European-spec Fiat 500 – Click above for high-res image gallery

We're all very excited that the cute little Fiat 500 will be making its way Stateside next year, and if new reports are to be believed, it turns out that the U.S.-spec 500 will actually be better than the one already on sale in Europe. Inside Line reports that when the Americanized 500 starts production in Mexico this December, it will be built on the automaker's new baby car A platform, which will also underpin the 2011 Fiat Panda and Lancia Ypsilon.

So, how is this an improvement? The new platform will provide improved crash protection (meeting the strict U.S. standards), along with reductions in noise, vibration and harshness over the current 500. Other markets will not get this update, however, because the cost of switching platforms simply isn't feasible for a car that isn't receiving a complete overhaul (sorry, Europe).

Additionally, Fiat is still deciding what the official name of the U.S.-spec 500 will be when it goes on sale next year. The obvious decision is to leave the numeric 500 name in place, though the automaker is considering using the Italian spelling, Cinquecento, instead. Honestly, we don't care what they call it – we're just glad the little guy is coming our way soon.



[Source: Inside Line]

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