Fiat made its grand re-entrance into the United States with the adorable little hatchback, the Fiat 500 coupe . Now, the Italian automaker is officially debuting its Cabrio version at the 2011 New York Auto Show in about a week’s time. And since no auto show is complete without its string of teaser images, Chrysler has released the first images and details on the American version of the Fiat 500 Cabrio.
On the American market, the 500C will be offered with a premium dual-layer power-operated cloth top that is designed to deliver all-season driving pleasure with the top up or down. This power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds of up to 60 mph.
The model will offer interior room for four passengers. Customers will have their choice of three exterior soft-top colors, 14 exterior colors, and 12 unique seat colors and material combination, plus a choice of two interior environments.
UPDATE 04/26/11: Chrysler has finally announced the pricing for the Fiat 500 Cabrio, slapping a base price of $20,000 on the car, including a $500 destination charge. If you want the top-of-the-line ‘Lounge’ trim, you’re going to need too add $3,500 on the price as the high-end 500 Cabrio is going to have a price tag of $23,500.
gallery: Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 Cabrio will feature the same design language as the coupe version, but combined with a fully power-operated cloth top. Up front the 500C will be distinguished by the 500’s signature "whiskers and logo" with circular projector headlamps. The cabrio version will also get chromed trim and tapers, large wheel arches and a horizontal cooling duct. The model will be further differentiate by a slightly longer windshield that is designed to provide passengers with a maximized outward view. In addition, the windshield elegantly conceals the reinforced upper-cross member that ensures the cabrio’s rigid body structure during spirited driving.
At the side you will easily notice strong arches, chromed belt molding, the signature body-side A-line slopes forward for a dynamic look, while its lateral section features clean surfaces and flared wheel arches to deliver a modern interpretation of the historic Cinquecento.
At the rear the 500C will also get a roof-mounted and color-matched spoiler that improves aerodynamics and a chromed license plate with motif from the original Cinquecento that was inspired by a bicycle saddle.
The interior has also been inspired by the historic model. It will get leather-wrapped steering wheel, while a single concentric instrument cluster features the speedometer, tachometer and trip computer in a distinct and effective manner. The 500C will be offered with a central LCD monitor that shows pictogram from the TomTom® navigation with BLUE&ME™ Handsfree Communication.
Customers will have the possibility to choose between 12 color and material combinatios for the seats that are also inspired by the historic Cinquecento. The seats will be covered in monotone fabric at the bottom and the upper seatback, while the head restraint is matched to the Ivory or Black interior environment. On the Fiat 500c Lounge model, uniquely designed cloth seats provide an upscale look and feel, while premium leather seats are available in traditional Nero (black), a Marrone (brown) hide or ultra-sporty Rosso (red) and deliver a sophisticated look.
The 2012 500 Cabrio will be powered by an all-new 1.4-liter 16-valve engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir® fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology. This engine will deliver a total of 101 HP at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. When paired with the five-speed manual transmission, the Fiat 500 delivers up to 38 highway mpg.
Customers will also have the possibility to opt for an all-new six-speed automatic transmission that comes with a "Sport" option that enables quicker gear changes.
The 2012 Fiat 500C will be offered in two versions: Pop and Lounge. The Fiat 500c Pop model is the only four-seat cabrio in the market priced below $20,000. The Lounge model will go on sale in late spring at a starting price of $23,500.
The new Fiat 500 Cabrio will take on models like Ford Ka and Toyota iQ , orScion iQ as it will be sold on the US market. Completely redesigned for the 2008 Paris Auto Show, the Ford Ka features an impressive exterior design and is powered by a 1.2-liter Duratec petrol engine that delivers a total of 69 HP and a 1.3-liter Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel that delivers 75 HP.
The 2011 Scion iQ is powered by a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 90 hp. However, when is comes about the way it looks, the 500 is far better than the iQ. Or at least this is what we are thinking.
Cool exterior look
Impressive fuel economy
Only one engine option
Not too many versions to choose from