Another Fiat we will never get

DAVE MOORE
Last updated 12:12 10/12/2012
Fiat 500L Trekking.

NOT AROUND HERE:: This great-looking wee car met with hugely positive responce at the Los Angeles Auto Show but don't expect to see it in New Zealand.

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You could be forgiven in New Zealand for thinking that Fiat only makes and sells one car, the 500.

We have been hard done-by for model choice from the now Chrysler-partnered Italian giant, despite every model having left- and right-hand drive availability.

Here's another one we can but muse over from a distance. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Fiat held the world premiere of its 500L Trekking, a sort of crossover-flavoured version of the 500L that launched in Europe this year.

Based on the popular Panda (another Fiat we do not get here), the 500L is a five-seat, five-door version of the 500 offering 660mm more length, plus 15mm more in height and width over the 500 hatchback, resulting in 42 per cent more interior space, says Fiat.

The new North American model is powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged MultiAir four-cylinder engine found in the 500 Abarth. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed dual dry clutch transmission.

For those who want a more rugged look, Fiat offers the 500L Trekking with flared wheel arches, body and bumper mouldings, all-wheel- drive and larger 17-inch wheels.

The 2014 Fiat 500L and Fiat 500L Trekking models will hit North American showrooms in mid-2013. They'll reach here probably when hell freezes over.

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