TURIN –Automobiles SpA originally planned to unveil its open-air Fiat 500 Cabrio at the Frankfurt motor show in September, but CEO Sergio Marchionne is not waiting that long.
The new 4-seat model now will be unwrapped at the Geneva auto show next month, featuring a manual folding cloth roof designed to offer a generous opening and maximize the interior space.
Sales are planned to start sometime in April, a reliable source says, suggesting a push is under way in order to take full advantage of the summer season.
From the very beginning, the500’s design team, led by Roberto Giolito, planned for the Cabrio variant, enabling engineers to move quickly in its development without compromising quality.
Under the skin, the 500 uses identical underpinnings to the next-generationKa. The Cabrio will be built alongside the 500 hatchback and Ka at the auto maker’s Fiat Auto Poland S.A. plant based in Tychy.
Today, with Europe in desperate need of anything that can boost vehicle demand, Fiat is doing its best to rush the soft-top model to market.
It also doesn’t hurt for Fiat to draw attention to its B-segment 500 right now, considering a proposed partnership withLLC is under way that would give the Italian auto maker a 35% stake in the U.S. car company and a dealer portal to sell its vehicles in North America.
In exchange,would receive access to Fiat’s small-car platforms to fill gaps in its current lineup.