While Fiat is all set to launch its Avventura crossover anytime very soon, in an interesting update, the company also seems to be working an all-new compact SUV codenamed as X3U on its modular 326 platform according to Autocar.
According to the report, it would be a sub four-metre SUV that will compete head on with the extremely popular Ford EcoSport. Fiat is desperate to have a bite in this segment at the earliest and the vehicle is said to be in the final stages of development.
Autocar pegs the launch date of X3U compact SUV sometime in early 2016 and the possibility of an Auto Expo (unveil or) launch cannot be ruled out. We all know that the vehicle’s styling would be second to none in the segment considering the Italian flavor it will come enriched with.
If you thought the story ends here, you are massively wrong. The X3U compact SUV, reportedly, will be powered by a new 1.5L diesel engine.
Most would know that Fiat has a fantastic 1.6-litre Multijet diesel engine that does duty in a range of Fiats and Alfa Romeos internationally. Fiat promised to launch it (new 1.6L MJD) in India on the new Linea, however, it did not materialize.
And like Honda, Fiat is also downsizing this same engine to bring it under the sub 4-meter ‘small’ car excise duty ambit. The 1.5L motor is expected to produce a power output of over 100bhp. Needless to say, if it is getting Indianised, we can see its application on a lot of existing as well as new car from Fiat’s stables.
As of now the EcoSport has no true competition in its segment, and the Avventura will only help bridge the gap between a premium hatchback and a proper sub four-metre SUV, so Ford has nothing to worry about in the near future, at least till Hyundai launches its ix25 and Maruti launches its XA-Alpha.
Eventually, Fiat’s new SUV will have to slug it out against a hoard of other competitors but we are sure there would be a lot of takers, obviously if the product is right and at luring prices. As of now, we are eagerly waiting to drive the Avventura.
*Pictured here is the Avventura