2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio Lounge
Subcompact gets an open-air variant
By Nina Russin
What’s not to love about an Italian car? This year, Fiat returns to North America with two versions of its classic Cinquecento. A hatchback came first, followed by a cabriolet currently rolling into dealerships. Fiat unveiled the new convertible at the New York Auto Show in April.
The new open-air Fiat comes 55 years after the original Cinquecento rolled out in Italy. A power two-layer cloth top on the 2012 car replaces a removable canvas panel on the 1957 Nuova Cinquecento.
Despite its retro appearance inside and out, the new Fiat 500 Cabrio is more versatile than the original version, with a spacious high-tech interior and power top which deploys in two positions. The first retracts the top to the roof-mounted rear spoiler; the second to the boot.
There are two trim levels, as opposed to three for the hatchback. Base price for the entry-level Pop is $19,500, not including a $500 destination charge. Power comes from a 1.4-liter engine rated at 101 horsepower, and a five-speed manual transmission. Standard comfort features include the power top, air conditioning, MP3 compatible audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, rear park assist and 15-inch wheels.
The upscale Lounge grade gets a six-speed automatic transmission in lieu of the five-speed manual, a Bose premium audio system, security alarm and extra chrome trim. Base price is $23,500. Read the rest of this entry »