2012 SEMA Preview: Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser by Mopar

Article by Christian A., on October 14, 2012

A beach cruiser theme is used on the widebody Fiat 500 that Mopar had released a teaser of last month. The Fiat 500 gets surf-friendly revisions in a retro-style build that will be introduced at the SEMA Show this year. Mopar was able to make the Fiat 500 body wider by a foot in the front and the rear before applying a charcoal, matte-grey finish to the exterior.

The traditional style fender flares are used on aluminum Mopar prototype wheels that will attract plenty of attention due to its bright red paint. To serve as a contrast to its matte exterior, the door handles, mirrors, front chin spoiler, and roof rack surfboard carrier get a brushed, satin finish. Vintage hot rod culture is evident on the hood and rear deck lid while the teak woodwork on the slats of the roof rack lends a distinctive accent.

This theme can also be observed inside. It gets Beach Cruiser satin-brushed trim bezels and ‘boardwalk’ inspired floor slats finished with teak woodwork. It also features dark grey naugahyde vinyl seats that are accented with red-and-white beach towel seat inserts.

When it comes to performance upgrades, Mopar gave it a cold-air intake and exhaust system while its chassis is tightened with a strut tower brace. The theme is punctuated with no less than a hula girl figurine on the front and center of the dash.

A new feature in the Fiat 500C is that the windscreen is a bit higher. This change was applied because there was a need to change the size of the upper cross member. The result is not just beautifully clean lines and a stronger body but also the rear passengers being able to experience a better view. All of these qualities are also enhanced by the fact that the windscreen has that continuity which goes to the fabric roof without being able to reveal any of the bodywork.

This is clearly a technologically sophisticated yet rather elegant solution, which is what the Fiat 500C is well-known for. On its side, the car is able to stand apart from the rest through the outline of its pillars. Particularly, the pillars have those strong arches which contrast with how the soft top is shaped. It is this soft top that expresses the vehicle’s upper lines and results in a slimmer appearance especially when compared to the saloon version.

Standing out as well are the alloy wheels. There are a number of choices with the 16-inch version having the cross-spoked design much like the original spoked wheels of the 1960s models. Another option is the 15-inch wheel which comes with a design that is clearly more fluid. Regardless of which one the customer chooses, both will have the cup-shaped classic locking nuts with the 500 logo embossed to it.

According to Fiat & Abarth Style Director Roberto Giolito, the Fiat 500C was not the simple sole “open” version of the 500 model that was first launched back in 2007. He says that due to the different choices available, the new 500C is a new vehicle in its own right. He adds that it has that same strong personality as the original one back in 1957 and will also have the sentimental value that enthusiasts have attached to it over the years.

Giolito continues by saying that while the new 500C continues to respect what was offered by the original version, it manages to enhance it by adding in new features. This is due to the various choices in style which gives everyone the maximum freedom of use, he concludes.

Topics: sema show, fiat, fiat 500

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