Fiat reveals details about 2012 500c

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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When Italian automaker Fiat introduced the first 500 minicar back in 1957, it soon became a cultural icon not unlike Britain's Mark 1 Mini or Germany's Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle. Both Mini and Volkswagen have launched retro versions of their iconic minicars in past years, and in 2007 Fiat did the same with its 500.  

In 2010, the Fiat 500 was introduced to North American consumers through Chrysler's dealer network (Fiat owns a stake in the Auburn Hills' based automaker), and so far the car has proven quite popular. In fact, Chrysler Canada reported that its first 500 special edition versions sold out in just twelve hours. Since then, Fiat has built on the popularity of the 500 with the recent announcement of a convertible version, the 2012 Fiat 500c.

The 2012 Fiat 500c features a power-operated, dual-layer cloth roof that lowers or raises with the push of a single button. Fiat says the roof can be tucked away even while driving at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph).

Power comes from a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 101-horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 98 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.  Transmission choices include a six-speed automatic with "Sport" mode for quicker gear changes, or a five-speed manual that Fiat says will help deliver the U.S. EPA estimated equivalent of 6.2 L/100km on the highway.

The chic exterior of the 500c is available in no less than 14 colours ranging from metallic, non-metallic and premium tri-coat pearl finishes. Inside, there are two colour themes to choose from; Nero (black) and Avorio (white) and there are 12 colour selections for the seats.

The 500c makes use of a TomTom navigation system which relays information on a centrally located LCD screen, while Fiat's BLUE&ME infotainment system offers hands-free communication via mobile devices through voice command. The little Fiat also has a Bose premium audio system.

"Perfectly timed with the warm weather and excitement of spring, the new 2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio expands our product lineup while paying homage to the brand's rich heritage of open-air cabrios that deliver style, value and driving enjoyment," said Head of FIAT Brand North America, Laura Soave. "The new Fiat 500c has been intelligently tailored for our market – now with an added dose of sunshine and panoramic views at the push of a button."

Expect the first allotment of 500 Cabrios to show up at Chrysler dealers soon.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Fiat, 2012, 500C, $20,000 - $29,999, Subcompact,

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