The 2012 Fiat 500 is almost here. Making its North American debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show this week, the stylish minicar managed to draw plenty of attention, not only because of its cute styling and Italian flair but also because of its $15,000 pricetag.
North American versions of the car will be manufactured at a Chrysler plant in Mexico and differ slightly from the model sold overseas. The stylish hatch is able to seat four but small enough to make driving it a breeze in urban environments.
All models feature a new 101 horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir engine, innovative Blue&Me handsfree communication system, seven airbags (two in front, two window-bags, two side bags and one for protecting the knees), and reactive head restraints that activate in case of shunting accidents. This package has been calibrated for the U.S. market, including the brand-new six-speed automatic transmission.
Customers will be able to choose from three trim levels (Pop, Sport and Lounge), 14 exterior colors (metallic, pastel colors and with pearly triple-coat finishes), 14 color combinations and materials for the seats, two interiors (black or ivory) and a complete line of exclusive accessories made by Mopar.
Among other things, Fiat 500 customers will be able to make use of the free eco:Drive software application that collects journey data through the Blue&Me interface of the car and analyzes them to give the user handy personalized tips to cut travel costs and the environmental impact of his driving style.
First sales of the 2012 Fiat 500 are scheduled to start in December. The car comes with a standard total warranty of four years/50,000 miles and four years of unlimited roadside assistance in addition to a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance plan.