17 February 2009

Let’s play sardines

Fiat 500C heads to Geneva with a super-cute sliding soft-top

Fiat 500C

Have a look at the Fiat 500C

Time to party like its 1957. The Fiat 500C is heading to Geneva next month, and it’s more exciting than, er, the resignation of Anthony Eden as Prime Minister.

Designed with just a little help from our Foreman, Paul Horrell, the cabriolet 500 remains true to the original convertible Cinq, as it features a ‘sardine tin’ roof - fixed side rails with a sliding soft-top.

This is good news for boot space – which remains at 185 litres – and rigidty, which should mean that the convertible handles with much of the pizzazz of the hard-top.

Unlike the original, though, the 500C’s roof is electrically operated, and slides back into a neat ruffle of fabric atop the glass rear window.

Yes, the whole package is about as masculine as a Sex and the City box set, but you can’t deny it’s a deeply cute cabrio. If anyone mentions the words ‘Citroen’ and ‘Pluriel’ now, we can’t be held responsible for our actions.

The 500C will launch with the option of the same three engines as the hard-top: a 1.3-litre turbodiesel and two 1.2-litre petrol engines in 69bhp and 100bhp flavours. Fiat’s recently announced Start&Stop system will be standard issue.

Expect to pay a £1500 premium over the hard-top 500 when the cabrio goes on sale in the UK this spring. In 1957 currency, that’s 19 groats, three bushels and, er…

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