There’s no doubt about it: cars are getting bigger, heavier, and (depending how much you either are or are not a fan of guys like Bruno Sacco and the Pininfarina family) uglier. Take the reborn Fiat 500, for example. It’s cute, tiny, agile, and fun … but not as cute, tiny, agile, or fun as the original. The same could be said, of course, of Mini – the brand that (as far the US is concerned) invented the premium compact.
Both Fiat and Mini have been criticized for their models’
rampant obesity growth in recent years, of course, and have responded (to some degree) by trotting out diminutive concepts like Mini’s Rocketman and Fiat’s 500 Zagato. All the while, of course, the two have continued building bigger and bigger cars for (all together now) the people who actually buy new cars.
Building cars that car buyers (rather than car writers) want to buy is a sound business move, I think, and Mini has done well with its Clubman wagon and Countryman SUV. The Countryman has done so well, in fact, that Mini is well on its way towards launching a coupe version of the little ute, which is expected to be the least fuel-efficient, least space-efficient, and most expensive model in the company’s history.
It will sell like whatever it is that sells like hotcakes in the 21st Century. You can check out some spy pics, below.
Not be outdone, Fiat has announced that it’s developing its own “big” minicar: the 500X. Expect the 500X to feature the same lineup of new turbo engines seen in the Dodge Dart and the most recent Lancia Delta, and to also be the largest, guzzliest, most expensive version of the 500.