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2012 Fiat 500c cabriolet arrives with spring

Wed, 20 Apr 2011

The Fiat 500 two-door has been slowly filtering into dealerships for just a few weeks. Nonetheless, Chrysler is ready to serve up the convertible variant just in time for the warm weather.

The 500c cabriolet makes its debut at the New York auto show. It is powered by a 101-hp, 1.4-liter engine. Buyers have a choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The automatic includes a sport mode.

The 500c builds on the functionality and Italian styling of the hatchback model.

The famous canvas roof on the original Nuova Cinquecento of 1957 inspired the power-operated cloth top on the modern 500c. It can be retracted to the rear spoiler at speeds of up to 60 mph.

The 500c seats four and comes in two trim levels, Pop and Lounge.

The Pop comes standard with the power-cloth top, manual transmission and all-season tires. A chrome exhaust tip, power-heated mirrors and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are also included.

The Lounge version features the six-speed automatic and offers premium amenities in addition to Pop features, including front- and rear-fascia chrome accents, chrome mirror caps and fog lights. The interior has premium cloth seats, Sirius satellite radio, automatic climate control, a six-speaker Bose sound system complete with subwoofer, and a security alarm.

Both cabrio versions will be available this spring.

Buyers can choose from three colors for the soft top colors and 14 exterior colors. There are a dozen choices for seat colors and material combinations. The interior is available in black or ivory.

Other highlights include a longer windshield that wraps up and over the header support. The design reduces wind turbulence in the cabin when the top is open, Chrysler said.

The 500c cabriolet includes a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance program that includes wear-and-tear items and trip-interruption reimbursement.

By Michelle Koueiter