Fiat has now shown the 500L interior

Fiat has now shown the 500L interior

How many people can you get in the Fiat 500L - the extended version of the Italian company's popular little city car?

It's a question you would not have been able to answer at the Geneva Motor Show when it was unveiled because the doors wouldn't open.

The reason was that the interior design had not been signed off. Now it has and the answer to the question can be revealed - five, seven or even eight.

Five seats will be the configuration of the 500L when it is launched towards the end of this year - next February in the UK - but a seven seat version with longer rear overhang will follow later, said Roberto Giolito, head of the Fiat design centre in Turin.

If you think seven seats in such a small vehicle is pushing it, then you only have to take a look at the 1957 Fiat 600 Multipla, which the company claims was the world's first MPV.

The new 500L will expand the market for the funky Fiat, longer, wider and taller and, with five doors, it opens the model up to families and there is a good amount of cargo space as well.

The new interiors will be on display at the Paris show in late September. The model will come in three trim levels, Pop, Easy and Lounge.

Head of colours and materials Rossella Guasco said that the Pop trim would be similar to the current 500 with a mixture of metals and plastics in terms of trim with bold colour mixes such as red and black.

"With the easy trim we are using lighter and brighter colours and a softer feel to the instrument panel. Lounge will be more elegant with warmer, more formal colours and softer micro fabrics on the seats," she added.

With extra room and a slightly lower belt line there is a more panoramic view from inside the car which will also be available with a full glass roof, either fixed or opening.

And eight people? That was just a bit of fun with the eight-strong exterior design team clambering into the five-seat model...

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