Fiat is planning to introduce a new convertible version of its 500X crossover within the next 12 months, according to well-placed reports. 

The model would serve as a rival to the recently launched Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, reflecting a long-running shift towards SUV bodystyles and a decline in the sale of more traditional cabriolets and roadsters that led to the Fiat 124 Spider being discontinued. 

Automotive News Europe reports that the drop-top 500X was first announced internally during a meeting with suppliers late last year. A company official has since confirmed to the outlet that the model will be coming this year, although Autocar is still awaiting official comment. 

Sources suggest that the new 500X won’t be a ‘true’ full convertible like the T-Roc, instead retaining the standard car’s roof pillars and doorframes in the same fashion as the Fiat 500C city car. That in theory means the crossover will be a four-door, unlike its German rival. 

The decision to retain as much of the standard 500X bodyshell as possible means Fiat can minimise development costs for what will likely be a relatively niche model. It will also reduce the need for additional strengthening beams, which add weight and complexity. 

The 500X convertible is one of three new SUVs planned to arrive this year from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. There will also be the new, sub-Stelvio Alfa Romeo Tonale and a smaller sibling for the Maserati Levante, called the Grecale

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