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The Cool and Capable Fiat 500L

The Cool and Capable Fiat 500L

 

The Fiat 500L which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year was launched in Europe this week. This follows on the success of the Fiat 500 models such as the Abarth and the Cabrio. The Fiat 500L will be produced at a newly renovated plant in Kragujevac, Serbia.

In South Africa the Fiat 500 currently sells about 70 units a month which is not too bad for the supermini segement (B segment).

It seems that Fiat is following the already successful formula that the Mini has formed over the years, which has seen the launch of the Mini S, the Mini Cabrio, the Mini Clubman, the Mini Country Man, Mini Clubvan and as far I can figure there are still many more to come. If that’s the case should we now be waiting for a Clubman/Countryman type rival. Believe it or not Auto Express this week confirmed that Fiat will be building a Fiat 500 X which will be a rugged crossover version of the Fiat 500 with a launch date of late 2013.

Anyway back to the story at hand the Fiat 500L claims to give the feel of a small SUV on the road with levels of efficiency typical of a compact car.

According to Fiat the Letter L sums up the three aspects that the Fiat 500L strives for, Large, Light and Loft.

Large refers to the functionality and space the Fiat 500L offers. The Fiat 500L is claimed to easily accommodate five passengers 2 meters tall with five suitcases without compromising on passenger space. The ‘Fold&Tumble’ function will also allow for the rear seats to be completed folded down to increase load space. Apart from that Fiat 500L owners will also be able to configure the interior in 1500 configurations. The design of the car allows for more interior space by using “cab forward” principles.

Light as defined by the Fiat designers refers to lightness’ feeling that improves and simplifies the quality of life, that innovation that is not an end in itself, but always to man’s benefit. Based on the press info we can surmise that they are referring to the cars eco friendly credentials as well as the ease of use of the technology in the car.

The Fiat 500L will launch with three engine derivatives distinguished by their lower polluting emissions and CO2 levels. These engines being the 105 HP (78kW) 0.9 TwinAir and 95 HP (71kW) 1.4 litres petrol engines and the  85 HP (63kW) 1.3 MultiJet 2 turbodiesel engine.

From a technology perspective the Fiat 500L boasts a Uconnect multimedia system with a 5” touchscreen. The Uconnect System will allow you to manage all the major media content of the car such as radio, mobile phone, Media Player, iPod or smartphone. The system will also allow users to make calls hands-free and listen to incoming SMS messages without taking your hands off the steering wheel thanks to the voice recognition function and the controls on the steering wheel.

Loft refers to the contemporary, wide, open and luminous dimension of the Fiat 500L which aims to achieve greater external visibility and a large amount of internal light. The glass roof which is available in two versions, electric roof or Skydome , floods the passenger.  The Fiat 500L will be available in 11 colours which is touted as being class leading.

Helping to personalise the car, Mopar have released 140 different products that customers will be able to choose from to cater for leisure activities and improved quality of life on board.

Fiat will offer a new premium sound system developed in collaboration with Beats Audio. If you’ve been out of the loop the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones have been a worldwide hit over the last few months due to their superb sound quality (and general street appeal).

To top it off the Fiat 500L will be the first standard production car to offer a Lavazza expresso coffee machine. Brilliant idea if I may so myself. My trip to work everyday would be that much easier in the morning.

Anyway no word on the Fiat 500L for South Africa yet but lets hope we get most of the options available to the Europeans, especially that Lavazza expresso coffee machine.

Check the pics and videos below.

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