CHICAGO | Patrons of the Chicago Auto Show are the first to get a close look at the next small car phenomenon to hit streets in our region with the debut of the 2012 Fiat 500.
Part of Chrysler Group, the new Fiat 500 caters to buyers looking for a uniquely styled fun-to-drive vehicle that stays within their budget to own and operate.
"Fiat 500 is the right car at the right time," said Laura Soave, head of Fiat Brand North America. "It 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."
The 2012 Fiat 500 mimics the family resemblance of the original Fiat 500 from a half-century ago, with squat two-door proportions and tall roof line that carries four occupants and a starting price of $15,500.
Fiat 500 comes in Pop, Sport and Lounge models powered by a 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine that yields 101 horsepower and fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon in town and 38 mpg on the highway.
A five-speed manual transmission comes with Pop and Sport models while a six-speed automatic is standard on the Lounge model and optional on other trim levels.
Base Pop models arrive with 15-inch steel wheels, chrome trimmed wheel covers, full-power accessories, air-conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, tilt steering wheel and six-speaker audio system with CD, MP3 player and auxiliary power jacks.
Fiat 500 Sport receives all of the Pop model's content, but rolls on 16-inch aluminum wheels with red painted brake calipers attached to a sport-tuned suspension.
Distinctive front and rear fascias with a large honeycomb grille, bodyside sill cladding, rear liftgate-mounted roof spoiler and special sport-styled seats also are part of the Sport priced at $17,500.
The 2012 Fiat 500 Lounge is tailored for individuals who want their Fiat 500 to reflect their fashion-oriented lifestyle.
Chrome exterior accents, fog lamps and a fixed glass roof top the list of standard features. Premium interior amenities include premium cloth seats, leather wrapped-steering wheel with audio controls and hands-free communication system.
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the 2012 Fiat Lounge is $19,500.
Buyers of the Fiat 500 choose from 14 exterior paint colors and 14 unique seat color and material combinations set in either a black or ivory colored cabin environment.
A full line of authentic Fiat accessories offer customers even more personalization possibilities, including striping packages, exterior and interior styling accessories and other Fiat-styled merchandise.
The 2012 Fiat 500 comes with a standard four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and four years of unlimited roadside assistance.