Look out Mini Cooper, Chrysler unveiled the 2012 Fiat 500 (or as it’s known in Italy, “the Cinquecento”) yesterday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “This modern-generation Fiat 500 offers high levels of safety, fuel economy, quality and advanced technology,” says Chrysler. “With its city-friendly four-passenger A-segment size, engaging driving dynamics, all-new fuel-efficient 1.4-liter MultiAir® engine with interactive driving software, state-of-the-art Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology and seven standard air bags, the new Fiat 500 offers a driving and ownership experience unlike anything available today.”
Hopefully unique, European style will be a hit for Chrysler. As Leftlanenews points out, “Ever since it acquired 20 percent of Chrysler last year, Fiat has been touting the 500′s return to North America.” Chrysler also named 130 dealerships who’ll add the Fiat 500 to their inventory, more than likely to do battle against affordable small cars like the Volkswagen Beetle and Mini Cooper.
Starting at $15,500 it’s certainly priced competitively enough to be a success with value-minded consumers who don’t want to skip on flair, and as Consumer Reports points out, “In fully-loaded Lounge trim, the car will sell for $19,500. That undercuts its main competitor, the Mini Cooper, by several thousand dollars.”
“The interior design theme of the new Fiat 500 is an artistic blend of clean lines and conveniently located features inspired by the original model,” says Chrysler. Meanwhile power in the 500 is provided by, “an all-new 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir® technology… The engine is well suited for the Fiat 500’s lightweight design and city-friendly size, and it delivers 101 horsepower.” The 500 will be available with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic when it goes on sale next Spring.