FIAT has released the first official images its new people carrier, the FIAT 500L. The new people carrier will debut at the International Geneva Motor Show on March 6th and will go on sale in Ireland in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The FIAT 500L – the L stands for ‘Large’ – builds on the success of the 500 range, which has already grown to incorporate Abarth and Cabrio versions to satisfy a more diverse customer base. With the ‘L’ the 500 range expands further to meet the demands of its customers, accommodating their changing needs without sacrificing their desire for style and fun.

The new 500L will occupy the place of the Idea in the FIAT range but is not a direct replacement. Instead, the 500L combines MPV passenger space with the feel and attitude of a compact SUV, all contained within footprint of a B segment car. By defying the conventional distinctions between the various segments, FIAT has created a unique alternative not only to traditional B-segment vehicles but also, thanks to its cabin space and commanding presence, C segments cars.

The FIAT 500L is 414cm long, 178cm wide and 166cm tall, but, thanks to its ‘cab forward’ design (pioneered by FIAT in the 1956 FIAT 600 Multipla), the FIAT 500L is a proper five-seater with ample luggage and secondary storage space.

Produced in FIAT’s Kragujevac plant in Serbia, the FIAT 500L will be introduced to Europe in the last quarter of 2012 powered by two petrol engines (TwinAir and 1.4-litre) and one turbo diesel engine (1.3 MultiJet II) all boasting FIAT’s mode advanced fuel-saving and efficiency technologies. Final details of the Irish range will be announced closer to the FIAT 500L’s late 2012 launch.