The 2012 Fiat 500c Gucci Edition was named Best Small Car Convertible during the recent Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) “Topless in Miami” competition in Key Biscayne.
It was the second consecutive year that year the little Italian import has won top honors in that category and just one of many awards it has received since its introduction to the U.S. market as part of the Chrysler family.
The Fiat 500c does have a nice combination of beautiful Italian styling, efficient design, timeless functionality and innovative technology, the same qualities that made the original Fiat 500 (Cinquecento) an icon more than 50 years ago. The new Fiat 500 caters to a new generation of Americans who want their cars to be as engaging, individualized, ecologically responsible and technologically savvy as they are.
With its A-segment size, the Fiat 500 seats four passengers and is powered by an all-new fuel-efficient 1.4-liter Fiat MultiAir engine (30/38 mpg) mated to either a manual gearbox or an all-new six-speed automatic transmission. Hands-free communication technology and seven air bags are standard equipment.
With new circular projector headlights and lower parking lights, the new Fiat 500 combines the family resemblance of the latest Fiat models with the distinctive elements of the original Cinquecento. To show its road-holding stance, the vehicle’s front fascia tapers outward toward its large wheel arches, with horizontal chrome trim for an added touch. The upper fascia has a horizontal cooling duct for added design character and to provide additional engine cooling, while the lower honeycomb grille integrates road-brightening fog lights.
The new Fiat 500’s body-side A-line slopes slightly at the front for a dynamic look, while its lateral section has clean surfaces and flared wheel arches. There are five unique wheel designs ranging from 15 to 16 inches, with the “500” logo on the center caps. The hood-to-fender seam is cut at the A-line. Bihalogen projector headlights and re-styled taillights are visible from the side profile, while new lower-sill spats protect the bodyside from stone chips. Roof pillars and shadowline window molding form a continuous arc to neatly hide the upper edge of the doors. To keep the rear design clean, the taillights are neatly set between the edges of the liftgate and the lighting functions are divided vertically following the door’s cutline, while the rear window spans the width of the liftgate and meets cleanly at the pillar.
Since its initial launch in 2007, more than 500,000 Fiat 500 vehicles have been sold in more than 80 countries around the world, earning more than 60 international awards, including being named the 2008 European Car of the Year.
Pricing on the 2012 Fiat 500 starts at $15,500.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com