Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Shortly after Chrysler Group was saved from bankruptcy by the foreign investment of Fiat last year, the Italian auto-making world power has been promising to make a Fiat model available to the U.S. by way of select Chrysler dealers. However, only those dealers who could afford to build separate service and sales offices to accommodate the Fiat additions would be considered to take on the brand (among other criteria) and, per www.fiatusa.com, no dealers have been named to date. Nevertheless, Chrysler/Fiat has confirmed the Fiat 500 will be the first model made available to U.S. buyers in 2011, adapted and redesigned to suit the North American Market.
Conceptualized as “style and fashion co-existing with function and practicality,” the 500, or Cinquecento, promises to offer “small-car buyers a stylish, high-value alternative.” This ultimately equates to sporty exterior/interior design powered by a 1.4-liter engine. The 500 Sport model (pictured above) is equipped with Fiat’s MultiAir™ technology which the company says, “significantly reduces emissions while improving fuel economy and power delivery by up to 10 percent when compared to similar engines.”
The Fiat 500’s U.S. debut will come in three different trims, Sport, Pop, Lounge, and a convertible “Cabrio” version of the 500 is slated for release in the spring of 2011.
Future Fiat plans include the availability of four models available in the U.S. by 2014.