We had mentioned before that Fiat would debut a convertible version of its much-loved and too-cute new 500, so to follow up on that, here’s the report on the actual car. Officially, it’s called the 500 C and it pretty much exudes with personality. Although the coupe version was inspired by the original 500 from decades ago, there was no convertible version from back then, so Fiat started with a clean sheet of paper and they ended up with something more Targa-like than a true convertible. This unique top really differentiates the 500 C from its closest competition, the Mini Cooper Convertible, which is a much more traditional convertible design.
The 500 C seats four, although the rear seats are a bit tight, due to stowing the top. Naturally, you also give up some cargo room for the convertible setup but, overall, the convertible version is a lot like the coupe. The 500 C has a Targa-style canvas convertible roof, which means the car’s door pillars and area just above the side glass remains intact. This unique Targa setup is power operated and will be available in black, red and ivory.
Engine choices are either a 70 horsepower 1.2-liter or a 100 horsepower 1.4-liter. A more powerful Abarth edition is on its way and there are no plans to offer the 500 C with a diesel mill. All 500 C engines will come with start-stop technology, which will improve fuel economy by about 8 percent.
For some reason, England will get the 500 C first when it shows up in spring 2009, with European sales starting just in time for summer. U.S. sales remain up in the air, but Fiat’s alliance with Chrysler means the 500 C could turn up over here, and you know people would buy it. C’Mon Fiat, bring it.