Fiat’s newly introduced 500C may not be a convertible in the real sense of the word, but the Italian company that holds the fates of Chrysler hopes to capture the attention of sun-seeking buyers with its panoramic canvas-top mini, which made its US debut at this week’s 2011 New York Auto Show.
Scheduled to go on sale this May, the new 2012 500C will be offered in two trim levels, the base Pop that is priced at $19,500, and the better-equipped Lounge, priced at $23,500. According to Fiat, the 500C is the only four-seat cabrio in the U.S. market. However, Fiat’s definition of a ‘cabrio’ is loose -to say the least- given that the 500C comes with full frame doors and columns, simply adding a rollover canvas top in place of the metal roof.
The base version will get you a power cloth top, manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels, seven standard air bags, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with auxiliary audio input, chromed exhaust tip, power windows and door locks, power heated mirrors, speed control, BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology with USB port, and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The similarly equipped tin-top 500 is priced at $15,500.
The more premium Lounge model adds several features on top of those found on the Pop, including the a six-speed automatic transmission, front- and rear-fascia chromed accents, chromed mirror caps, fog lamps, 15-inch alloys, premium cloth seats, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, automatic climate control, and BOSE Energy Efficient Series audio system with six premium speakers and subwoofer and security alarm.