Here's Why Fiat Never Built A 500X Abarth

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Even though a prototype was built.

Way back in 2014, we were almost certain that Fiat would build a sporty Abarth version of its 500X crossover. Fiat's European design chief said the 500X would make a great platform for an Abarth model and the renderings of it looked fantastic. At the time, a 500X Abarth would have made a solid competitor for the equally quirky Nissan Juke Nismo. Unfortunately, the idea never materialized, and Dutch outlet AutoRai finally has an answer from Fiat as to why.

In an interview with AutoRai, Nicolino Paolo, product manager of the Fiat 500X and Jeep Cherokee, said he was involved in the construction of a 500X Abarth prototype. "In my opinion, it was and still is a great idea, but you also have to look at the market situation," Paolo said. Just as Fiat said back in 2014, Paolo confirmed that "the Fiat 500X lends itself perfectly to a sportier version of Abarth. The chassis already has a sporty setup."

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In fact, Fiat was so confident that a 500X Abarth would work, it tested several engines in the prototype. Paolo said "In the past, we have built one prototype in which we have tried different engines, including a stronger version of the 1.4 T-Jet four-cylinder turbo engines from the Abarth 595 and Abarth 695, but also the 1.8-liter from the Alfa Romeo 4C, the so-called 1,750 TBi engine." That's right, Fiat actually built a 500X with the engine out of the Alfa Romeo 4C. This sounds incredible, so why didn't Fiat put it into production?

Unfortunately, the company could not make a business case for it. "We tried to get the green light for the model, but in the end, it turned out that there was no good business case and that the investments were too high for Abarth. It was simply too expensive to develop the car," Paolo confirmed.

Well, there you have it, the story of how we almost got an Alfa Romeo-powered 500X Abarth. Paolo did confirm that "We will come up with a sportier-oriented version, similar to the previous Fiat 500X S-Design," also stating that "it will be on the market within a year."

Alfa Romeo

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