Fiat is set to unveil a five-door version of the 500 at the upcoming 2012 Geneva motor show in March called the 500L. It will come initially in five-seat form, while a seven-seat version will reportedly debut around mid-2012.
Fiat is looking to raise the roof, literally, with the new Fiat 500L, giving it increased cabin space over the conventional three-door 500.
The new model will replace the Fiat Idea, a mini MPV sold in Europe and built on the previous Fiat Punto platform. The new model will be based on an evolved version of the Fiat Mini platform (used by the new Fiat Panda), which will be widened to provide the extra interior space.
Length-wise, the Fiat 500L will add 60cm to the 500’s dimensions, while the seven-seat version, planned for further down the track, will add another 10cm.
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne expects the larger model to boost sales in the US, a market which isn’t really taking strong interest in the Italian hatch. During its first year on the market, Fiat only managed to push 26,000 out the door, roughly half of its initial goal.
The 500L will be sold in the US and Europe, but is unlikely to go on sale in Australia in the short term.