Abarth-tuned Fiat 500X in the works

Fiat hints the 500X Abarth will be recognizable from a distance.

Fiat has all but confirmed it is in the early stages of developing an Abarth-tuned variant of the 500X crossover (pictured) that was presented last week at the Geneva Motor Show.

"The 500X is a good body for Abarth. I can say today this is a good item. It's absolutely perfect in terms of drivability, control. The driving seat is perfectly measured to control the car. So the Abarth would be perfect," said Roberto Giolito, Fiat's head of European design, in an interview with Australian magazine CarAdvice.

The Abarth-tuned 500X will wear a full body kit that will make it look considerably more aggressive than a run-of-the-mill model. Giolito declined to provide specific details about what to expect, but he hinted the sporty crossover will be "recognizable from a distance."

Inside, Abarth's next model will be upgraded with the usual assortment of track-inspired components such as brand-specific gauges, bucket seats for the front passengers and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

What will be bolted in the 500X Abarth's engine bay is a mystery. Currently, the biggest engine on offer is a Chrysler-sourced 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine that pumps out 184 horsepower and 171 lb-ft. of torque. Both front- and all-wheel drive models are available.

The 500X Abarth could be revealed late next year. When it lands, it will square off against the Nissan Juke Nismo and the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works.

Photos by Drew Johnson.

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