Since at least March this year, Fiat has been working on an updated version of the Tipo, which was first presented for the European market in October 2015. The model, which is available as a hatchback, sedan, and wagon on the continent, should be ready for its market launch by the end of this year and there might be an interesting surprise for the customers in the cards.
What you see in the gallery below could be a new Cross version of the Tipo. Think of it as an off-road-inspired lifted hatch, in the same vein as the Ford Focus Active. The prototype recently spied by our photographers testing on public roads in Italy hints at a few visual modifications, including wider plastic wheel arches, more pronounced bumpers with plastic cladding, and possibly beefier tires.
The Tipo is among the most affordable models in Europe's C-segment and the potential Cross variant could become the most expensive member of its lineup. Don't expect an all-wheel drive though as the rugged hatchback will probably offer just a bit more clearance and possibly a special driving mode for better traction in snow and mud.
Currently, the Tipo is offered with a choice of a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with 95 horsepower (70 kilowatts) and two diesels - 1.3- and 1.6-liter compression ignition motors with 95 hp (70 kW) and 120 hp (88 kW), respectively. We don't expect the powertrain options to be changed but the available engines might be tweaked for better performance at the fuel pump and lower CO2 emissions.
With all that said, it's important to note that there are currently no reports confirming the arrival of the Tipo Cross but these new spy photos suggest it's probably coming soon. As a side note, the Tipo is also available as the Dodge Neon in Mexico.