Fiat introduces retro 500 convertible

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Fiat is giving its 500c convertible a retro makeover for the 2015 model-year.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV brand this week announced a special “1957 Edition” version of the small drop-top which starts at $24,700 — $1,900 more than the Fiat 500c Lounge that it is based upon.

The 2015 Fiat 500c 1957 Edition features retro styling cues such as 16-inch forged aluminum wheels with a retro body-color design; vintage “FIAT” badging; and three classic exterior colors.

It follows a 1957 Edition of the 500 hatchback from the 2014 model-year, which Fiat North American head Jason Stoicevich previously told The Detroit News was the brand’s fastest-selling buzz model.

“We continue to expand the Fiat lineup,” Stoicevich said in a statement on Monday. “The Fiat 500 1957 Edition celebrates the spirit of the original 1957 Nuova 500, and with the arrival of a cabrio version, we are adding open-air fun to the iconic Italian-designed Fiat 500 1957 Edition.”

Ordering for the new drop-top is open. The car is expected to arrive in dealerships later this spring.

The model is available in three exterior colors —Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (light green) and exclusive Celeste (celestial blue) — and two leather interiors.

Both 1957 Edition models come standard with a 1.4-liter engine and five-speed manual transmission, delivering an EPA-estimated 31 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway. An optional six-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable gear changes is also available for $1,350.

The Fiat brand sold 33,708 500 models in the U.S. in 2014, a 6 percent decrease from the previous year. Through March, sales were down 6 percent from the first three months of last year.

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