Fiat Comes Back to U.S. in Little Way

Pricing starts at $15,500

After months of talk about bringing the Fiat 500 to the United States, Chrysler finally pulled the cover off the little car at the 2010 LA Auto Show.

The 500 (Cinquecento), is cute, with its Italian styling, efficient design and innovative technology.

?The Fiat 500 has always been the right car at the right time,? said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America. ?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.?
?Like the original Cinquecento a half-century ago, the new Fiat 500 changes the rules of personal transportation and delivers a new sense of individual expression and opportunity. At a time when America is getting back to basics with a fresh awareness of the environment, the new Fiat 500 identifies with today?s minimalistic attitude and delivers with state-of-the-art eco-friendly technology, and it is wrapped in world-class quality, craftsmanship and style,? added Soave.

The modern-generation Fiat 500 offers high levels of safety, fuel economy (it?s estimated at more than 40 mpg), quality and advanced technology. The 500 is powered by an all-new fuel-efficient 101-hp, 1.4-liter MultiAir? engine with interactive driving software and an all-new optional six-speed automatic transmission.? The standard transmission is a five-speed manual.

With its city-friendly proportions and iconic Cinquecento cues, the 500 conveys a modern Italian styling of simplicity and strength.?It has short overhangs, bodyside made up of several superimposed layers and ?shell-like? roof giving it a distinctive fresh style for a small car. Overall, the 2012 500 is six inches shorter than the Mini Cooper.

The interior design theme is an artistic blend of clean lines and conveniently located features inspired by the original model. Frequently used control buttons are highlighted with chromed circular rings and centrally located on the exterior-matched instrument panel trim for a premium appearance.

The unique Blue & Me? USB port transmits detailed environmental performance data including the CO2 emission level for each trip onto any USB memory stick. The driver can plug the memory stick into his or her personal computer to get a record of the performance and it analyzes each driver?s style and it provides recommendations on how to modify their driving styles to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Its seven standard air bags include: driver and multi-stage front-passenger advanced air bags, driver?s knee bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags.

Developed in collaboration between Fiat and Microsoft, Blue & Me? Handsfree Communication technology is an in-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows drivers to operate a Bluetooth-compatible phone while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Using a series of voice commands, the driver can place phone calls, access the phone?s address book or listen to MP3s. Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology supports most mobile phones with Bluetooth technology.

With the optional TomTom? navigation system, the Blue & Me integrates an innovative 4.3-inch TomTom hand-held navigation unit that docks on top of the new 2012 Fiat 500?s instrument panel. Thanks to its portable design, the TomTom navigation system allows passengers to remove the hand-held device from the vehicle and use it as a guide for walking tours or for finding their way back to the vehicle.

The 500 is available in three models (Pop, Sport and Lounge) with prices starting at $15,000, including the destination charge and go to nearly $24,000 for the Lounge model with all the options. ? All models will come with a standard four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and four years of unlimited roadside assistance. In addition, the new Fiat 500 includes a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance program that includes wear-and-tear items and trip-interruption reimbursement.

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