Our spy photographers have snapped the new Fiat 500 cabriolet out testing.Fiat is striving to sneak the new 500 Convertible under the £10k barrier to make it one of the cheapest soft-tops on sale in the UK. According to Fiat’s head of marketing, Luca de Meo, the open-top 500 is likely to carry a 1500 Euro premium over a 500 hatchback. Translated into Sterling at current rates, that’s around £1200 extra.
With the Fiat 500 hatchback ranging in price from £8100 to £10,900, Fiat could sneak the 1.2 Pop drop-top under £10k, not quite low enough to beat a £9245 Smart ForTwo Cabrio but just enough to undercut the £10,199 Mitsubishi Colt CZC.The 500 soft-top will have a simple roof mechanism to keep costs down, just like the original 500 and its predecessor, the Topolino.
Both of those cars featured a fabric roof and rear screen that folded away on rails supported by the original car’s pillars and side windows.That’s the system that Fiat is engineering for the new 500 convertible, as can be seen on the spy pictures, which show the side structure and glasshouse of the hatch intact.
To keep the folding system simple, the roof stacks on top of the rear parcel shelf, rather than slotting into a storage bin. That allows Fiat to retain the lower part of the existing hatch pressing and to hinge it from the parcel shelf.
The roof is understood to have a manual operation, again to keep costs down, although a powered option is likely.