Instead of simply fitting an extra two doors to the standard 500 and stretching the wheelbase, Fiat will base it on a modified version of the Punto platform – like the larger 500L.
But classic styling cues will be carried over from the 500, such as the two-part headlights, short bonnet and steeply raked pillars, to keep the car in line with the rest of the family. When when the car arrives, it will take the expanded 500 range to eight separate models.
Head of Fiat Group design Lorenzo Ramaciotti told us: “There are some rumours in the press about the five-door 500, but what we know for sure is that next year we’ll have the 500X. We already have the 500L so we won’t stop there; it’s reasonable that there’ll be further additions.”
Since the revival of the 500 name in 2007, Fiat has followed up the standard 500 city car with the soft-top 500C and a sizzling Abarth 500, plus practical 500L, 500L Trekking and seven-seat 500L MPW models.
Next year, the SUV-inspired 500X will arrive, too. Responding to the suggestion of a possible five-door 500 being introduced shortly after the 500X in 2014, Ramaciotti said: “It’ll be about 2015, as we cannot launch too many cars altogether.”
While Fiat has yet to make an official announcement, the five-door is expected to share engines with other 500s. That means four-cylinder diesels and petrols, plus a sub-100g/km 875cc TwinAir.
Ramaciotti said: “The brand’s future will be running on these two rails. The 500 is for more emotional and exclusive models; the Panda is for more practical and easy-to-use cars.”