Throughout the 1990s, the SUV craze took hold on the American motoring scene. It began with the perception that if you civilized something that resembled a Jeep, you could make a mint for families who were bored of minivans. After seeing Jeep secure their future through the 1984 Cherokee, every auto manufacturer felt compelled to make one.
Though that is not entirely true, as the X1/9 and Spider 2000 were sold under their respective design house brands, Bertone and Pininfarina, well into the 1980s. In the end, Fiat no longer mattered as they faced the rise of Asian products promising a different kind of sporty automobile. By the mid-1990s, with Volkswagen left as Europe’s only mainstream brand on this continent, the consumer base yearned for another chance at some serious choices against the Japanese and Koreans. That is, until now.