Eschewing the design cues of the current North American leader in small convertibles, the Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500 Cabrio appears to open up like a sardine can. Might sound odd, but it has its advantages. Firstly, it does not compromise trunk space, a problem on just about every convertible I’ve ever heard of. Secondly, it maintains more of the structural rigidity than the standard convertible design. Thirdly, it is less expensive to produce and develop. Did you know that the famous Fiat Topolino also employed this type of convertible top?
So not only does this design approach have advantages, it has heritage and we here at CarEnvy love heritage! After all, heritage breeds character and character makes for lovable cars.
But we don’t even have the Fiat 500 here, you moan. But, and there is always a but…
But there are rumours a-swirlin’ that the Fiat 500 could make the trip across the Atlantic to be sold through Maserati’s dealership network. This would make the 500 a fairly niche proposition for Fiat but we will take it however we can get it. The current economic hiccup has delayed the plans of Fiat (and Alfa Romeo) to return to North America but it is still just a matter of time. Who knows, maybe Fiat and Alfa will be able to take advantage of the desolate assembly lines and jobless ex-plant workers in North America to produce brilliant little hatchbacks (mmmm hatchbacks…) right here on our soil. There is probably a bigger market for premium sub-compacts then there is for poorly engineered, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles right now. So c’mon Fiat, show us what you’ve got!