Car news

07 December 2012

Fiat 500 L coming to India next year

Punto-based MPV to arrive by the middle of 2013 in a bid to take on the Maruti Ertiga.

Ashish Masih
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If yesterday's announcement of Fiat's big plans for the coming years wasn't enough, we’ve come to learn from reliable sources that Fiat is all set to launch the all-new 500 L MPV next year as well. Though it looks like a bigger version of the cute 500 hatchback, the MPV is actually based on an extended Punto platform.

Fiat bosses have decided to launch it in the middle of 2013, just around the start of the new financial year and after the financial budget. The most likely engine for the car will be a 1.3-litre diesel Multi-jet unit with 90bhp (the same one that powers the diesel Ertiga and Fiat’s own Linea saloon). Fiat is currently working on this engine to improve its fuel efficiency, low-rev response as well as refinement. The other engine could well be a 1.4-litre, 94bhp petrol.

It is still not clear whether the MPV will be sold in its Euro-spec five seat version to take on the Renault Duster, or will the wheelbase be extended to add two extra seats and make it a seven-seater Ertiga-rival. Chances are strong of it being the latter though. At 4,140mm length, 1780mm width and 1660mm height, it is wider than the Ertiga but marginally shorter.

Since it will be based on the Punto platform, it will share a lot of components with the hatchback, which should help keep the price down. Just like the Ertiga, the 500L should appeal to city commuters with its light controls and high set seats that give a commanding view of the road ahead.

The car offers practicality too. The rear seats all slide back and forth, and split-fold 60:40, too. Owners will also be able to fold down the front passenger seat and there are 22 different storage spaces around the car’s cabin. There’s up to 400 litres of storage in the boot with the rear seats pushed forward.

If Fiat can price it right, then the 500 L should retail at around Rs 10 lakh for the diesel versions base model. This could be Fiat’s big ticket return, right TopGear.commers?

Tags: duster, ertiga, mpv, 500l, fiat

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