Chrysler Group has
released first images of the North American
manufactured version of the Fiat 500 as it begins the
countdown to its launch revealing cosmetic styling
changes that set it distinctly apart from the European
model. Ordering is set to begin before the end of the year.
The modern generation
of the 500 was launched on July
4, 2007, and since its introduction, it has sold
more than 500,000 units in more than 80 countries around
the world. Now Chrysler Group is currently in the
process of choosing a new dealer network that proposes
to cover around 165 locations in the United States and
The North American 500
range will get the same three specification levels as in
Europe: Pop, Lounge and Sport, with the latter being the
model featured in the heavily photoshopped images
released today. The front spoiler section is the area
that has been most changed in order to differentiate the
forthcoming Toluca, Mexico-built model with the European
one which is manufactured at Tychy in Poland. The new
profile is softer than the European version and a more
rounded centre grille section gives way to smaller
honeycomb recesses around the foglights. There is also a
plastic lip that wraps onto the bottom of the spoiler
and a reflector on the wheel arch edge.
The North American
version will also get a chunky new moulded side sill and
there are further changes to the rear bumper to mirror
the front end treatment. This looks quite design-busy
which is may be why only one of the twelve images
presented by Chrysler Group today offers only a partial
glance at this area of the supermini. Unique 16-inch
aluminum wheels feature Mineral Gray painted recesses.
Completing the 500 Sport's visual appearance are
"Performance Red" painted brake calipers, a chromed
exhaust tip and gloss black shadow-line window trims.
The 500 Sport will also have as an option the European
model's SkyDome powered sun roof.
The 1.4-litre FIRE
engine with Fiat Powertrain's MultiAir technology
embedded will power the Fiat 500 Sport; the engine will
be built in Michigan. MultiAir reduces emissions while
improving fuel economy and power delivery by up to 10
percent when compared to similar engines. MultiAir
technology was recognised as the "single most innovative
engine technology" of 2010 by the International
Engine of the Year Awards panel. The 500C will
become available in the spring of 2011.