Next model from the Scorpion marque could be a crossover to rival the JCW Countryman.
There are numerous advantages an automaker's own in-house performance division enjoys over aftermarket tuners, but one of them is surely timeframe: while an independent modifier has to wait until the car is released before it can start tinkering with it, an in-house performance division (think Mercedes' AMG, Chrysler's SRT or Fiat's Abarth) can start working on a new project before the car is even revealed. That, according to reports coming in from Europe, is what Abarth is doing with the upcoming Fiat 500X.
The upcoming fourth model in the Cinquecento family, the 500X will be a crossover to join the 500 hatchback, 500C convertible and 500L minivan. The 500X (or whatever it's called in the end) will surely be offered with a range of economical engines, but that won't be enough for Abarth, which is projected to release a version with around 200 horsepower to target the Mini JCW Countryman. Expect upgraded rolling stock, brakes, suspension, aero, interior and graphics to all come part of the package as well. The 500X would also expand Abarth's range beyond the Punto and 500 which currently form its backbone.