Fiat will be bringing its convertible supermini – the 500 Cabrio -- to the United States even as rivals such as the less expensive Mustang dominate the market. A report from KickingTires states that Fiat will show off this model at the upcoming 2011 New York Auto Show in April. It’s expected that the car will go on sale this spring, shortly after the debut at the event.
This report doesn’t come as a surprise since there have long been speculations that the Mexican plant that builds the US-spec 500 also has the capacity to assemble both convertible and Abarth variants.
The new Fiat 500C was displayed for the first time at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. It offers a tribute to the original 1957 Fiat 500 but at the same time, it features innovative solutions in terms of mechanical design, engines and comfort. The US version is likely to be mostly the same, except for the bigger bumper seen on the Sport.
The double-layered roof fabric guarantees the best possible insulation from the outside, along with the internal coverings of the pillars. The automatic electric soft top on the 500C can be controlled either by buttons near to the interior ceiling light or from the remote control.
In addition, the soft top can be operated throughout its horizontal travel (as far as the spoiler) at any speed. Vertical movement can be engaged at speeds of under 60 km/h (37 mph).
The all-new Fiat 500C, which was first introduced to the world at the 2009 Motor Show in Geneva, gives honor to the original 1957 Fiat 500 with its fabric roof and delivers ground-breaking solutions with regards to engines, mechanical design and comfort. These efforts are made in keeping with the genuine Fiat tradition of providing people with access to the segment’s firsts in terms of content and technology.
The Italian public will be given the opportunity to test drive it beginning July 4, 2009, the birth date of Fiat 500 and which also marks exactly the second year following the launch of a car that set a higher standard in terms of features, technology, comfort and safety.
By means of the usual open-source approach (letting a successful product evolve based on the input of users), the Centro Stile Fiat design made the Fiat 500C by cooperating with some communities of Cinquecento devotees, particularly the website “500 Wants You”, and by strengthening the model’s position as “a car made by and for the people.”
Beginning with the saloon version, introducing the soft top does not change anything. In fact, it retains the winning features of the model like its 4 comfortable seats and boot capability. Furthermore, it includes new functions that boost the joy of driving, including easy access to the boot even if the soft top is open, due to a smart system of parallelogram-shaped hinges.
Other strong points of the original cabriolet are the outstanding climate as well as sound comfort. A comprehensive aerodynamic research means that the turbulence encountered when the roof is open has been significantly reduced, allowing passengers to fully enjoy the fresh air and the company of other occupants.
The model comes with a feature that seeks to interpret the original design in a modern way: an electric sliding roof that’s very stylish. With this element, the Fiat 500C can no longer be seen as a seasonal product. Rather, it’s one that people can enjoy all throughout the year. To be brief, these features let the new vehicle be among the successful convertibles in the division of modern city cars.
The Fiat 500C’s soft top, which is a real object of design, stands out because of its electrically controlled movements, impressive finish and carefully chosen technical features like the glass rear window and third brake light incorporated in the soft top. Offered in 3 colors (red, black and ivory), the smart soft top is matched with different paint finishes such as 3 ad-hoc creations: the Tech House Grey, very characteristic of sporty cars, Goth-Metal Blue (available for the whole range) and pearlescent Ragamuffin Red.
The Fiat 500C has an exclusive interior feel, which is adorned with the best quality and most desirable fabrics. For example, it is fitted with Frau leather upholstery plus a long list of standard features as well as included options such as the automatic climate control, ground-breaking Interscope HiFi System, Blue&Me Map portable navigation, smart wind-stop, the Start&Stop system and the latest collection of custom-made options.