Exactly a year ago to the day, we learned a bit more about Stellantis’ future projects and in particular part of the product roadmap. Regarding Fiat, it had been specified without further details that it would return to the B segment in 2023. In a recent interview granted to Italian media outlet Correre della Sera, Carlos Tavares, CEO of the said company, was a little more talkative about the matter: “Next year there will be at least two new models in the B segment at Fiat” (Renault Clio or Captur or at Fiat Ex-Punto and 500X). He also clarified that the presentation of the two vehicles in question is planned for early 2023.
Fiat novelties? what’s new
Unfortunately, the leader of Stellantis says nothing more. But it is enough to imagine what can await us. The first model will be an SUV. Will it be a replacement for the 500X, or a close cousin of the 100% electric baby jeep (itself derived from the Peugeot 2008) that the American manufacturer has been teasing periodically for some time? Logic would dictate that Fiat is more likely to opt for the first option given that its city SUV dates back to 2014 (!). However, The latter has just been redesigned and even benefits from some interesting new features (open version, hybrid engine). In fact, it’s hard to imagine Fiat ending his career “prematurely,” so to speak. Ultimately, with electrification at the heart of the group’s strategy and the context calling for it, it seems quite logical that a new zero-emissions model would be added to the 500X. That’s where the second option is essential, a twin of the Jeep quoted above. In fact, such an approach already exists in the Fiat program with the new electric 500, which hasn’t retired its thermal alter ego. On the one hand an all-new battery-powered vehicle, on the other hand the 500X for those not ready to go fully electric. In any case, it is almost certain that this Fiat vehicle will be produced at the Tichy plant, the former FCA group announced at the end of 2020 that it would modernize this plant to produce three new Alfa Romeo, Fiat and hybrid and electric jeeps. And rumor has it that these are B-segment SUVs.
It remains to guess what the other vehicle that could place itself on Segment B could be. Here, too, several possible tracks. Because it’s the dean of the brand, the panda seems all set. But here it is, it’s a mini city car, technically it belongs to the lower segment (A). Will the generational change mean that city cars will grow so much that they will change categories? It is a possibility. Here’s another one, Fiat could revive the defunct Punto. The latter could be based on the same technical basis as the Peugeot 208 and the Opel Corsa, but also the future Lancia Ypsilon, which will arrive in 2024 and even return to France.
It’s not too early!
If the electric 500 is selling well, it won’t be able to run the shop on its own. Its thermal equivalent is gradually losing ground (in France, for example, registrations fell by 34.6% in the first 6 months of 2022), which is more logical for a model that has not been revised since 2015 and dates from 2015 could be reality from… 2007! The 500X, as we indicated above, is not very young anymore. So it can’t do much in the competition. The Tipo is only available in a cross version and prices are affected (at least €23,490 today). Results, its sales have halved in France and Europe. Whatever models complete the range next year, it’s urgent!