Fiat 500L seven-seater

19 Apr, 2012 4:42pm Sam Hardy

We've grabbed pictures of the forthcoming seven-seat Fiat 500L at Fiat's design studio in Turin

The Fiat 500L MPV will grow into a whole family of new models – and Auto Express has the pictures to prove it. These are the first images of a new seven-seater version, which we were given access to at the company’s Turin design studio.

It follows on from the five-seater 500L, and also goes on sale early next year – but there are plans for a sporty Nissan Juke-rivalling SUV, too. 

The seven-seater has the same 500-esque styling as the standard car and the same wheelbase. But it gets a 20cm longer rear overhang to fit a third row of seats, as you can see in our pictures.

“The 500L will become a family and a sub-brand for Fiat,” design director Roberto Giolito told Auto Express. “All of the seats in the seven-seater will tip and fold flat. This car will appeal to a different market than the five-seater.”

The seven-seater confirms that Fiat is expanding the reach of the 500 range, just as MINI has done with models like the Countryman SUV. The five-seat 500L replaces the slow-selling Fiat Idea and rivals cars like the Ford B-MAX and C-MAX; the seven-seater replaces the Multipla and targets models like the Grand C-MAX.

“We looked at doing a 500 Estate like the old Giardiniera, but it ended up very complex,” Giolito told us. “It would also have been a very small niche, so we decided to develop the 500L alongside it.

“The next step is to do a lifestyle vehicle, something with more of a 4x4 look.”

Fiat has already produced concept sketches, showing a beefed-up, Juke-rivalling version of the 500L with a raised ride height, larger alloy wheels and roof rails.