• Dec 22nd 2009 at 4:28PM
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Fiat 500C – Click above for high-res image gallery

Just because Chrysler won't be holding a press conference at next month's Detroit Auto Show doesn't mean that America's third-largest automaker is coming to the party empty-handed. Far from it, in fact, assuming there's truth to the rumors that the Pentastar will be showing off both an electric version of the soon-to-be-US-bound Fiat 500 along with a Chrysler-ized version of the Lancia Delta hatchback.

While the Chrysler-branded concept is said to be nothing more than a standard-fare Delta emblazoned with Chrysler's trademark chrome fascia, the electric Fiat 500 is a bit more interesting. We've heard that the automaker's erstwhile ENVI group was disbanded and assimilated into the rest of the company's product development workforce, so we're curious to see the integration of a battery-powered drivetrain into the little urban runabout. Will it be a fully-functional vehicle or just a mock-up of what could potentially be possible?

Not surprisingly, we'll also be treated to the rest of the Fiat 500 lineup, including the 500C Cabriolet (no word on bikini-clad models) and the sporty 500 Abarth. Finally, tucked into a corner of the Chrysler booth in Detroit will also reportedly be such premium Italian machinery as the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Maserati GranCabrio. Hey... if you've got it, why not flaunt it, right?

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

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler needs more product just the 500 can't save it from extinction. Sales of Fiat 500 at most will 50-100k in other hand tons of models are getting the ax 2011-2010 no way will it make up for that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should really just sell the Lancias as Lancias. Almost no one in the US even knows what a Lancia is, so the slate is essentially blank. They could position Lancia as an upscale Euro luxury marque. Americans are willing to buy it, and most will have no idea that Lancias are lower-end in Europe.

      I have to imagine they'd sell more cars as Lancias than as Chryslers, anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Ross: I don't know about Italian Buick. More like an Italian Rover: Understated elegance and luxury with a healthy dose of driving goodness, at least in its latest iterations.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Completely impractical from a business standpoint to sell Lancias in the US as Lancias. Fiat is looking to kill the brand off or at the least significantly downsize it anyway, the point being that Lancia and Chrysler occupy relatively the same market niche but with different sized vehicles.

        Chrysler is trying by 2011 to consolidate all dealerships into selling all four of the Pentastar's brands (this includes Ram, of course). Add the Fiat 500 and you have 5 brands. Add Lancia and dealerships can only suffer indigestion, especially considering that Alfa Romeo keeps on planning to return to the US.

        Chrysler desperately needs to replace the ancient PT Cruiser and everyone here will agree the Delta is miles ahead of Chrysler's current compact hatchback. Why spend millions of dollars to restyle it as a Chrysler when it's already a good looking car?
        • 5 Years Ago
        In other words, the Italian Buick (as Lancia has at times been called).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agree, keep Lancias with their own branding.
        I may be mistaken but I believe Lancias are Fiats mid-to-upper end brand - between Fiats and Alfas.
        More luxury focused than a Fiat, while not being sport focused like an Alfa.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The big announcements are going to be a pair of hatchbacks. I was afraid this was going to happen. Europe never learns, does it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I dunno, hatchbacks are starting to gain traction, and aren't all crossovers and SUVs hatchbacks?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather wait for the SMART version
      • 5 Years Ago
      and thus the current backside of the camry is crap!!

      see how that works...
        • 5 Years Ago
        whoops, that post ended up in the wrong thread.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't stop there. Let's see the 695 Tributo Ferrari, Alfa MiTo, Giulietta and 8C!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Lancia Delta is a beautiful and stylish hatch back.
      While the Ford Fiesta is aimed to 20ish years old, the Delta is aimed for young professionals.

      Lancia is big only in Italy though, that's because the European market is saturated with product similar to what Lancia offers, but in America it might do well, because the cars looks quite stylish but different from what you have over there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Concept concept concept.....just build the damn thing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What do you think they are doing? Moron!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        thank you. bring it and tell us when you will actually be selling it or don't bring it at all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the Delta aswell, the only thing I don't like is the rear end, if they can slap a Nassau rear end then its all good. The Delta's interior doesn't seem to be top notch judging from the pictures....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not convinced Lancias would sell better than Chryslers.

      Millions of Americans buy American names by tradition, and great new products can turn around a brand quickly. (and the opposite is true too).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Has it been established which brands are going to keep their brands and which brands aren't? (Or which vehicles within which brands are going to stay as-is?)
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMO a lot of people are going to be surprised by what Sergio Marchionne can do with Chrysler.

      And he's not just looking at green and small cars, either- FIAT's already planned a new Viper, a strong Dodge Ram franchise, a new, larger Hemi V-8... even the potential manufacture of the Chrysler 300 in Italy-

      Underestimate this man at your peril- the guys' a proven winner. GM should be glad they didn't have him as their new boss... he's scare those dinosaurs half to death!

      Besides a healthier, more dyanamic, and exciting Chrysler... wait till you see the cool Alfas and FIATs he brings over as the icing on the cake...

      Viva FIAT!

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