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View Full Version : 500L Spotted in Detroit Garage



Bret Dodson
05-05-2012, 02:48 PM
Check it out. http://startinggrid.org/2012/05/04/fiat-500l-prototype-pandamonium/

Not sure why this disguised 500L was parked in the garage of Edmunds in Detroit, but here it is. Photos by Edmunds Inside Line.

janaheim
05-05-2012, 03:30 PM
Check it out. http://startinggrid.org/2012/05/04/fiat-500l-prototype-pandamonium/

Not sure why this disguised 500L was parked in the garage of Edmunds in Detroit, but here it is. Photos by Edmunds Inside Line.

Thanks Bret! With these pictures, I'm warming up to the 500L. Very nice.

Ciao,
John

Felnus
05-05-2012, 06:28 PM
Hmmm...it could be a USDM mule. There is tape or masking over the area where the side reflectors are located on the 500. Other the hand, it appears to have a Euro fog light setup on the rear. Looks roomy inside and I really like the design of the handbrake.

Edmunds isn't a large enough enterprise to rate an entire building that has it's own parking garage. Who knows what other companies have office space in the same building. In any event, it ain't like the 500L is a big secret.

Edit: Link to the original Edmunds article with more pics: http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2012/05/spy-photos-2014-fiat-500l-prototype-caught--in-our-building.html

unknown_eyes
05-05-2012, 08:46 PM
I sure hope that we do not get that funky seat fabric in the US.

Felnus
05-05-2012, 08:51 PM
Really? I actually like that.

Bret Dodson
05-05-2012, 11:15 PM
Hmmm...it could be a USDM mule. There is tape or masking over the area where the side reflectors are located on the 500. Other the hand, it appears to have a Euro fog light setup on the rear. Looks roomy inside and I really like the design of the handbrake.

North American market mules typically have all the necessary lights and reflectors present, just obscured or partially taped.

I suppose they could be doing durability testing here in the States. When I was still an Alfa salesman back in 1994/1995 (I was one of the last of them) the dealership I worked at was a durability testing station for the Brava and Bravo before their reveal. A dozen matte black gaffer taped and foamed cars would take off in the morning and drive around the Cascades for the entire day and return at night. Those cars weren't as nicely finished as this one appears.

This car looks like it ran down a production ready assembly line. Couple that niceness with the fact that the 500L has been trotted out before the world in Geneva and I get even more curious about why this critter is running around Detroit. It could be Fiat putting their finger in the wind to see if anyone bites or notices. Edmunds did. I did enough to reblog their photos.

If I'm honest, I was concerned that grafting the 500's face on a Panda's body would create a werepig of a car. That doesn't appear to be the case here. The only styling dig I have against it is that with those little wheels, it does kind of have an "elephant on roller skates" look about it. Otherwise, I think it's a handsome little car. I really like the interior styling, it's bold and isn't trying to make a statement of luxury that is misplaced in its price segment.

Felnus
05-06-2012, 08:46 AM
Since the 500L is already confirmed for the North American market, it could possibly be testing engine calibrations for the NA market or something else that wouldn't necessarily require a more fully developed NA market vehicle. Anyway, this is an Easy trim level 500L (the other trims being the Pop and Lounge). While not my cup of tea, if I had to drive a larger vehicle, I would certainly not rule this out.

Wolfie
05-06-2012, 11:42 AM
Not my kinda car ... I'll stick with my Lounge toy :-)

Fiat500USA
05-06-2012, 11:47 AM
They are testing them because the intro is only a year away.

Felnus
05-06-2012, 01:25 PM
Chris, I know it is a bit early but is there any indication as to where the NA market 500Ls will be built? In Serbia orToluca or some other plant?

janaheim
05-07-2012, 12:07 AM
I sure hope that we do not get that funky seat fabric in the US.


Really? I actually like that.

Disco anyone?

:excitement:

cmj912
05-07-2012, 08:44 AM
Disco anyone?

:excitement:

I kind of like the fabric as well. It does look sort of - well, maybe not disco - maybe *deep ambient house*? :)

We don't usually get anything unique or different and I was pleased to see that the 500 stuck to most of the offerings of the European version. I like to build cars on foreign manufacturers websites just to see what kind of interior/exterior combos they get. VW, for instance, has a lot of really different interior configurations that we don't get here. We get gray or tan. We were lucky, I hear, to get the plaid cloth seats in the newest GTI (evocative of the original Mk1).
Honda's Fit RS has a gray and orange perforated leather, blue or red piping, lots of different options. Of course in Japan the Fit comes in pink, mint green, and lavender. So. My point is that here you get gray or charcoal. I realize this has to do with sales and US car buyer's tastes but with something like a FIAT I think you've already got yourself a customer who is more likely to be looking for something different from your garden variety small car.

BTW, if you configure a New Panda at fiat.co.uk, you can pretty much see that seat fabric up close and personal.

Felnus
05-07-2012, 04:36 PM
I like the look of it, especially since it is in the shape of FIAT logos.