Move over MINI, we got the real Italian Job right here…
Fiat is taking the ‘New World’ by storm and the hottest thing since the Vespa scooter has landed in America – the Fiat 500c Cabrio.
The first “Nuova Cinquecento” debuted in the summer of 1957 as a cabriolet model and offered a distinctive canvas roof that opened right down the middle to the rear of the vehicle. Fast forward 54 years and Fiat builds on the brand’s spirit of building world-class small cars that ignite a “spirit of the times through simple design.”
Sporting unique but modern Italian styling, the new 500c continues Fiat’s legacy of all-season performance, fuel-efficient powertrain options and interior comfort for four. We received quite a few stares just about everywhere we went in the little cabrio, a very metro-friendly car. Street parking is a snap and visibility all around is good top up or down.
Speaking of the top, the new 500c features dual-layered cloth that is power operated and can be rolled back into numerous positions at speeds up to 60 mph. Even with the top fully closed the Fiat offers very good head room, although rear seat space is a bit tight and should be reserved for the youngsters. The Cabrio is not a true convertible as only the roof retracts – the side supports (A-, B- and C-pillars) remain in place.
Powering the 500 is a sprite little 1.4-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine with Fiat’s MultiAir fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology that delivers 101 hp, 98 lb. ft. of torque and 38 mpg when mated to the five-speed manual gearbox.
Fiat brings the 500c to the U.S. in two models: Pop or Lounge. Pop is designed for individuals who want Italian style and efficiency (read base model) while Lounge reflects those with a more fashion-oriented lifestyle and are attracted to premium amenities.
There are more than 500,000 ways to stylize and personalize the new Fiat 500c and a full line of Fiat accessories is available through MOPAR outlets. Fiat has also recently announced a special Gucci edition 500.
In the short time the Cinquecento has been available it has already earned some honors including being named one of the Top 10 Back-to-School Cars by kbb.com.
“In just a few short months, the Fiat 500 already is becoming a favorite with young buyers who recognize all that the new Fiat has to offer,” said Laura Soave, Head of the FIAT Brand for North America. “The new Fiat 500 is affordable transportation that is safe, practical and with a 38 mpg highway rating, easy on the wallet for high school and college students on a budget. It also has great looks and performance.”
Our recent 500c Pop tester came nicely apportioned with the BLUE&ME handsfree communications package, the Bose premium audio package, bright Rosso (red) seats and Bordeaux (red) soft top. Base pricing for the Cabrio model 500 is $19,500 with our 2012 tester coming in at $21,750.
Chrysler needed a small car partner to be truly competitive not only here in the states but globally and it looks they may have found the right one with Fiat.