Make some more room in the quirky small auto front because FIAT has shown America its latest installation in the form of the 2012 500 Cabrio, a convertible from the vaunted 500 series. Using the New York International Auto Show as a canvas, this is FIAT’s second North American vehicle venture since the Italian automaker’s reintroduction.
Fun, efficient and cost effective, Cabrio comes at an opportunistic time when warm weather and cautious, but willing spenders will want something fun and economical to cruise the summer nights.
Promising “style, value and driving enjoyment” (Says Laura Soave, head of FIAT North America) the Fiat 500 Cabrio joins the ranks of autos made for fun, for less. How much less? Starting at $19,500, it skirts under the $20,000 bill, making it the only four seat cabrio to do so.
500 Cabrio is something you’ve seen before yet oh so subtly different.
The tiny transport’s cloth top is a bit different than what most are used to, but altogether fit for sunning while driving. It peels back almost like a sardine can: Only the roof section opens up, shedding its middle but leaving the side window frames intact. And drivers can drop the top just about whenever they like, even at speeds up to 60 MPH. It’s all electric too, so push the button and you’re good to go.
Don’t let the small car persona fool you.
While drivers enjoy their wind-protected perfectly shaped bed head hair, they and their cohorts can take comfort literally in knowing that the four seater has the most interior space among immediate competition, with 76.2 cubic feet. This gives it as much cockpit room as the hatchback model. Another spacious plus comes by way of cargo storage, offering 23.4 cubic feet with folded back seats.
The engine gives drivers 101 HP on a 1.4L engine with MultiAir, FIAT’s technology that allows the Cabrio a best in class 30 MPH city and up to 38 MPG highway with manual transmission.
It’s not going to blow away with speed, but that’s not what the Cabrio is about. Trendy Italian style is the main ingredient here, and buyers will be able to customize the car to their satisfaction with a reported plethora of accessories along with 14 exterior colors and a combination of 12 interior shades to match personality. Even the roof gains life with red, tan, or black choices.
Speculation about the exact release date is still hearsay, but word has it sometime in June drivers can take one home.
500 Cabrio will be available in two trim choices:
500c Pop, the $19,500 option and 500c Lounge, at $23,500 it’s Pop personified; the premium tag (with more features) making up for the higher price.
Getting back to basic amenities with flair for a great price will surely lure buyers out of their shells to take a test drive. And FIAT hopes that their brand will very soon sound less foreign by communicating universal good vibes to US drivers.