This is a prototype mockup of the body shell. Engineers usually work with these to find all the kings in the assembly process or find flaws in the fabrication of the sheetmetal.
The shots were taken at the Melfi factory, where the edgy, square-shaped Jeep Renegades are also made. You can see their bare bones in the background, making for a very interesting comparison of two cars based on the same platform.
We’ve said before that the 500X will be as much of a 500 as the MINI Countryman is a MINI. Some will see it as a fake, others will welcome the rugged appearance and practicality. Compared to the Jeep Renegade, it’s definitely a sharper looking tool. The rake of the windshield is more pronounced and the side window line slopes down for a compact look. The boot is is also smaller and more curved than that of the Jeep.
Come July 4th, we’ll likely see a very small lineup of the best engines possible, all designed for the European market. The American debut probably won’t come until 2015’s Detroit Auto Show. Most automakers chose about 3 engines/powertrains for official debuts and if we were to take a wild stab in the dark, the 1.4-liter turbo with manual and twin-clutch and the 1.6-liter diesel are the best fits for the 500X.