The stereotypical surf wagon is a ratty old woody or Volkswagen bus, but Fiat's designers hope the 500L can take on that role as well. Unveiled at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, the Fiat 500L Vans concept is a modern-day beach cruiser inspired by the popular sneaker line.
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The exterior gets more attitude thanks to a new front end with circular LED daytime running lights, 18-inch matte-black wheels, and a roof rack with a double-decker surfboard carrier. The whole thing is finished in a two-tone color scheme.
To make the connection to Vans, the roof features the shoe brand's signature checkerboard pattern, while the grille and cladding feature a "Waffle Sole" design. More Vans detailing can be found inside, including Vans logo stickers on the instrument panel, palm-patterned canvas on the seats, and Waffle Sole material on the pedals and storage bins.
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Along with the 500L Adventurer from the 2013 SEMA Show, the Vans concept is an attempt by Fiat to paint this tall wagon as a lifestyle vehicle, which might get customers to overlook its questionable styling and relative lack of personality compared to the two-door 500 models.
The 500L's spacious interior admittedly makes it a pretty good choice for hauling people and gear to the beach, although it may be overshadowed by the upcoming 2016 500X, a crossover that will bring all-wheel drive and more macho styling to the mix.