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Fiat 500X on way

A pumped-up version of the Fiat 500 leads an SUV explosion, with new models from Peugeot, Renault, Ford, Jeep and SsangYong

If you thought the 500 looked good, just wait for the 500X. That’s what the new SUV version will be called – and it’s the next step in Fiat’s growing 500-badged family, following on from the 500L MPV.

It shares the same chassis – based around the latest Panda’s – and will be similar in size. But it’ll be even better looking, with a sweeping coupe-like shape as our illustration shows.

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Most versions will be front-wheel drive, yet there are rumours that Fiat will offer a 4x4 model, too, just like the Panda. Expect a starting price of around £14,000 when it arrives in 2013.

The rivals

Peugeot 2008

Coming 2013

At the Beijing Motor Show, Peugeot unveiled the 208-based Urban Crossover Concept – a Juke rival with a focus on city drivers. It gets the company’s latest design language, with swept-back headlights, a bold chrome grille and a prominent bonnet badge. The car is feasible for production, too, using the same platform and engines as the new 208 – ranging from an efficient 1.4-litre e-HDi to a flagship 1.6-litre turbo. When the Urban Crossover Concept goes on sale next year, it will be called the 2008 and cost from £13,000.

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Renault SUV

Coming 2013

The first of a raft of new SUVs from Renault is based on Nissan’s Juke. The as-yet-unnamed car is inspired by the Captur concept seen at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, and will be offered in front and all-wheel-drive form. Engines are likely to be shared with the Juke, meaning a 1.6-litre turbo petrol and 1.5-litre turbodiesel. Renault is also working on a larger Qashqai-based SUV, and has shown an even bigger X-Trail-based concept called the Hi-Cross.

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Jeep SUV

Coming 2013

Jeep also has a new baby SUV on the way. It will be based on the platform of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and take its design cues from the Renegade concept, with two or four-wheel drive and Fiat Multijet diesels The supermini-sized SUV could arrive as early as next year and is part of Jeep's ambitious plans to quadruple its sales in the UK.

Ford Ecosport

Coming 2014

The Fiesta-based Ecosport has been developed by Ford’s South American division, and debuted in Delhi earlier this year. It’s aimed at emerging markets, with a tweaked version likely to come here and sit below the Kuga. Engine options will include Ford’s new three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo.

MG Icon

Coming 2015

The Icon crossover concept could become the first modern-era MG roadster. Its designer, Brit Steve Harper, told us: “We asked, what would the MGB GT be like today? This could be it.” The front has shades of the MGB, while the platform will also underpin next year’s MG3.

SsangYong XIV-2

Coming 2015

The XIV-2 concept hints at SsangYong’s future. It has a clever ‘sardine-tin’ fabric roof, and if it gets the green light, it’ll join Korando crossover and Rexton and Rodius seven-seaters.

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