Fiat will be bringing an AWD variant of its acclaimed 500 minicar to market in an effort to compete with the slew of recently launched and upcoming models from Mini. The Italian carmaker will release a car next year with a distinct wagon-like appearance, which we previewed earlier in our story on the Fiat 500 Giardinetta. Part of the reason for launching a larger version of the 500 is due to the release of Mini's Clubman, which the 500 Giardinetta will hope to steal sales away from. The new AWD variant, based on the Giardinetta, will go up against Mini’s own upcoming crossover.
This AWD Fiat 500 will use the same 4WD system used in the Panda 4x4 hatch, with which the 500 already shares its platform. This should help keep development costs fairly low, and this in turn will mean a better deal for customers when it appears in showrooms late next year.
Previous reports speculated that Fiat will be trying to sell around 32,000 units of the Giardinetta globally every year, and when the car finally arrives it should see Mini looking at least a little concerned with its added functionality.
If you can't wait until next year to get your hands on a wagon variant of the Fiat 500, you can check out this example produced by Italian coach-builder Castagna. Nicknamed the Woody Wagon (thanks to its wood trimmings), that model was 30cm longer than the production Fiat 500 and should give a good indication as to what the actual Giardinetta model could look like. Source: motorauthority