Fiat 500 to take on Mini
( Worldcarfans ) - Following last week's release of the three-door Fiat 500 hatchback, Fiat has announced plans to unveil a three-door "Giardiniera" station wagon or a four-wheel-drive SUV. The decision to approve the production of either model will be made at the end of 2007, as confirmed by a Fiat executive. The model will be based on the wagon body and the four-wheel-drive technology from the Fiat Panda.
Fiat hopes to imitate the success of BMW's MINI product range with the introduction of the 500 models. The Mini Clubman will debut in the fall and a Mini crossover model is also in the pipeline.
Fiat has confirmed a convertible 500 for the summer of 2008. The Abarth 500 - the sporty version with a 135bhp turbo-boosted version of the Fiat 500 1.4-liter petrol engine - is expected to debut at the end of the year, either at the Tokyo or the Bologna motor show.
Fiat expects to build 58,000 units of the Fiat 500 this year and sales targets for 2008 have increased from 120,000 units to 150,000 units due to large demand.