At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Fiat will hold the world premiere of its all-new 500L Trekking, which is a crossover-flavored version of the 500L small minivan that is already on sale in Europe, but is making its North American debut today ahead of a launch next year.
The 500L is a five-door sub-compact minivan with seating for five and looks that borrow styling cues from the smaller 500 city car, though, we'll leave it to you to decide if Fiat's cosmetic approach is successful.
"Those who love the style and performance that only the Italians can create, can now enjoy space for five, functionality, practicality and value," says Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America. "The Fiat 500L is the whole package, and it now brings its unique flavor to the American market."
Based on the Italian firm's new "small-wide" architecture, the 500L offers 26 inches more length, plus 6 inches more in height and width over the 500 hatchback, resulting in 42 percent more interior space, according to Fiat.
The North American model is powered by the same 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder engine found in 500 Abarth, which produces 160-horsepower and 184 lb.-ft of peak torque. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed dual dry clutch transmission (DDCT) that drive the front wheels.
For those who want a more rugged look (but nothing more), Fiat offers the 500L Trekking boasting a unique front and rear fascia designs, flared wheel arches, body and bumper moldings and larger 17-inch wheels.
The Trekking also sports a bespoke two-tone Nero/Marrone (black/brown) interior trim and upgraded equipment features such as the Uconnect 5.0 system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface.
The 2014 Fiat 500L and Fiat 500L Trekking models are made at the brand's manufacturing plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, and will hit North American showrooms in mid-2013.