By Drew Johnson
Monday, Jun 22nd, 2009 @ 5:11 pm
 
The Fiat 500 is slated to be the only Fiat-badged model to be sold in America under the recently inked Chrysler-Fiat alliance, but that doesn't mean the Italian automaker will limit the MINI competitor to just one model. Fiat today released a new series of 500C convertible images, and with it came a flurry of new reports suggesting the drop-top will soon be available in the U.S.

The Fiat 500 will hit the U.S. market in July of 2011, and it appears as though the 500C convertible could be close behind. According to several new reports, Fiat has green0lighted the 500C for the U.S. market.

The decision to bring the 500C to America seems like a logical one considering how closely the convertible model mirrors its fixed-roof counterpart. Unlike typical convertibles, the 500C retains most of its roof structure, using a retractable canvas center roof section. The move also helped Fiat to cut costs - both on the engineering and retail sides.

The Euro-spec 500C's roof will be available in ivory, red and black, making it safe to assume the same color palette will be available here in the states. The 500C's exterior color choices will expand to include Pear Red and Warm Grey.

The 500C will receive the same engine options as the 500. That means a standard 69 horsepower 1.2L gas engine, with an optional 100 horsepower 1.4L. A 75 horsepower 1.3L diesel will also be available, although don't expect to see the oil burner on our shores any time soon. Shifting duties will be handled by either a five-speed manual or semi-automatic gearbox.

The 500C will also feature Fiat's start-stop engine technology.

The 500C will initially be built in Fiat's Tychy, Poland plant, but could move to Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico plant in 2010. The 500 hardtop will be built at the Toluca plant from 2011.




Official images