With its soft roof, the Fiat 500C pays clear homage to the style of the original 1957 Fiat 500. At the same time, the new car comes packed with the latest solutions in terms of build, engines and passenger comfort. All this is in line with the most authentic Fiat tradition of giving people access to segment firsts in content and technology.
Using a typical open-source approach (i.e. continually evolving a successful product thanks to contributions from its users), the Centro Stile Fiat design centre created the 500C by interacting with the many communities of Cinquecento enthusiasts – notably the 500 Wants You website – and reinforcing the position of the model as “a car for the people, by the people”.
Starting from the saloon version, the introduction of the soft top has not changed the winning characteristics of the model, such as the space for four comfortable seats or the boot capacity, but it has added new functions that heighten enjoyment. Among others, the luggage compartment – thanks to a clever system of parallelogram hinges – gives an easier access even when the stop top is fully open.
Another strong point of the original cabriolet version is its exceptional climate and acoustic comfort. Thorough aerodynamic research means that the turbulence experienced with the roof open has been reduced to a minimum, allowing full enjoyment of the fresh air and the company of fellow passengers.
The decision to create a modern interpretation of the original with the electric sliding roof and the stylistic design that retains the shape of the car makes the Fiat 500C less of a seasonal product and one that can be enjoyed the whole year round. In short, all these features make this new vehicle one of the most successful examples of the convertible in the city-car segment today.
A true object of design, the soft top of the Fiat 500C stands out for its elegant electrically controlled movements and its impressively finished and carefully administered technical features: from the glass rear window to the third brake light built into the soft top itself. Available in three colours (ivory, red and black), the original soft top matches numerous body colours including three ad-hoc creations: pearlescent Ragamuffin Red, Tech House Grey so typical of sporty supercars, and Goth-Metal Blue (the latter is available for the whole range).
The Fiat 500C has an exclusive feel to its interior, which is embellished with high-quality desirable fabrics, including Frau leather upholstery, and a long list of market-dependent standard and optional features: from automatic climate control to the innovative Interscope HiFi System, from the Blue&Me Map portable navigation unit to the Start&Stop system, and from the new collection of customisable options to the original wind-stop. The wind-stop is easily positioned behind the rear head-rests and fixed to the parcel shelf, and does not need to be removed in order to operate the roof (a unique feature for this segment).
A free and emotive expression of the automobile, the Fiat 500C retains the same dimensions as the base model (355 cm long, 165 cm wide and 149 cm high) and shares all three of its power units: the 75-CV (horsepower equivalent) 1.3-litre MultiJet turbodiesel engine combined with a five-speed manual gearbox and the two 69-CV 1.2-litre and 100-CV 1.4-litre petrol engines, both available with manual or Dualogic robotised gearbox.
The Frankfurt show will also see the debut of a new version of the 1.3 16v Multijet engine that improves still further the already excellent performance of the previous generation small Diesel. Available from November, the engine introduces a new variable geometry turbocharger that enables it to deliver up to 95 HP at 4000 rpm and 20.4 kgm of torque at only 1,500 rpm. The new engine improves the car’s performance, taking its top speed to 180 km/h, reducing a 0-100km/h standing start to only 10.7 seconds, and reducing consumption to 3.9 l/100km and emissions to 104 g/km of CO2 in the mixed cycle. The new engine, obviously homologated Euro5, further improves the car’s vocation for ecology. It incorporates the acclaimed “Start&Stop” system that reduces consumption around town, and integrates a DPF particulate filter inside the engine compartment for improved efficiency and effectiveness from the moment the engine starts running after a cold start.
Each engine has different qualities though all the three are characterised by generousness, lively behaviour, high performance and sophisticated technology. Among their common qualities are great reliability and respect for the environment (they are all Euro5-approved). To confirm Fiat Automobiles’ commitment to environmental protection and sustainable mobility, the 500C includes the innovative “Start&Stop” system, which temporarily cuts out the engine and restarts it again. When the vehicle stops, putting the gear stick in neutral and releasing the clutch will switch off the engine; to restart, simply put the car back into gear.
Structurally derived from the saloon version (the first car under four metres to receive the five-star Euro NCAP rating), the Fiat 500C retains the same safety components and features (active and passive) that justifiably place it among the market’s best in class.
Depending on the market, the Fiat 500C range offers a choice of 9 body paint finishes, 3 versions (Pop, Lounge and Rock) and 3 interiors in a choice of fabrics and leather, plus over 100 accessories created especially for the 500. The new cabriolet offers all the devices you could expect from a modern automobile, including many that until recently were the reserve of models in higher segments, such as parking sensors, Frau leather upholstery, Xenon headlights, the innovative Interscope Hi-Fi System and the Blue&Me MAP portable and multifunctional navigation unit.
With the commercial debut of the new cabriolet, the Fiat 500 continues to attract critical acclaim and confirms its role as a genuine Italian style icon, capable of winning over the public at large and international experts, as proven by 30 awards collected from around the world and 11 million visitors to its website (and a total of 200 million page visits). These figures are all the more impressive when you consider that more than half the sales have been recorded outside Italy (50% elsewhere in Europe and 8% in the rest of the world). In each country where it has been launched, the Fiat 500 has generated enormous interest: in Japan, for example, there have been more than 5,000 orders. It should also be highlighted that 80% of Fiat 500 clients select the most expensive features and 90% ask for the Blue& Me system.
In short, as an expression of Italy’s finest automotive design, the 500 is not merely a super-compact city car, but a real platform upon which Fiat Automobiles is building a whole family of cars with advanced technology and high attention to detail. And now, the new 500C represents another step forward.