It seems that Chrysler will be bringing the Fiat 500 to the US in about a year or so, largely unchanged. Wow. This is awesome news. I just wonder if they really will be able to resist the urge to Americanise it. I mean look at what Ford did to the Focus - in Europe a svelte, fast, sporty, economical and attractive car. In America, a porky shitbox that struggles to get decent gas mileage, speed or handling:
Those ARE the same car - look at the glass shape in the windows. It's just that for the US, Ford Americanised the car. Is it any wonder that they have trouble competing in their home market? Fortunately, now that Jacques Nasser and William Clay Ford (Jr) have both gone, Ford US are planning to bring this car over in 2010 badged as a 2011 model year so people will finally be able to see what a proper European-spec car is like. Hopefully it will force the other manufacturers to do the same thing.
So with Chrysler - what will the do to the Fiat 500? Will it become an SUV? Will they add 500lbs of weight to it and neuter the engine to get only 20mpg? I don't trust the US car manufacturers to do anything right, so I'm going to be watching the Fiat 500 story with interest. If they do bring it here, and more importantly, if they bring the Abarth here without cocking around with it, they'll have a winner on their hands: