Fiat has kindly thrown out a few publicity shots of its new 500C model in advance of the coupe's Geneva Motor Show debut next month. As you can see from the photos, the profile and styling of this cabriolet are almost identical to the Fiat 500--the notable exception being the 500C's sexy, targa-style frame and roll-back soft top.
The 500C is set for a European release this summer, where buyers can choose from three powertrain options: a 1.3 liter/75hp MultiJet Turbodiesel with manual transmission, or a 1.2 liter/69 hp or 1.4 liter/100hp gasoline engines in either manual or automatic. The car will also feature Fiat's new gas-conscious Start&Stop technology.
Since the the company's partnership with Chrysler isn't officially official just yet, Fiat hasn't made any announcements about its plans to introduce Fiat vehicles into the U.S. market. There's been talk of the two companies taking it slow, with the sharing of technology and the development of an all-new model, but TCC insiders hear that once the ink is dry, Fiat will begin shipping European-made cars to American lots. Rumors also put the 500 on the short list, which would probably mean the 500C is, too.
The 500C looks and sounds like a lot of fun to drive--though we're a little concerned about rear-visibility when the top's down. Maybe Fiat had famous ex-pat Gertrude Stein in mind when they designed the car: she never learned to drive in reverse because, really, what's the point in looking backward? So, putting others in harm's way can be philosophically admirable after all.