2012 Fiat 500
2012 Fiat 500. Click image to enlarge

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2012 Fiat 500

Los Angeles – Fiat returned to North America today with the unveiling of the new Fiat 500 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  “The new Fiat 500 now 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,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America.

“Like the original Cinquecento a half-century ago, the new Fiat 500 changes the rules of personal transportation and delivers a new sense of individual expression and opportunity. At a time when America is getting back to basics with a fresh awareness of the environment, the new Fiat 500 identifies with today’s minimalistic attitude and delivers with state-of-the-art eco-friendly technology, and it is wrapped in world-class quality, craftsmanship and style,” added Soave.

The new 500 features city-friendly four-passenger A-segment size, engaging driving dynamics, all-new fuel-efficient 1.4-litre ‘MultiAir’ engine with interactive driving software, state-of-the-art Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology and seven standard air bags.  It is further enhanced with new quality and refinement adaptations for the North American market, including an all-new six-speed automatic transmission.

Adapted for North America,  the all-new 1.4-litre, in-line four-cylinder engine features state-of-the-art MultiAir technology. MultiAir technology offers up to 10 per cent greater fuel efficiency and power while decreasing CO2 emissions up to 10 per cent when compared with similar engines not equipped with the system. The engine delivers 101 horsepower at 6,500 r.p.m. and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 r.p.m.

Exclusively available for the North American market, an all-new six-speed automatic transmission provides the new Fiat 500 with smooth shifting and excellent fuel economy. For engaging driving, the transmission allows for driver-selectable gear changes. Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode by pressing the button on the instrument panel, the transmission’s shift schedule and the steering response are automatically adjusted to provide even more sporty driving dynamics.

An upgraded five-speed manual transmission features new gear ratios for the U.S. market, improving fuel efficiency and acceleration. A new self-adjusting hydraulic-clutch system is standard with this transmission, benefiting drivers with consistent pedal efforts over the life of the clutch and virtually maintenance-free operation. Selecting ‘Sport’ mode with the manual transmission calibrates the pedal-to-throttle relation and the steering response to add greater driving enjoyment.

The interior design theme of the new Fiat 500 is an artistic blend of clean lines and conveniently located features inspired by the original model. A clear example of this inspiration is the Fiat 500’s single concentric instrument cluster that effectively displays vehicle information while being surrounded by an exterior-color-matched upper instrument panel for a sense of refinement and elegance. Frequently used vehicle buttons are highlighted with chromed circular rings and centrally located on the exterior-matched instrument panel trim for a premium appearance. Paying homage to the past, the chromed ‘hook’ door andle shape recalls one of the most remembered features on the original model while integrating modern-day power door locks.

The Fiat 500’s interactive driving technology collects all necessary data relating to vehicle efficiency and, through the Blue & Me USB port, transmits it onto any USB memory stick. Once the driver plugs the memory stick into his or her personal computer, the system presents drivers with the Fiat 500’s detailed environmental performance including the CO2 emission level for each trip. In addition, it analyzes each driver’s style and provides recommendations on how to modify their driving styles to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

In Canada, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base 2012 Fiat 500 is $15,995.  Consumers can find out more at www.fiatcanada.com

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