans for a more powerful, Abarth-branded version of the 124 Spider, Fiat’s most recent new 
model, are well known, the tuning house is also considering a breathed-on version of the 500X, with 
the resulting model acting 
as a rival to the likes of the 
Mini Countryman JCW and Nissan Juke Nismo RS.

Nothing is official at this stage, but Abarth boss Paolo Gagliardo has spoken candidly about his desire to expand the Abarth range beyond its current 500-based models. “We want to keep growing and stabilise at a certain level,” he told Automotive News Europe, while admitting that the UK and Italy are currently two of Abarth’s biggest markets.

Gagliardo also confirmed that the Fiat brand wants to make a return to rallying, and while it was initially suggested that the Abarth 124 Spider would be the favoured choice to enter the World Rally Championship, a performance-inspired 500X would be another option.

The 500X is available with the same 1.4 Multiair II petrol engine that’s offered in the 
124 Spider, in both cases producing 138bhp.

The Multiair II motor is known to be highly adaptable, and Abarth engineers have hinted that up to 170bhp will be extracted for their version of the 124 Spider. A similar amount is expected for the Abarth 500X, with drive sent to all four wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

By comparison, both the Mini Countryman JCW and 
the Nissan Juke Nismo RS produce 215bhp from their respective turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engines.As with other Abarth models, the 500X is likely to receive significant interior and exterior styling upgrades, new badging and graphics and distinctive wheel designs.

The model is expected to be sold worldwide, but with a particular focus on the US, where one in five Fiat 500s are currently sold as Abarths.

Read our full review on the Fiat 500X SUV

Our Verdict

Fiat 500X
Fiat 500X costs from £17,595

Decent styling, a well-judged interior and good practicality means Fiat's 500X is a worthy entrant on your compact crossover shortlist

Join the debate

Comments
11

21 December 2015

what's all the fuss over 32 more horsepower, it should be a no brainer to compete with the market and should have done sooner.
In North America the extra power is well needed specially when the Fiat nameplate has been a tough sell with very modest sales.

21 December 2015

Emm don't Fiat already sell a 1.4 Turbo MultiAir II 170 HP 4x4 with 9 speed Auto and four wheel drive? It's £24,000 by the way, all Abarth have to do is swap the gearbox over add a badge and £3,000 to the price. And as I've been saying for a long time Fiat really need to try harder all they've got is the 500 and a diminishing share in Ferrari.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

21 December 2015

I agree this is daft - this car/engine combination is already on sale. Plus, it will not be remotely competitive with the Mini or Juke at 215HP so what is the point of this story - or have Autocar just got it wrong and it'll be a more powerful engine.

21 December 2015

Hard to see any of the articles on here nowadays without that dratted mini advert blocking the whole page. I now hate Mini.

21 December 2015

Couldn't agree more about the MINI advert - it's really putting me off coming here, and every buying a MINI!

21 December 2015

I'll agree with both of you. Along with the ever extending articles and 2 year 25 page comments pages, Autocar seem to be actively trying to drive away their online readers.

21 December 2015

Yup, I dislike that Mini advert too. My remedy is (and to complete the sentence)..... to shut down the browser. The advert is the equivalent of a door being shut in your face. Sorry, Mini advertising agent, Zero Points for this one.

21 December 2015

I like the look of this, the Abarth treatment works better here than on the ordinary 500, where to my eyes it is totally at odds with the cuteness and friendliness of that design.

jer

21 December 2015

They've just gone crazy and are asking for trouble governments will legislate to restrict power to 150 bhp.

21 December 2015

They better concentrate on getting the Giulia right.

ofir

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