Turin to replace Multipla with smaller, cheaper, but still unconventional MPV
27 February 2008

Fiat’s mid-sized people-carrier, the Multipla, will be replaced in 2010 by a lower, cheaper, but no less daring MPV that shares a platform with the Fiat Bravo and the new Lancia Delta.As Autocar has learned, the new MPV will be slightly lower and longer than the current one. It's unlikely to retain the same two-rows-of-three seating arrangement as the current Multipla, due to limitations with the Bravo mechanicals. However, our Fiat source was quick to point out that it would not betray the Multipla’s reputation for innovation. “We want to avoid making a ‘me-too’ car,” he advised – so expect other quirks from this rival for the Vauxhall Zafira, Renault Scenic and Citroen C4 Picasso.Using modified Bravo underpinnings might limit Fiat's seating options, but it should allow it to be more aggressive with the new car’s pricing. It’ll be available in both five- and seven-seat guise, starting at around £13,000, making it the cheapest people-carrier of its kind barring the old-gen Citroen Xsara Picasso, which may have been discontinued by the time of its arrival.

Bye-bye to one big MPV, hello to another

Fiat’s larger seven-seat MPV, the Ulysse, will not be replaced by the Italian car-maker, according to our source. The Ulysse was removed from UK sale in 2006 after very slow sales; however, its new-generation Lancia sibling, the Phedra, will go on, and as the ultimate example of the brand's new "style, luxury and space" philosophy, is highly likely to become one of the new breed of Lancias imported to the UK in 2009.

The hot ones: new Fiat Coupe, Barchetta

Meanwhile, proposals for an Abarth Coupe and Spyder (as replacements for the Fiat Coupe and Barchetta) are currently “under consideration” by Fiat brass. Both cars would be likely to share a common platform as Abarth’s first bespoke vehicles but, according to our source, neither has yet been signed off.The next car to be launched under the Abarth flag will be a warm version of the Fiat 500 Convertible, which itself launches in early 2009.

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