2012 Fiat 500
Fiat is making a come-back to the US market with the smallest model in their line-up: the 500. Making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 500 has been heavily adapted for the U.S. customer. It will be offered in three versions: Pop, Sport, and Lounge and prices start from $15,500, but a Fiat 500 with a few options added and a 6-speed automatic transmission will easily take you to $20K.
Compared to the European model, the 500 US version receives a redesigned body structure for increased strength, exclusively tailored suspension, new four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system (ABS) with redesigned front calipers for optimum brake performance, larger fuel tank, redesigned driver and front-passenger seats, new steering wheel controls and revised steering effort calibration and a new BOSE® Energy Efficient Series premium audio system. It also gets an all-new air bag system created to meet all U.S. regulatory requirements.
Under the hood there is an all-new 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir technology that delivers 101 HP at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. Also, exclusive for the US market there is an all-new six-speed automatic transmission.
Updated 08/03/2010: Fiat USA has launched a new ad campaign in the United States to promote the tiny 500. There are two commercials promoting the model: "Simply More" and "Drive In." Enjoy!
Press release after the jump.
2012 Fiat 500
The Fiat brand marks its return to the North American market today with the reveal of the 2012 Fiat 500 (Cinquecento) at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. With its beautiful Italian styling, timeless functionality, efficient design and innovative technology – the same attributes that made the original version a timeless icon – the new Fiat 500 is relevant for an entirely new generation of drivers.
“The Fiat 500 has always been the right car at the right time,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America. “The new Fiat 500 now brings something truly unique to one of the fastest growing segments in North America, delivering Italian-by-design function, value and efficiency intelligently tailored for our market.”
Fiat’s successful small-car formula worked then and still works now
Like the original Cinquecento, the new 2012 Fiat 500 showcases the Fiat brand’s ingenuity to build world-class small cars that ignite a spirit of the times through simple design, beautiful craftsmanship and timeless value. As a result, the Fiat 500 has continued to surprise and delight customers worldwide for more than 50 years.
Modernizing the successful formula from its past, the new Fiat 500 caters to an entirely new generation of Americans who want their vehicle to be as engaging, individualized, ecologically responsible and technologically savvy as they are.
“Like the original Cinquecento a half-century ago, the new Fiat 500 changes the rules of personal transportation and delivers a new sense of individual expression and opportunity. At a time when America is getting back to basics with a fresh awareness of the environment, the new Fiat 500 identifies with today’s minimalistic attitude and delivers with state-of-the-art eco-friendly technology, and it is wrapped in world-class quality, craftsmanship and style,” added Soave.
This modern-generation Fiat 500 offers high levels of safety, fuel economy, quality and advanced technology. With its city-friendly four-passenger A-segment size, engaging driving dynamics, all-new fuel-efficient 1.4-liter MultiAir® engine with interactive driving software, state-of-the-art Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology and seven standard air bags, the new Fiat 500 offers a driving and ownership experience unlike anything available today. This package is further enhanced with new quality and refinement adaptations for the U.S. market, including an all-new six-speed automatic transmission.
Designed for the metro
The new 2012 Fiat 500 features city-friendly proportions and iconic Cinquecento cues, wrapped in modern Italian styling that conveys simplicity and strength.
Thanks to its short overhangs, bodyside made up of several superimposed layers and ‘shell-like’ roof, the new Fiat 500 features unmistakable proportions and a number of aesthetic features to give it an ‘appealing’ air while conveying solidity and robustness.
With its signature ‘whiskers and logo’ face, new circular projector bi-halogen headlamps and lower fog lamps, the new Fiat 500 combines the family resemblance of the latest Fiat models and the distinctive elements of the original Cinquecento in stylistic harmony. The rear of the new Fiat 500 is stylized with its new signature chromed license-plate brow, a motif from the original Cinquecento that was inspired by a bicycle saddle.
Cinquecento’s interior design features simple elegance with timeless design features
With its high attention to detail, no-nonsense design and numerous personalization options, the new 2012 Fiat 500’s interior represents a new direction in personal transportation.
For the new Fiat 500, simple does not mean ‘bare’ – instead it embraces a particular stylistic and constructive interpretation that strives for ‘simplified enjoyment.’ The passenger compartment is airy and roomy, an environment designed to be comfortable and enjoyable for any destination.
The interior design theme of the new Fiat 500 is an artistic blend of clean lines and conveniently located features inspired by the original model. A clear example of this inspiration is the Fiat 500’s single concentric instrument cluster that effectively displays vehicle information while being surrounded by an exterior-color-matched upper instrument panel for a sense of refinement and elegance. Frequently used vehicle buttons are highlighted with chromed circular rings and centrally located on the exterior-matched instrument panel trim for a premium appearance. Paying homage to the past, the chromed ‘hook’ door handle shape recalls one of the most remembered features on the original model while integrating modern-day power door locks.
Fiat 500 embodies a new vision of technology’s role in the achievement of sustainable mobility
Adapted for U.S. customers, the new 2012 Fiat 500 features an all-new 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir® technology for world-class levels of power, fuel efficiency, quality and refinement.
MultiAir technology offers up to 10 percent greater fuel efficiency and power while decreasing CO2 emissions up to 10 percent when compared with similar engines not equipped with the system. This technology was recognized with the ‘Best of What’s New’ award presented by Popular Science magazine. This accolade recognizes breakout products and technologies that represent a significant leap forward in their categories.
The engine is well suited for the Fiat 500’s lightweight design and city-friendly size, and it delivers 101 horsepower (75 kW) at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. (133 N•m) of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Interactive driving technology enables Fiat 500 drivers to minimize their effect on the environment
The new 2012 Fiat 500’s interactive driving technology demonstrates that an automaker’s environmental responsibility should not stop when the car leaves the production line but rather extend into the way customers drive their cars.
The system collects all necessary data relating to vehicle efficiency and, through the Blue & Me™ USB port, transmits it onto any USB memory stick. Once the driver plugs the memory stick into his or her personal computer, the system presents drivers with the Fiat 500’s detailed environmental performance including the CO2 emission level for each trip. In addition, it analyzes each driver’s style and provides recommendations on how to modify their driving styles to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Automatic and manual transmissions deliver added performance and fuel efficiency
The new 2012 Fiat 500 offers two reliable, robust and sophisticated transmissions for the North American market that have been uniquely designed for improved efficiency and driving fun.
Exclusively available for the North American market, an all-new six-speed automatic transmission provides the new Fiat 500 with smooth shifting and excellent fuel economy. For engaging driving, the transmission allows for driver-selectable gear changes. Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode by pressing the button on the instrument panel, the transmission’s shift schedule and the steering response are automatically adjusted to provide even more sporty driving dynamics.
An upgraded five-speed manual transmission features new gear ratios for the U.S. market, improving fuel efficiency and acceleration. A new self-adjusting hydraulic-clutch system is standard with this transmission, benefiting drivers with consistent pedal efforts over the life of the clutch and virtually maintenance-free operation. Selecting ‘Sport’ mode with the manual transmission calibrates the pedal-to-throttle relation and the steering response to add greater driving enjoyment.
Intelligently adapted for the North American market
Every detail of the new 2012 Fiat 500 has been thoroughly examined to successfully tailor the vehicle for North American roads. Key adaptations include:
- Redesigned body structure for increased strength
- Exclusively tailored suspension for the U.S. market to keep the Fiat 500 nimble while delivering a comfortable and quiet interior cabin for highway driving
- Over 20 specific hardware modifications/additions for improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)
- New four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system (ABS) with redesigned front calipers for optimum brake performance
- Larger 10.5-gallon fuel tank for extended driving range
- Upgraded heating and cooling system for North American climate extremes
- Redesigned driver and front-passenger seats feature a new armrest and seat cushion for improved comfort on long journeys
- Easy-entry system designed into the new front seats
- New steering wheel controls and revised steering effort calibration to increase stability at highway speed (against crosswinds)
- New BOSE® Energy Efficient Series premium audio system features six premium speakers and a subwoofer
Seven standard air bags and reactive head restraints
The new 2012 Fiat 500 features an all-new air bag system to offer unique protection for its passengers to meet all U.S. regulatory requirements. Its seven standard air bags include: driver and multi-stage front-passenger advanced air bags, driver’s knee bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, to offer enhanced protection to all occupants in the event of a collision.
Reactive head restraints that activate during a rear impact are another innovation helping to minimize injuries by reducing the gap between the head restraint and a passenger’s head.
Innovative Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology
Developed in collaboration between Fiat and Microsoft, Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology is an in-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows drivers to operate a Bluetooth-compatible phone while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Using a series of voice commands, the driver can place phone calls, access the phone’s address book or listen to MP3s. Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology supports most mobile phones with Bluetooth technology.
With the optional TomTom® navigation with Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology, the system integrates an innovative 4.3-inch TomTom hand-held navigation unit that docks on top of the new 2012 Fiat 500’s instrument panel. With its large touch-screen display, simple map displays with available real-time traffic, weather and more than 7 million points of interests, TomTom navigation with Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology is intuitive for the driver to use. And with its direct integration into the Fiat 500’s interior system, the driver is able to use steering-wheel-mounted controls to make operation even easier.
Thanks to its portable design, the TomTom navigation system allows passengers of the Fiat 500 to remove the hand-held device from the vehicle and use it as a guide for walking tours or for finding their way back to the vehicle.
Unique style and personalization options
With 14 paint colors available in metallic, non-metallic and premium tri-coat pearl finishes, every new 2012 Fiat 500 will be distinct. In addition, the interior is available in two interior environments (Black or Ivory) with 14 unique seat color and material combinations for an individualized look.
A full line of authentic Fiat 500 accessories by Mopar will offer customers even more personalization possibilities at their local Fiat dealership, including unique striping packages, exterior and interior styling accessories and authentic Fiat-styled merchandise.
Customers are now able to configure their own Fiat 500 on-line at www.fiatusa.com.
New Fiat 500 Pop, Sport and Lounge models
The new 2012 Fiat 500 offers three exciting models infused with style, technology and convenience features to make life on the go more personalized and comforting.
Fiat 500 Pop
Designed for the individual who wants Italian style, efficiency and personalization options, the new Fiat 500 Pop includes a manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels with chrome-accented wheel covers and all-season tires, seven standard air bags, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with auxiliary audio input, power windows, power door locks, power heated mirrors, speed control and reconfigurable Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with trip computer, miles-to-empty, average fuel economy and tire-pressure monitoring display (TPM).
Fiat 500 Sport
For the driving enthusiast who demands Italian style with sport-tuned suspension and more convenience features, the new Fiat 500 Sport model encompasses modified springs, shock tuning, steering calibration and exhaust tuning to deliver a more firm ride and responsive handling. The Sport model also includes a manual transmission and (in addition to the Fiat 500 Pop features) distinctively styled front and rear fascias with larger ‘honeycomb’ grilles and flared aerodynamic treatment.
Between its unique 16-inch aluminum wheels with Mineral Gray painted pockets and all-season tires, the Fiat 500 Sport incorporates new bodyside sill cladding and a liftgate-mounted roof spoiler for a sporty appearance. Completing this athletic vehicle’s design theme are Performance Red painted brake calipers attached to a sport-tuned suspension, chromed exhaust tip and fog lamps. Inside, the new Fiat 500 Sport features unique sport-styled seating in a Gray/Black interior environment, a BOSE® Energy Efficient Series audio system with six premium speakers and subwoofer, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology with USB port and iPod control capability.
Fiat 500 Lounge
Tailored for individuals who want their Fiat 500 to reflect their fashion-oriented lifestyles, the new Fiat 500 Lounge model features premium amenities (in addition to the Fiat 500 Pop features) including the all-new six-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable gear changes, front- and rear-fascia chromed accents, chrome mirror caps, fog lamps, fixed glass roof, 15-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires, premium cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, BOSE Energy Efficient Series audio system with six premium speakers and subwoofer, security alarm, Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology with USB port and iPod control capability.
The starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2012 Fiat 500 is $15,500.
Taking care of the new family members
All 2012 Fiat 500 models will come with a standard four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and four years of unlimited roadside assistance. In addition, the new Fiat 500 includes a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance program that includes wear-and-tear items and trip-interruption reimbursement.