And replacing them with something much cooler.
Fiat is stuck in a sort of limbo in the US market. After having a fair amount of success with the 500 microcar, the Cinquecento family grew with the inclusion of the less than impressive Fiat 500L in 2014 and the 500X in 2016. The latter has become arguably one of the best Fiat products in recent years, and with the regular 500 falling away, the subcompact crossover is gaining popularity as the brand's strongest model. But a report from Auto Express suggests both the 500L and 500X are likely to be culled in the coming years, with the Italian manufacturer replacing the two with a single model called the 500XL.
According to Fiat boss Olivier Francois, while the 500L is a prime candidate for electrification going forward because of its city-car nature, "it's not a Utility Vehicle, a UV; it's an MPV, and this type of car is a little less in fashion now." Crossovers are all the rage, which is why the 500X has been a good seller for the brand, despite the 2,518 units sold in 2019 being far fewer than what rival subcompacts achieved.
With an eye on the future electrification of its models and keeping with industry trends, Fiat will nix the L and incorporate both body styles into one crossover derivative. "We're thinking maybe a blend of the X and L is the way ahead, at the end of the day. But it is not for the near future - and when I say near, I mean not by the end of this year, for sure."
The Fiat 500 design language hasn't evolved too much since the Italian manufacturer first revived the city car in 2007, but we expect the new Fiat 500XL to take inspiration from the new all-electric 500 that debuted earlier this year. This means we could see headlights with separate eyebrow-like DRLs, and on future hybrid and electric models, a partially or wholly closed-off grille. The design language will translate well into a crossover body style, but the move will leave Fiat with just two models in the United States, the 500XL and the Fiat 124 Spider.