Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fiat Prices American 500 from $15,500

Now that Fiat/Chrysler is gearing up for the full-out debut of the American 500, information has been spilling over the levies like it's 2005. After recently giving you the heads-up on the car's Americanization and the full list of dealers, we're happy to provide you with the ability to build and price your own little Cinquecento (courtesy of Fiat's US site).

Once it's made available to the public, the 500 will be available as three models (Pop, Sport, Lounge) providing a total of 14 colors and 14 "unique seat color and material combinations". The 2012 Fiat 500 will start with an MSRP starting at $15,500 before the usual dealer mark-up. It will also come with a 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty no matter which trim level you choose.

The Pop is the base model with chrome-accented 15s, a geared-for-America five-speed, and a variety of standard features like a CD/MP3 stereo system, power accessories, and electronic vehicle monitoring. The Sport adds a re-tuned suspension, 16s, unique front/rear fascias, and a few other accessories deemed "sporty" (like a spoiler and different muffler). The Lounge goes the premium direction, with chrome accents, different 15s, and a more upscale feel; it also gets an automatic transmission.

The automatic transmission that's available with the Lounge is an all-new six-speed unit, while both transmissions are hooked up to Fiat's 101-horsepower / 98 lb-ft 1.4-liter MultiAir mill. If the manual transmission is more your style, Fiat offers a self-adjusting hydraulic clutch system as standard. Computer-wise, there's a new interactive system that analyzes your driving style and informs you (via USB stick and PC) on ways to drive a bit more efficiently.

Fiat North America head honcho Laura Soave says, "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."

By Phil Alexa

Modifications for the American Market

- 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