Fiat 500L

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Fiat 500L
2014 Fiat 500L Lounge 1.4.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerFiat S.p.A. (2012–2014)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (2014–present)
Also called
  • 500L Trekking
  • 500L Living
  • 500L MPW
Production2012–present
Model years2013–present
2014–present (North America)
AssemblySerbia: Kragujevac (FCA Srbija)
DesignerCentro Stile Fiat with
Roberto Giolito
(Chief Designer)[1]
Andreas Wuppinger
(Chief Designer, Exterior)[1]
Virgilio Fernandez
(Chief Designer, Interior)[1]
Rossella Guasco
(Color and Materials)[1]
Body and chassis
ClassMini MPV
Body style4-door hatchback
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PlatformSmall US Wide
RelatedFiat Toro
Jeep Renegade (BU)
Fiat 500X
Fiat Tipo
Powertrain
Engine0.9 L TwinAir Turbo I2 (petrol)
0.9 L TwinAir Turbo I2 (petrol/CNG)
1.4 L Fire I4 (petrol)
1.4 L Fire Turbojet I4 (petrol)
1.4 L Multiair Turbo I4 (petrol)
1.3 L MultiJet II I4 (diesel)
1.6 L Multijet I4 (diesel)
Transmission
  • 5-speed FPT C510 manual
  • 6-speed FPT C635 manual
  • 6-speed FPT C635 dual-clutch automatic
  • 5-speed FPT C510 Dualogic semi-auto
  • 6-speed Aisin AW60T-6F25 automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,612 mm (102.8 in)
Length4,140 mm (163.0 in)
4,350 mm (171.3 in) (Living)
Width1,780 mm (70.1 in)
Height1,660 mm (65.4 in)
Kerb weight1,245 kg (2,745 lb)-1,365 kg (3,009 lb)
Chronology
PredecessorFiat Idea/Lancia Musa
Fiat Multipla
Chrysler PT Cruiser (North America)

The Fiat 500L is a five-door, five passenger, front-engine, front-wheel drive, high-roof B-segment MPV (compact minivan) manufactured in Kragujevac, Serbia by FCA Srbija and marketed globally[2] since its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.[3]

Pre-facelift 500L (Europe)
Instrument panel
500L Cab Forward concept

Based on a variant of the FCA Small US Wide platform,[4] the 500L uses Fiat's Multiair variable valve timing engine technology and monovolume cab forward architecture:[5] a packaging concept that prioritizes passenger and cargo volume. The 500L is noted for its high H-point seating, high roof, tall greenhouse, double A pillar, wide field of visibility — and its reconfigurable interior system marketed as Cargo Magic Space.[6]

In 2013, Fiat began marketing a lengthened 7-seat variant, the 500L Living, in Europe. For model year 2018, the 500L received an intermediate facelift, with revised front and rear fascias along with In-car entertainment (ICE) updates and interior revisions.[7] By early 2018, production reached 500,000 units.[8]

The 500L derives its name from Fiat's widely known 500 models, including the original 1957 Fiat 500 and the current Fiat 500, introduced in 2007. Underscoring its increased length and overall size over other 500 variants, the suffix L denotes "large."[9][10]

Development[edit]

In April 2010, when Fiat released its 2010-2014 product development plan, the 500L was identified as a replacement for the Fiat Idea and its rebadged variant, the Lancia Musa — and was given the internal designation L0 or Ellezero. Two variants were projected, five and seven passenger, the latter originally targeted at North America but ultimately only marketed in Europe.

The 500L platform was based on Fiat's "Small" platform, first used with the Fiat Grande Punto and further developed since its launch in 2005. With the 500L, the platform is both longer and wider to accommodate the 500L's cab forward architecture, prioritizing interior volume and reducing of the volume of mechanical systems.

The packaging design closely follows the Lancia Megagamma concept, which Fiat had commissioned from Italdesign in 1979, for a 4-meter, high roof, high h-point, multifunctional, monospace design.

Designers of the 500L said its overall architecture was inspired by Villa Savoye, the modernist house designed in the 1930s by Le Corbusier located in Poissy, France. Fabrizio Vacca, senior interior designer with Fiat's Centro Stile in Turin described a "layered" theme with a base, a middle with expansive visibility and above that an available, very large, dual-pane panoramic sunroof.[11]

At the 500L's introduction, Fiat presented a 96-page, multi-language PDF vade mecum (handbook) titled 500L A Design Approach, tracing the design of the vehicle.

In 2014, Lifan Motors introduced the Lifan 330, a knockoff heavily derivative of the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500L, at the Auto China 2014, the Beijing Auto Show. [12]

Design[edit]

As a five-door, five passenger, two-box, high-roof B-segment MPV, the 500L is based on a variant of the GM Fiat Small Platform and uses Fiat's Multiair engines, a hydraulically-actuated variable valve timing (VVT) engine technology enabling "cylinder by cylinder, stroke by stroke"[13] control of intake air directly via a gasoline engine's inlet valves.

The 500L's cab forward architecture[5] provides a total passenger and cargo volume of 121.1 cubic feet,[14] and features high H-point seating, tall roof and greenhouse, split front glass (A) pillar and polycarbonate rear (D) pillar[15] — making the Fiat 500L the first production vehicle to use polycarbonate window glazing. [16] The split A-pillar and tall greenhouse contribute to the interior's wide field of visibility.[11]

Bodywork features a reconfigurable interior system marketed as Cargo Magic Space[6] — which includes a three-level rear cargo floor panel, fold-flat front passenger seat as well as rear seating that can recline for passenger comfort, slide for/aft to reprioritize cargo and passenger volume, and fold and tumble forward to store the second row seating and maximize interior cargo volume.

The 500L's structural architecture uses 74% high strength steel (HSS) and complies with international safety standards. With three front-end load (crash) dissipation paths the design has wide rear door openings; roof pillars that enable a 90% visibility for the driver's 360° field of view. Bodywork has a frontal area of 2.54 m2 and an aerodynamic coefficient of drag (cd) of .30 — rear spoiler, underbody engine and rear suspension shields, and integral rear side window nolder profiles (i.e., small aerodynamic lips) to decrease pressure behind the bodywork and reduce mud and debris build up on the rear window.[17]

The 500L uses shock absorbers (marketed as Koni Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) Technology) designed to filter out high-frequency suspension inputs from uneven road surfaces while maintaining ride control — in a mechanical rather than electronic system.[18]

The 500L's sunroof is 10.8 sf,[19] the largest in its class.

An optional Beats Audio system has a total power of 520 watts with two 80 watt mid-woofer speakers low in the front door panels, two 40 watt speakers high in the front door panels, two 60 watt speakers in the rear door panels, an 80+80 watt subwoofer in the rear cargo area and an amplifier with DSP and 8 channels and a built-in advanced equalisation algorithm.[20]

Introduction[edit]

In 2012, the 500L debuted formally at the Geneva Auto Show — followed by a media introduction at the Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR), the former Grand Repair Workshops of the Italian Railway, now a cultural center located at Corso Castelfidardo 22 in Turin — on 4 July, the day of the year when Fiat has historically introduced its 500 models. The introduction presentation was built around the 500L themes of Large (a large MPV within a 4.1 meter footprint), Light (a light eco-footprint), and Loft (an expansive, lofty interior).

FCA Serbia inaugurated its reconstructed and renovated facilities in Kragujevac in April 2011 — with production commencing 26 May 2012.

The 500L went on sale in Italy in September 2012, with sales begin in October 2012 for the remainder of Europe.

Manufacture[edit]

Manufacture of the 500L began at Fiat's Kragujevac plant in Serbia,[21] — a joint venture (JV) between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) which owns 67% of the operation and the Republic of Serbia, which owns the remainder. The facilities had previously served as the factory and headquarters for Zastava Automobiles.

Between 2010 and 2012, FCA invested more than €1B and three years to upgrade the plant infrastructure, restore its buildings, develop new production departments and install state of the art machinery and production systems. A co-located automotive supplier park includes sub-works for Magneti Marelli (exhaust and catalytic converters), Johnson Controls MM (instrument panels, interior, interior parts and plastic parts), Magneti Marelli (bumpers and spoilers), Dräxlmaier (electrical), with other works at the nearby Grosnica Supplier Park, including Johnson Controls (seats), PMC (suspension systems, sheet metal stampings and chassis assemblies), SIGIT (rubber and plastic parts) as well as HTL.[22]

500L production was originally scheduled for manufacture at the Italian Mirafiori plant in Turin and was moved to Serbia, because of poor labour relations in Turin.[23]

Approximately one percent of 500L production is sold in Serbia,[24] with 90% exported from Serbia via the port of Bar, Montenegro.[25]

In 2013, a ship carrying the first 3,000 Fiat 500L units for the North American market docked in the port of Baltimore to unload its first consignment, subsequently delivering the remainder of its cargo to the Canadian port of Halifax.[26]

Trim levels[edit]

Fiat markets the 500L in various trim levels worldwide, beginning in 2014 in the US with four trim levels: Pop, Easy, Trekking, and Lounge — subsequently consolidated to three levels with model year 2017. Trim levels available globally include Sport in Canada in lieu of Easy — and Pop Star in Europe. Engine and transmission options vary by country and model year. Available transmissions include a six-speed manual, dual-clutch transmission (DCT), and an Aisin six-speed traditional torque converter automatic.

The entry level trim, typically marketed as Pop, includes electrically operated windows and door locks, Uconnect 5.0 system with 5-inch touchscreen interface, handsfree calling, Bluetooth-streaming audio, voice-controllable radio, hill start assist and a reconfigurable interior design marketed as Magic Cargo Space, which includes a three-level rear cargo floor panel, fold-flat front passenger seat as well as for-aft sliding, fold and tumble, reclining rear seating. Typically no option packages are offered.

Upper trim levels (variously marketed as Easy, Sport, Pop Star or Lounge) include more standard features and numerous option packages, including satellite navigation, leather trim, heated front seats, dual-pane panoramic sunroof or fixed sunroof (Europe), 6.5" Uconnect system, roof colour options, fog lights, power outlets, illuminated visor mirrors and chrome trim.

Trekking models, first presented at the 2012 LA Auto Show feature revised front and rear fascias, optional two-tone Nero/Marrone (black/brown) interior upholstery and distinct options packages.

Longer 7 seats "Living" version

To complement the regular length 500L, codenamed Fiat L0 (or Ellezero) (design code 330),[27] in 2013 Fiat began marketing a lengthened seven-seat variant in Europe known as the 500L Living (or MPW in Ireland and the UK), developed under project code L1, Elleuno, or design code 334.[28]

The 500L was the first production car with an optional in-vehicle espresso machine.[29][30]

2018 Update[edit]

Fiat 500L Facelift
Fiat 500L Facelift

For 2018, all models receive slightly-revised exterior styling, as well as interior revisions, including a TFT color instrument display screen centered on the instrument panel, replacing the previous monochrome LCD instrument display screen.

A new Uconnect 4C 7.0 infotainment system, replaces the Uconnect 3 5.0BT and Uconnect 3C 6.5N units. The new unit includes an AM-FM radio tuner with Radio Data System (RDS), SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Engine and transmission options include either a 6-speed manual or Aisin 6-speed automatic, the latter as the sole transmission for the North American market.

With the facelift, the seven-seat model was renamed as 500L Wagon.

Engines[edit]

For most markets, the 500L is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines: the 2-cylinder 0.9 L Twin Air and the 4-cylinder 1.4 L petrol, and the 1.3 L and 1.6 L MultiJet II common rail diesel engines. In North America the 500L is available with only a single 1.4 L turbo petrol engine, not available in Europe. A "Natural Power" methane powered version of the 0.9 L Twin Air is available in selected European markets.

All petrol models are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, with an automatic option only in North America. The 1.3 L diesel is available with 5-speed manual or a 5-speed semi-automatic transmission called "MTA Dualogic".[31] The 1.6 diesel is only available with a 6-speed manual.

The 1.6 MultiJet II 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) and 1.4 T-Jet 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) engine versions for the 500L, 500L Trekking and 500L Living were unveiled in Frankfurt Motor Show 2013.[32]

For 2014 three new engine options (1.6 MultiJet II (120PS) turbo diesel, 1.4 T-Jet (120PS) petrol, 1.4 Turbo LPG) were announced for all 500L derivatives. A 1.4 turbo LPG engine models of 2014 Fiat 500L would be available at later date.

Model Engine Fuel Transmission Power Torque Emissions CO
2
0.9 TwinAir Natural Power 875 cc I2 Petrol/CNG 6-speed manual 80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 5,500 rpm 140 N⋅m (103 lb⋅ft) at 2,000 rpm 105 g/km
0.9 TwinAir Turbo 875 cc I2 Petrol 6-speed manual 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 5,500 rpm 145 N⋅m (107 lb⋅ft) at 2,000 rpm 112 g/km
1.4 16V FIRE 1368 cc I4 Petrol/LPG 6-speed manual 95 PS (70 kW; 94 hp) at 6,000 rpm 127 N⋅m (94 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm 145 g/km
1.3 16V MultiJet II 1248 cc I4 Diesel 5-speed manual 85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp) at 3,500 rpm 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft) at 1,500 rpm 110 g/km
1.3 16V MultiJet II 1248 cc I4 Diesel 5-speed automatic 85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp) at 3,500 rpm 200 N⋅m (148 lb⋅ft) at 1,500 rpm 105 g/km
1.6 16V MultiJet II 1598 cc I4 Diesel 6-speed manual 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) at 3,750 rpm 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) at 1,750 rpm 117 g/km
1.6 16V MultiJet II 1598 cc I4 Diesel 6-speed manual 120 PS (88 kW; 120 hp) at 3,750 rpm 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) at 1,750 rpm 120 g/km
1.4 FIRE T-Jet 1368 cc I4 Petrol/LPG 6-speed manual 120 PS (88 kW; 120 hp) at 5,000 rpm 206 N⋅m (152 lb⋅ft) at 2,000 rpm 145 g/km
1.4 Turbo MultiAir 1368 cc I4 Petrol 6-speed manual 162 PS (119 kW; 160 hp) at 5,500 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 2,500 rpm[33] 132 g/km
1.4 Turbo MultiAir 1368 cc I4 Petrol 6-speed automatic 162 PS (119 kW; 160 hp) at 5,500 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft) at 2,500 rpm[33] 123 g/km

*Source:[34]

Safety[edit]

Euro NCAP

Euro NCAP test results
Fiat 500L (2012)[35]
Test Points %
Overall: 5 /5 stars
Adult occupant: 34 94%
Child occupant: 38 78%
Pedestrian: 23 65%
Safety assist: 5 71%

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

IIHS 500L scores:[36]
Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset Poor
Side impact Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

Marketing[edit]

For the USA introduction of the 500L, Fiat launched a commercial created by the Doner Company filmed in Old Salem, North Carolina[38] and starring Bryce Pinkham. Titled "Italian Invasion," the ad featured Paul Revere noticing an Italian rather than British Invasion.[39]

For the 2013 launch of the 500L Trekking, Fiat premiered a commercial created by the agency Leo Burnett highlighting it's suitability to everyday adventuring.[40]

Fiat 500L models were used in 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics by the Italian team.[41]

FCA donated eight dark grey 500Ls for Pope Francis's 2015 visit to the United States. After serving the Pope, the cars were donated to organizations involved in the Pope's visit, including the Archdioceses of Washington, Philadelphia, and New York.[42][43]

Concept models[edit]

2013 SEMA concepts: Two special versions of the 500L were unveiled in 2013 SEMA Show with a "surf and turf" theme.[44][44] The 500L Adventurer is a version of 5-seat Fiat 500L with bright white body colour, with Mopar roof rails and a roof basket, and many other accessories from the Mopar range. The 500L Thalassa is a based on the Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser from 2012, with bright orange body work and 18" orange wheels and other Mopar accessories.[45]

2014 Fiat 500L Beats Edition: The Beats Edition was produced in association with artist and record producer Dr. Dre, Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman and record producer Jimmy Iovine, with two-tone grey/black livery in matt or gloss finish and new interior trim. It went on sale in spring 2014 Italy, and subsequently in other markets.[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Stuart Birch (9 May 2012). "Fiat explores multipurpose design with 500L". Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
  2. ^ "Fiat 500L, Cool & Capable". fiatpress.com. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  3. ^ "2014 Fiat 500L adds size, refinement and toys to 500 lineup". Autoblog.
  4. ^ "First Fiat 500L Photos Released". Inside Line. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b MARTON PETTENDY (2 February 2012). "Geneva show: Fiat lays 500L bare". Winding Road.
  6. ^ a b "FIAT 500L: 500 GOES LARGE". Fiat Press Release. 28 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Fiat 500L gets a much needed update for 2018". Autoblog. 22 May 2018.
  8. ^ "500,000th Fiat 500L Rolls Off Production Line". FCA Press Released. 22 February 2018.
  9. ^ Jerry Garret (5 March 2012). "Where 'L' Stands for Large, Fiat Traditionalists Grant 500L Cautious Approval". New York Times.
  10. ^ Brandon Turkus (2 February 2012). "First Look: 2013 Fiat 500L". Winding Road.
  11. ^ a b Lou Ann Hammond (15 July 2013). "The Mother of all Fiats". Carlist.com.
  12. ^ "China does not lose vice, here is the clone of the Fiat 500L (translated from Italian)". Ansa.it, Motori. 23 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Fiat's Multiair engine wins Popular Science award". Popular Science via Allpar.com. 17 November 2010.
  14. ^ "All-new 2014 Fiat 500L Expands FIAT Brand's Product Lineup". FCA.
  15. ^ Donny Nordlicht (11 February 2013). "Plastic is the New Glass: 2014 Fiat 500L and Others Replacing Glass with Polycarbonate". Automobile Magazine.
  16. ^ Dean Trombetta (23 January 2017). "The Dream of Polycarbonate Car Windows is Still Just a Dream". Automobile Magazine.
  17. ^ "Tecnica Fiat 500L Motori Comfort MaterialiL, Page 32 of 35: slide Fiat sulla scocca della 500L" (in Italian). Autombilismo.it. 21 September 2012.
  18. ^ Kyle Kitchen (28 October 2016). "Koni – What Is Frequency Selective Damping?". Turnology.com.
  19. ^ Larry Printz (3 July 2013). "New Fiat 500L is a bigger deal". The Virginian Pilot, Pilotonline.com.
  20. ^ Matthew Beecham (16 July 2018). "Interior design and technology – Fiat 500L". justauto,com.com.
  21. ^ "Larger Fiat 500L to Debut in Geneva Next Month". Wall Street Journal. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  22. ^ "Kragujevac: Nine Factories Working For Fiat". In Serbia. 3 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Marchionne: Sindacati poco seri in Italia". Blitzquotidiano.it. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  24. ^ DLUCA CIFERRI (28 November 2012). "The not so prophetic story of the Fiat 500L". Automotive News Europe.
  25. ^ "Fiat to ship Serbian-built 500L through Montenegro port". Automotive News Europe. 24 February 2012.
  26. ^ "The Fiat 500L lands in North America". Fiatpress.com. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  27. ^ "Ultimi collaudi per la Fiat Ellezero prima di Ginevra" (in Italian). Quattroruote.it. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
  28. ^ "Spy Shots about Fiat Ellezero (Type 330)". Autoedizione.com. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  29. ^ "Fiat 500L Gets World's First In-Car Espresso Machine". Inside Line. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  30. ^ Chris Tutor RSS feed. "Fiat 500L to launch with world's first in-car coffee maker option". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  31. ^ Fiat 500L: NUOVI MOTORI PER IL FESTIVAL DI SANREMO Archived 24 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Fiat Panda 4x4 Antartica, Fiat Freemont Black Code and 3 new engine versions for the 500 family - the stars of the show at Frankfurt 2013". Fiatpress.com. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  33. ^ a b "2014 Fiat 500L rounds out the model range". Autoblog.com. AOL. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  34. ^ "New model Fiat 500L". italiaspeed.com. 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  35. ^ "Euro NCAP results for Fiat 500L" (PDF). euroncap.com. 2012.
  36. ^ "Vehicle details". Iihs.org. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  37. ^ "Fiat 500L sales". Good Car, Bad Car. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  38. ^ "The Italians Are Coming! – An On-Set Look at "Italian Invasion" the New FIAT® 500L Spot". Fiat USA. 21 August 2013.
  39. ^ Ella Riley-Adams (26 June 2013). "Fiat's New Spot Shouts, 'The Italians Are Coming!'". Agency Spy.
  40. ^ "New Fiat 500L Trekking Commercial Airs". Fiatpress.com. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  41. ^ "2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: Fiat is always at the side of athletes with CONI". Fiatpress.com. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  42. ^ "Fell in love with the papal Fiat? Now you can own it". Crux. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  43. ^ "Pope's Fiat on display at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew in Washington". WJLA. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  44. ^ a b "Chrysler Group LLC Reveals Mopar-modified Show Vehicles at 2013 SEMA Show". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  45. ^ "Fiat 500L SEMA Concepts Prepped for Surf and Turf". AutoGuide.com. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  46. ^ "500L Beats Edition and new 2014 500L range: the new additions to the 500 family for continuing growth". Fiatpress.com. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2015.

External links[edit]