The car that has generated the most publicity out of the Fiat/Chrysler deal is the Italian automaker’s 500 model and now word comes from Fiat’s CEO that four different versions of the subcompact will be offered in the U.S.
Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg that the four trim levels will include the standard 500, a convertible version, a wagon and a sporty Abarth model. While the 500 is slated to go on sale in 2010, Marchionne did not say if the additional three models would be offered concurrently or if they would be introduced in succession.
Marchionne also said that while additional Fiat models will make their way to the U.S. (like the Fiat Panda, presumably as a Jeep model) only the 500 will be branded as a Fiat.
In Europe the Fiat 500 is offered with a 1.2-liter or 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine or a 1.3-liter turbo diesel. We are only likely to see the 1.4-liter in North America, a model that makes just 85 horsepower and gets an average of 36 miles per gallon.
As for the Abarth 500 (pictured above) it gets a 1.4-liter four-cylinder with a sophisticated variable geometry turbocharger (similar to the ones used in modern Porsches) to make 135hp and 133 ft-lbs of torque.