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Fiat 500C here for summer

Fiat 500C (copyright image)

UK spec Fiat 500C (above)

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15th September, 2009

The new Fiat 500C, the open top version of Fiat’s "Bambino", will now arrive in Australia earlier than first expected. A January 2010 release is now scheduled.

“The interest in the open top Fiat 500 C has already proven as strong as it has been for the normal Fiat 500,” explains Andrei Zaitzev, General Manager for Fiat in Australia.

The new Fiat 500C is available to order in two versions, both equipped with the 1.4 litre 74 kW engine with a choice of a manual or DuaLogic gearboxes. Prices start at a recommended price of $28,990 for the manual version and $30,990 for the self shifting DuaLogic version, excluding dealer and statutory on-road costs.

“The 500C has been the car to be seen in during the European summer this year and the demand, like that for is solid roof 'cousin', has run well ahead of supply,” explains an optimistic Mr Zaitzev. “With limited numbers coming to Australia and existing pent-up interest, we expect the demand to run ahead of supply here, too, so now is the time to start planning for chic open top motoring this summer!”

The stylish new Fiat 500 C pays homage to the original 1957 fabric roof Fiat 500, but today’s thoroughly modern interpretation offers customers innovative solutions in terms of mechanical design, performance and comfort.

The Fiat 500 C’s introduction is in line with the Fiat tradition of giving customers access to segment firsts in terms of content and technology, and comes just 18 months after the local launch of the Fiat 500.

Starting from the basis of the hatchback, the introduction of a soft top version does not change the characteristics of the model, such as its four seats, but it does add new functions that heighten enjoyment, including easy access to the boot even when the soft top is fully open, thanks to a system of parallelogram hinges.

Another point of this original convertible version is its climate and acoustic comfort. Thorough aerodynamic research means that turbulence experienced on the move with the roof open has been reduced to a minimum, allowing full enjoyment of fresh air and the company of fellow occupants.

The decision to re-interpret the original design in a modern idiom, with an electric sliding roof that retains the shape of this classic vehicle, makes the Fiat 500 C 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 convertibles in the modern city car segment.

The Fiat 500 C soft top stands out for its elegant electrically controlled movements and its impressively finished and carefully selected technical features, from the glass rear window to the third brake light built into the soft top itself.

The new Fiat 500 C has an exclusive feel to its interior, which is embellished with top quality desirable fabrics, including optional Frau leather upholstery, and a long list of standard features: from automatic climate control to the innovative Blue&Me telematics system.

New Fiat 500 C retains the same dimensions as the hatchback (355 cm long, 165 cm wide and 149 cm high) and uses the 1.4 74 kW petrol engine, available with manual or Dualogic semi-automatic robotised gearboxes.

The launch of Fiat’s little convertible ensures that the Fiat 500 continues to be discussed, and confirms its status as an Italian icon. Clear evidence of its success are the more than 360,000 customer orders for the hatchback received in 59 markets where it is now on sale.

This is all the more impressive when it’s appreciated that more than half this vehicle’s sales have been recorded outside Italy, (50 per cent elsewhere in Europe and 8 per cent 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 recognised that 80 per cent of Fiat 500 customers select the most expensive features and 90 per cent ask for the Blue&Me system.

In short, as an expression of Italy's automotive design, the Fiat 500 is not merely a super-compact city car, but a real platform upon which Fiat Group Automobiles is building a whole 'family' of cars. The new Fiat 500 C represents another step forward in this direction.

Alluring shape and innovative design

"The Fiat 500 C is not merely the open version of the 500," explains Roberto Giolito, Fiat & Abarth Style Director. "In fact, thanks to the wide range of available versions, this new model is really a whole new car in its own right, with a strong personality inherited from the original 1957 model and an undoubted sentimental value brought to it by so many fans over the years. If, on the one hand, the Fiat 500 C respects the original version, on the other it enriches it with new features which, thanks to stylistic choices, afford each one of us maximum freedom of use."

The Fiat 500 C uses a deeper windscreen than the Fiat 500. This is needed to resize the upper cross member; and affords a better view for the rear passengers, increases torsional rigidity and facilitates clean lines. These are also enhanced by the continuity of the windscreen, which extends to the fabric roof without exposing any part of the bodywork (an elegant and technologically sophisticated solution in keeping with the spirit of the 500 C).

If the soft top is down and the boot release is activated, an electronic system automatically lifts the hood a few centimetres to allow the boot to be fully opened. This functional and neat solution contributes to the fact that the Fiat 500 C is amongst the best in class for ease and versatility of loading and unloading. The luggage compartment itself, (with a capacity of 182 litres – just three litres less than the saloon version), together with a traditional upwards-opening boot and wide access, is spacious and easy to load.

The interior of the Fiat 500 C boasts quality materials. In particular, the new seats are upholstered in a high quality durable fabric. The backrest and cushions of the rear seats keep passengers well located.

An innovative soft top for a unique style

The Fiat 500 C soft top is characterised by sophisticated electrically controlled movements and innovative technical solutions. In particular, a colour-coded moulding of the same colour as the soft top acts as a spoiler and houses a third brake light, providing similar aerodynamics to the saloon version – a Cx of 0.33.

In addition, when the soft top is down, the spoiler is arranged so that the third brake light is always visible. The double-layered roof fabric ensures the best possible insulation from the elements, and along with the fabric covered pillars, completes an attractive finish from the inside.

The electrically operated soft top can be controlled either by buttons next to the interior roof light, or from the car’s remote control unit. In addition, the soft top can be operated at any speed under 60 km/h.

The soft top is designed to be easy to use: to open it, just press the button for at least half a second to trigger the movement that then continues automatically up to the spoiler position (a midway point can of course be chosen by pressing the button again). Press the button again for at least half-a-second to fully open the roof. When using the remote control, the roof can be opened only as far as the spoiler. For safety reasons, the roof stops at around 25 cm from complete closure; (just press and hold the button to complete the movement).

When the boot is open, the soft top can only be closed (the opening function is de-activated). However, if the roof is fully open and the boot needs to be opened, the soft top automatically moves to a midway point to avoid obstructing loading operations.

Finally, the standard wind-stop can easily be positioned behind the rear head restraints (attached to the parcel shelf). This wind tunnel-tested accessory has been designed specifically for the Fiat 500 C. It offers a notable reduction in turbulence for all passengers, at all speeds, and there is no need to remove the wind-stop to open or close the soft top (another unique feature for this vehicle segment).

Environmentally friendly engines

The Fiat 500C’s 1.4 litre engine boasts modern day technology and is characterised by its lively and flexible feel.

The Fiat 500's power units are produced by Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT), the division of the Fiat Group that is wholly responsible for the innovation, research, design and production of engines and gearboxes for all types of vehicle: from cars to trucks, boats and agricultural equipment. With around 20,000 employees, 16 factories and 11 research centres across nine countries, this division is one of the most important global players in powertrain manufacturing. At FPT, around 3,000 technicians are dedicated to developing and engineering innovative technologies. More than 40 patents filed every year is proof of the quality and seriousness of this commitment, making FPT a centre of excellence for technology and continuous innovation.

Fiat’s 1.4 litre 16V engine delivers 74 kW at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 131 Nm at 4,250 rpm. Developed with performance and low consumption in mind, this engine puts the Fiat 500 C at the top of its class, with a top speed of 182 km/h and 0-100 km/h acceleration in 10.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 6.3 l/100 km (combined cycle). With 74 kW available, this little car is almost capable of lively performance and quick responses in city traffic.

Class-leading safety

Structurally derived from the Fiat 500 hatchback (the first car under four metres to receive a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating), the Fiat 500 C retains all the safety components and features (active and passive) that justifiably place it among the market's best-in-class.

For example, with seven airbags offered as standard equipment, (two front, two window, two side and one knee bag) the Fiat 500 C is unrivalled in its segment in terms of passive safety. Furthermore, the new car’s stable and efficient braking system combined with its responsive acceleration and reliable handling allows it to emerge unscathed from emergency situations.

The Fiat 500 C uses technical solutions to ensure that the driver is in control of the car (active safety): such as ABS anti-lock braking with electronic brake distribution (EBD); electronic stability programme (ESP); anti-slip regulation (ASR), a Hill Holder system – which helps the driver with hill starts – and hydraulic brake assistance (HBA) to help with emergency stops.

Moreover, to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers, the Fiat 500 C has a body designed according to the latest crash resistance criteria. This is the first super-compact car equipped with a front-end structure specifically designed to improve inter-vehicle compatibility in head-on collisions, with a rigid cabin to protect the occupants and high-absorption zones on the outside.

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All four seat belts are three-point type – while both front belts have dual pretensioners and load limiters. The front and rear seats are equipped with an anti-submarining system that stops the wearer from sliding underneath the seatbelt during an impact.

The Fiat 500 C has all the dynamic and comfort features that allow users to embark comfortably and safely on any journey. The suspension system plays a fundamental role in this: front suspension is provided by independent MacPherson struts, while the rear suspension is semi-independent with a torsion beam axle. The semi-independent torsion-axle rear suspension system also features an anti-roll bar derived from the Abarth 500 to improve handling and comfort.

Standard and optional features

The Fiat 500C version stands out for its Chrome kit, which includes chrome trim on the side windows, exhaust tail pipe, the interior door handle inserts, gear lever and the front and rear bumpers. Standard equipment includes automatic climate control, ESP, fog lights and parking sensors. The unique to the 500C alloy wheels with 185/55 R16 tyres and electric wing mirrors painted to match the body also come as standard, as does climate AirCon, ABS brakes power windows and locks and the innovative Blue&Me telematics system, which even allows owners to talk to their Fiat 500! Blue&Me, with its eco:Drive programme also enables the 500C to teach its owner to drive more economically.

Fiat 500 C technical specifications


Fiat 500 C 1.4

Fiat 500 C 1.4




Emission standards

Euro 5

No. of cylinders and arrangement

4, in line, transverse

Bore x stroke (mm)

72 x 84

Displacement (cm3)


No. of valves per cylinder


Compression ratio

10.8 : 1

Max. power output: kW at rpm


Peak torque: Nm at rpm


Tappet control

Finger rocker arm with hydraulic tappets (2 x OHC)

Timing (control)

Toothed belt

Fuel supply

Sequential and timed electronic MPI


Static advance, electronic, integrated with the injection

Emissions control

Three-way catalyst in engine bay,
2 Lambda probes, EOBD


5 Speed Manual

5 Speed robotised manual




Mechanical, self-adjusting



Front (mm)

D257 x 22 ventilated

Rear (mm)

D240x11 (full)




Independent, MacPherson strut suspension with transverse
lower wishbones secured to an auxiliary cross member;
anti-roll bar connected to the shock-absorber


Semi-independent suspension with torsion beam axle and anti-roll bar

Performance and fuel consumption

Top speed (km/h)


0-100 kmh (secs)


Urban consumption (l/100 km)



Extra urban consumption (l/100 km)



Combined consumption (l/100 km)



CO2 (g/km)






Fiat 500C Equipment List

S – Standard; O - Optional

Electric soft-top with two positions (partially open/fully open) and automatic partial closure to open the boot


Remote central locking with customisable key cover


Electric front windows


Dualdrive™ electric power steering


Dual stage driver and passenger airbags


Side airbags


Window bags


Driver kneebag




Body coloured bumpers


Chromed exterior door handles


Passenger seatback with pocket


Height adjustable steering wheel


Height adjustable driver's seat


Radio with MP3 compatible CD player and 6 speakers


Automatic climate control/AirCon


Body coloured electric door mirrors




50/50 split rear seat with height-adjustable headrests and Isofix attachments


Rear parking sensors


Front passenger seat with storage compartment under the seat and glove compartment


ESP + ASR/MSR, HBA and Hill Holder


Blue&Me hands-free system with Bluetooth technology, voice recognition, steering wheel mounted controls and digital audio file player with USB port


Leather steering wheel with commands


Chrome kit (Side window contours with chrome insert, chrome exhaust pipe, chrome inserts in front and rear bumpers, chrome gearlever)


16" alloy wheels with 195/45 tyres - specifically for the 500C


Dualogic gearbox


Dualogic gearbox controls on the steering wheel


Wind stop



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