Update – ‘Electrified engines’ section updated.
The 500X has a new story ahead that’s about to get interesting. Starting with the 2022 Fiat 500X, additional variants and increasing levels of electrification are in the works to unlock new sales volume in the booming crossover market.
The Fiat 500X debuted in October 2014 and had started showing its age. Italian auto media reported last year that a refreshed 2022 Fiat 500X with electrification was under development to maintain interest until an all-new model is ready in 2024. In early 2022, Stellantis revealed the Fiat 500X facelift. However, we are seeing the refreshed look prominently on the (RED) variant that supports the global health organization (RED), which fights AIDS and COVID-19. The 500X (RED) is part of the (FIAT) RED range, and the same updates will be available to all 500X variants.
Video Source: YouTube/The Wheel Network/Stellantis
In place of the split radiator grille, the 2022 500X features a single-piece design. Where the 2021 500X features the upper part of the split radiator grille and the Fiat logo, the new model has a closed, smooth surface and the ‘500’ logo. These changes present the SUV a clean front-end, resembling the 500e. On the sides, the 2022 Fiat 500X features new multi-spoke alloy wheels bearing the 500 logo. At the rear, the new Fiat badge in block letters replaces the Fiat roundel above the chrome applique.
The interior design of the 2022 500X is no different from the old model. We see the same dashboard, center console, steering wheel, and instrument cluster. Against expectations, the Uconnect 5 infotainment system isn’t present in the new model; the older Uconnect 4 infotainment is set to continue.
The Fiat 500X is available with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology in a new Hybrid variant. Here, a 1.5-liter FireFly turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine works with a 48-volt electric motor. The gasoline engine produces 130 CV (128 hp) and 240 Nm (177 lb.-ft.) of torque. The 48-volt electric motor generates 15 kW, and its torque output is assumed to be 20 Nm (15 lb.-ft.). A new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends drive to the front wheels.
A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint in the first-ever 500X Hybrid takes 9.4 seconds. The e-motor can operate with the engine completely shut-off to provide a smooth and silent startup. The 500X Hybrid can travel with the engine turned off, for short distances. Compared to the earlier 500X with its 1.3L turbocharged gasoline engine, the 500X Hybrid emits 11% lower CO2 (WLTP cycle).
It should be noted that in January, Stellantis launched the Renegade eHybrid (the Renegade and 500X share many components) and Compass eHybrid strapped with the same powertrain. The eHybrid promises 15 per cent reduced fuel consumption, and reduced CO2 emission compared to the previous gasoline variant.
Jeep also detailed a few points of the Renegade eHybrid’s additional battery citing that it would store kinetic energy during deceleration and braking for later use, while also enabling silent starts and restarts and the ability to drive in pure EV mode albeit for very short duration (during parking, or in slow-moving start-and-go traffic). The 500X Hybrid should replicate these features and benefits.
All-electric Fiat 500X confirmed
Fiat’s business is concentrated in the A- and B-segments, and until battery costs are on par with combustion vehicles, it cannot get aggressive with BEV launches. The company will begin its EV offensive in 2023 and gradually construct a full EV line-up. Olivier Francois, CEO, Fiat, and CMO, Stellantis, talked about the strategy at the Stellantis EV Day 2021 event on July 8, 2021. He said:
From 2023 and 24, you will see an unprecedented passenger car offensive that will bring electric versions on every nameplate and the same year – 2024 – Abarth, too, will switch to full BEV.Olivier Francois, CEO, Fiat, and CMO, Stellantis (Stellantis EV Day 2021)
Announcing the new Fiat 500X Hybrid on February 15, 2022, Francois revealed that every Fiat will be available as an EV from 2027.
Our journey toward sustainable mobility for all continues, with the aim – as I have previously announced – to launch a new vehicle every year, starting as soon as in 2023. Each model will have an electric motor, to achieve a fully electric line-up from 2027.Olivier Francois, CEO, Fiat, and CMO, Stellantis (new Fiat 500X announcement on February 15, 2022)
If the Electric Fiat 500X arrives before 2025, which the European media expects, it would ride on the new Stellantis eCMP platform that debuts later this year. If the launch is programmed anytime after, it would benefit from the advanced STLA Small platform, which the group plans to commercialize that year. The company plans to offer STLA Small platform-based EVs with 37-82 kWh (total capacity) battery packs that provide a range of up to 500 km (311 miles) and 70-180 kW motors, primarily in the A- and B-segments.
Fiat 500X Yachting
Unlike most automakers, Fiat hasn’t made its convertible SUV, which it launched last year, with the entire roof cut off. It has retained the door structure of the 500X and used a 500c (500 Cabrio)-style retractable soft top for customers to get the ‘wind in the hair’ experience while technically still driving a crossover.
The Fiat 500X Yachting allows opening the roof with a single push of a button, where the electric soft top takes a few seconds to fold. The third body style of the 500X is available in a new, exclusive color called Venezia Blue, along with new and exclusive 18-inch ’46’ alloy wheels featuring blue highlights.
The Fiat 500X Yachting, unlike arch-rival VW T-Roc Cabrio, is available in the U.S. market where it is branded as the Fiat 500X Yacht Club Capri special edition.
Fiat has built the U.S.-spec 500X Yacht Club Capri on the Sport trim with the Venezia blue exterior paint, unique 18-inch sport wheels, exclusive blue Al-Fresco soft top, satin-finished exterior trim, and Yacht Club Capri badging. Inside, it distinguishes the special edition model from the 500X Sport with ivory leather seats with blue piping and woodgrain dash insert with the satin-finished gear shift.
MY2022 Fiat 500X for the U.S.
The 500X is the brand’s last-standing model in the U.S., as the 500L and 124 Spider have been taken off the shelves. Fiat sold just 2,374 cars in 2021, registering a degrowth of 45 percent YoY. There’s uncertainty about the brand’s long-term survival in America with such numbers, but it soldiers on in 2022.
The MY2022 500X is a carryover with just two changes, the introduction of the Al-Fresco folding fabric roof and the Yacht Club Capri special edition mentioned above. The Al-Fresco roof is available across the range in black, red, gray, and blue colors, although the latter is exclusive to the 500X Yacht Club Capri.
The 2022 Fiat 500X for the U.S. features the same 1.3L direct-injection turbo gasoline engine with the MultiAir III valve-actuation technology and engine stop-start (ESS) technology.
Featured Image Source: Stellantis