Fiat begins taking orders for the 2013 500L hatchback in Europe
Italian automaker Fiat has begun taking orders for the 2013 500L hatchback, which is essentially a larger hatchback in the Fiat 500 range, aimed primarily at customers gravitating towards the BMW Mini range of sporty hatchbacks. For all its cutesy appeal, the Fiat 500 is a car that isn’t the most practical car in town when comes to doing duty as a primary car for everyday use. “While we don’t suggest something as gargoyle-esque as the Multipla, why don’t you look our cute, yet practical 500L model” seems to be the general refrain from the Italian automaker.
The 2013 Fiat 500L hatchback was designed to take on the BMW Mini range, as a more spacious car in the Fiat 500 range. So, Fiat sought to use the Grande Punto platform to base this upsize hatchback and due to this very fact, the Fiat 500L can manage to accommodate five adults in relative comfort. Fiat has big ambitions for the 500L, given the fact that the car will be available in no less than 100 countries, pretty much the same number of countries where BMW sells its Mini hatchback range. The overall aim is to win back marketshare that Fiat has lost out to Mini over the past few years.
The engine range is also shared with the Punto. The 875cc, twin cylinder turbo petrol engine TwinAir engine and a 1.4 Liter naturally aspirated FIRE petrol engine will represent the petrol range while the 1.3 Liter Multijet2 turbo diesel engine will be the diesel engine on offer. The 875cc, TwinAir engine pumps out 105Bhp-145Nm while the 1.4 Liter FIRE petrol engine delivers 95 Bhp-127 Nm. The 1.3 liter Multijet2 turbo diesel engine on the other hand generates 85 Bhp-200 Nm. For now, the petrol engines will be available with a 6 speed manual gearbox while the diesel engine will have to make do with a 5 speed unit.
High fuel economy and low emissions are common threads that connect all three engines. For instance, the TwinAir engine comes with a ECO mode that can be activated via a dashboard mounted switch. Doing so limits the power and torque to 98 Bhp-120 Nm, enhancing fuel economy. The Multijet diesel on the other hand uses a start-stop system. Also, the 2013 Fiat 500L hatchback comes with impressive specs when it comes to safety with ABS, airbags, hill hold control, Anti Slip Regulation, Electronic Rollover Mitigation, Motor Schleppmoment Regelung(Which functions like a slipper clutch to prevent wheels locking up due to aggressive gear changes in the wet). The car also gets a City Brake Control(CBC) system that acts like the Pre-Safe collision avoidance system on Mercedes Benz cars through its automatic braking function during emergencies.