Good news, lovers of open-air motoring: Fiat has just announced that its diminutive little 500 Cabrio will be hitting the U.S. market "just in time for spring" as a 2012 model. That's a little nebulous, mind you, as the announcement doesn't specifically say when we should expect the droptop 500c to actually hit a dealership near you.
In any case, the North American 500 Cabrio mimics its European cousin with an electrically powered fabric roof that can be opened while driving at any speed up to 60 miles per hour. Unlike most convertibles, the 500 Cabrio keeps its fully-framed side windows, as the top slides back and forth on roof rails instead of folding down into a pile at the rear of the car.
Fiat will offer the 500 Cabrio with three different soft top colors, 14 exterior colors and 12 combinations of interior colors and fabrics. Customization is a good thing, no? We'll get our first live impressions of the 500c at the New York Auto Show next week. Hit the jump for the official press release and be sure to check out some fun-in-the-sun motoring in our high-res image gallery below.
April 14, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Just in time for spring, the new Fiat 500 Cabrio introduces American customers to open-air driving excitement with beautiful Italian styling, timeless functionality, efficient design and innovative technology.
As a contemporary solution to the famous canvas roof on the original Nuova Cinquecento (500), the new 2012 Fiat 500c features a premium dual-layer power-operated cloth top that is designed to deliver all-season driving pleasure with the top up or down. With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500c's power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to 60 mph.
The Fiat 500c offers comfort for four passengers, three exterior soft-top colors, 14 exterior colors, 12 unique seat colors and material combinations plus a choice of two interior environments to allow customers to personalize "their own" Fiat 500c.