With Fiat's new 500 just launched, it appears that the Italians are following the path set out by BMW with the new MINI in positioning the retro styled small car as a premium model rather than a low priced entry-level unit. Fiat is also following BMW's example by expanding the 500 into an entire model range. In addition to the three door hatchback, a high performance Abarth model has already been seen circulating the Nurburgring and a convertible is due next summer.

A stretched three door station wagon similar to the upcoming MINI Clubman and four wheel drive micro SUV based on the wagon may be forthcoming as well. Having all the different variants would help Fiat get more out of their investment in the platform and the tooling so they might even make money on the 500.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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