SUVs and crossovers are all the rage right now, and Fiat is hoping to cash in on the trend with their 2016 500X. The model offers crossover buyers a stylish Italian alternative to competitors like the Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax, and with an Abarth version being considered, performance crossovers like the Nissan Juke Nismo RS may also soon have a new competitor on their hands.
Speaking to AutoExpress, Fiat Chrysler Group chief operating officer Alfredo Altavilla said the 500X is “one of the options being considered,” to get the Abarth treatment. The other potential model to be upgraded by Abarth is the incoming 124 Spider, which will share a platform with the current ND-generation Mazda Miata.
If the Abarth boys do get their hands on the 500X, it may offer a lower ride stance with stiffer suspension, sport wheels and tires, redesigned front and rear bumpers and side skirts, twin-exit exhaust and other performance enhancements. Under the hood could be the 1.75-liter four-cylinder used in the lauded Alfa Romeo 4C, though the power plant would likely be detuned to around 200 horsepower for use in the 500X.
Altavilla also said if a 500X Abarth does come to fruition, it wouldn’t be a “fake,” Abarth car with only cosmetic go-fast bits. As long it’s up to him, the 500X Abarth will be a full-fledged performance model.
“Any new version of an Abarth car should deliver some sort of a performance enhancement, otherwise it is useless,” he said.
“If the 500X becomes the addition to the Abarth line-up, it will be everything but a family version.”