If anything, history has taught us that open-top SUVs aren’t the best investments when it comes to launching new products.
Nevertheless, Volkswagen already has the segment to itself with the T-Roc Cabriolet, and now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has reportedly approved the 500X Convertible for production.
The folding roof variant of 500X was announced to suppliers last month by Pietro Gorlier, FCA Europe’s chief, Italian news reports revealed, and this week, the information was confirmed to AutoNews by a spokesperson.
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In order to minimize production costs, the 500X Convertible (name unconfirmed) is understood to feature only a few mods over its fixed-roof sibling. Insider sources have allegedly confirmed that it will use the same body panels as the regular 500X, and will add a folding soft top with a glass rear window.
Production will take place at the Melfi plant in Italy, which is where the normal 500X comes to life, and so do the Jeep Renegade and Compass.
The 500X Convertible is expected with a small premium over the 500X. The latter can be bought in Italy from €21,000 (equal to $25,804), while its biggest rival, the T-Roc Cabriolet, has an MSRP of nearly €30,000 ($36,862). In Germany, the T-Roc starts at €21,870 ($26,873), €5,675 ($6,973) less than the open-top version.
A mild-hybrid version of the 500X is also expected to launch this year.
In addition to the new Fiat, FCA will add two more SUVs to its European family. One of them will be the Maserati Grecale, which will share its underpinnings with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and the other one will be the Alfa Romeo Tonale, which will slot beneath the Stelvio.