Photo illustrations courtesy Xtomi Design
Apparently inspired by the likes of Nissan’s Juke Nismo RS and the Mini Countryman JCW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) says the Italian brand’s new compact crossover is under consideration for a touch-up from its Abarth tuning division.
In an interview with UK-based mag AutoExpress, FCA’s Alfredo Altavilla says “the 500X is one of the options being considered” for future Abarth models, along with the forthcoming Mazda MX-5-based 124 Spyder.
With a 500X Abarth seemingly a foregone conclusion, we’re left to speculate as to what powertrain would give the little crossover the kind of performance necessary to live up to the sting of Abarth’s scorpion logo. In little crossover’s standard form, an available 2.4L four-cylinder makes 180 hp, but we can’t imagine that’d be enough to make for a legitimate competitor for the Juke Nismo and Countryman JCW, both of which boast more than 200 hp from turbocharged motors–never mind that the 2.4 is just plain boring. Our guess is Fiat will borrow the Alfa Romeo 4C’s 1.75L turbo four, as is apparently being planned for the Abarth-tuned 124 Spyder, which makes 237 hp in the 4C, but could easily be de-tuned to around 200 hp to put it in line with the Nismo and JCW.
Our guess is the 500X Abarth–if it actually comes to be–would follow the 124 Spyder to market, so we wouldn’t expect the hi-po crossover before 2017.