Unrelenting. That's the only way we could describe the Fiat group's assault on the MINI with more models than a Victoria's Secret photoshoot. While its sister brands Alfa Romeo and Lancia prepare their new retro-hatches to out-flank their Anglo-Saxon opponent, the Fiat division itself is branching out the 500 like a willow. Following the original hatch came the Abarth sport model, which will be followed by the cabrio, and then, as sources indicate, a longer wagon variant. The latter will target the new MINI Clubman, but without all the weird doors.
We got our first look at a Fiat 500 wagon in the ramp-up to this year's Geneva Motor Show, where carrozzeria Castagna showed off its wood-sided Cinquocente estate. Like its MINI wagons, which the coachbuilder crafted ahead of the factory's Clubman, Castagna's woodie wagon previewed the vehicle that may revive the classic Giardiniera nameplate used on the original 500 estate. Rather than stretching the wheelbase, the overhang will simply be extended, reducing costs and retaining the same front end as its more compact counterpart. Aluminum roof-rails are also tipped to join the more utile package, which could hit the market as early as 2010.
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[Source: Auto Express]