Il Nuovo (Chrysler) Fiat 500 Hits Motor City - GREAT VIDEOS
By Bruce Hubbard
The Auto Channel
DETROIT - August 3, 2009: Every since this year's Geneva Auto Show where the new FIAT 500c was shown with Elle Macpherson, I have wanted to check it out again...this week in Grosse Pointe and Detroit I had the pleasure.
The new Fiat 500 reminds me not of their first small Centro from Fiat back in 1957 but of the first Mini I drove in 1962. The Fiat Style Centre designed the 500 and they gave us a rock solid masterpiece that is very functional. Electric windows and sunroof. The model shown will be for the American market. I hope that they can also bring in the soft-top "C" convertible model.
Click PLAY to watch the video commemorating Fiat 500's 50th Anniversary
The size is perfect for motoring in Detroit, Florida, or smaller cities. Fiat/Chrysler expects the car to sell for $11,000 to $17,000 in the North American market.
Chrysler/Fiat expect the large majority of buyers will be women. Many youthful. But, I wonder for the other day a lady friend bought the two seater Mazda Miata? In fact the two owners of the newest hard top convertible from Mazda Miata known as the MX5 are over 50 years old.
Like the first Mini I had, the 500 could hold more than many crossovers or wagons with me alone driving. Look at the way the rear seats fold away. From ceiling to the flat surfaces created when rear seats folded I managed to load up more cargo than I could imagine.
Fun to drive is a plus. I had the six-speed version. The Fiat 500C will offer automatics. The 100 horsepower version gets to 100 miles per hour slowly but surely. On the highway some noise comes into the cabin when the sun roof is closed. Chrysler Fiat are working on that and we will see improvements in noise vibration and harshness by the time the 500C is sold in the North American market.
Click PLAY to see the special Barbie doll Fiat 500
At present the vehicle I am showing you is the European version. The North American version will not be much different. The bumpers front and rear may change slightly. Inside larger cup holders I understand are coming. The seats are all leather on our tester. Wonderful. Remind me of the Alfa Romeo seats. Comfortable.
All in all the Chrysler Fiat group already has a winner once approved for USA sales.
I love the 500 and look forward to testing all versions in Italy. “Ciao!”
Click PLAY to watch the Fiat 500 Abarth in action