It will go on sale in the UK in the second quarter of 2015 and sit alongside the regular 500 and larger 500L derivatives in Fiat's line-up.
Two versions of the new model have been created, mirroring a strategy adopted with the 500L and 500L Trekking. One is intended as a chic urban car, while the other has more rugged design themes.
The 500X gets the same retro-inspired styling as the rest of the 500 family, but also includes a more prominent front-end grille design, with chrome trim used around the front bumper. Tinted windows, roof rails and a boot-mounted lip spoiler also feature.
Designed at Fiat's Centro Stile design hub, the new 500X sits on a modified version of the SCCS platform that underpins the Fiat Punto and Vauxhall Corsa. It measures 4.25 metres in length, while the rugged version is 2cm longer. Both versions are 1.80m wide and 1.61m in height.
Boot space is put at 350 litres, and Fiat is playing up the "extensive use of high-grade materials, top-quality finishes and practical storage compartments" inside the car. Personalisation plays a large role in the 500X's appeal: a choice of 12 different body colours and eight designs for the alloy wheels will be offered. Wheels come in three sizes – 16in, 17in and 18in.
The engine range comprises four petrol engines and three diesels. Front-wheel drive, petrol-powered models are either equipped with a 108bhp 1.6-litre engine with a five-speed manual gearbox or a 138bhp, turbocharged 1.4-litre with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed twin-clutch transmission.
All-wheel-drive petrol models, which are equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard, are powered either by a 168bhp version of the turbocharged 1.4-litre or a 181bhp, 2.4-litre engine. The latter will not be offered in the UK.
The front-wheel-drive oilburning range starts with a 94bhp, 1.3-litre turbodiesel that comes equipped with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard. Next up is a 118bhp, 1.6-litre turbodiesel equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox.
The four-wheel-drive diesel option is the 138bhp 2.0-litre, which is fitted with either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission. The 500X is the first Fiat to be offered with this nine-speed gearbox.
The 500X incorporates a 'Drive Mode Selector' that offers three modes for engine, brake, steering and transmission settings. Auto is the most frugal, Sport is geared towards spirited driving and All Weather' adjusts the settings to best cope with low-grip conditions.
On the more rugged version, the All Weather mode is replaced by a Traction function, which speeds up the transmission of torque to the rear axle on four-wheel-drive versions or activates a Traction Plus control system on front-wheel-drive cars.
The latter, says Fiat, suits drivers who only encounter extreme low-traction situations occasionally and can't justify the additional costs associated with a conventional four-wheel-drive system.
Cabin technology includes 5.0- or 6.5-inch Uconnect colour touchscreen infotainment systems depending on variant. Both systems feature Bluetooth, aux-in and USB connectivity and can be operated via steering wheel remote controls and voice commands. A new Uconnect Live system integrates with smartphones.