By Ronan Glon
Friday, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 3:49 am
 
A low-resolution photograph taken inside a factory has revealed the upcoming Fiat 500XL seven-seater van. Billed as a larger and roomier alternative to the existing 500L, the XL is scheduled to go on sale throughout Europe this summer. A U.S. launch is likely, though it has not yet been announced.

Published on enthusiast forum Cochespias.net, the image shows the side of the XL and reveals that it is taller than any Fiat product in recent memory. Drawings that leaked out of a European patent office late last year confirm that the van is nearly identical to the 500L when viewed from the back and from the front.

Pictures of the interior are not available but Fiat has said in the past that its latest van will boast space for up to seven passengers and all of their gear. Like the 500L, the XL will gain a modern dashboard that will include a large touch screen for Chrysler's well-regarded UConnect infotainment system. Seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver, will come standard.

In its home country of Italy, the 500XL will be powered by the usual assortment of Fiat's gasoline- and diesel-burning four-cylinder engines. The two-cylinder TwinAir mill will not be offered.

Official details about the 500XL will be unveiled in the coming weeks and the van will go on sale throughout Europe next summer. One of the leaked patent images clearly depicts a U.S.-sized license plate bracket which provides, if not a confirmation of U.S. sales, a decent indication that the van is earmarked for export to North America.