Last week’s photo showed the 2012 Fiat 500C, which is the Cabrio version of the tiny car from the Italian automaker being manufactured in Mexico and sold in this country through Chrysler. For a better photo and more information, read this week’s road test.
Chosen randomly from the correct entries was the name of Monte Steedley, of North Augusta, who said: “Our daughter has one on order now, but it seems like it’s taking forever to arrive. She had to order one because she wanted a basic car. The only options she’s getting are the red paint and the spare tire. We’re looking forward for her to get it so we can play with it. “
Steedley wins a prize from The Augusta Chronicle. Other readers identifying the vehicle were:
AUGUSTA: Lowell Fritsche said: “You’ve got the new Fiat 500. I guess it’s not so new, but it’s the one they finally brought to the United States now under Chrysler. It’s a cute little car and should do pretty well with those folks that want a little automobile.”
Also: Willie Thomas and Karen Odom
CANTON, GA.: David Anderson wrote: “This is the Fiat 500 Cabrio or simply the 500C. In my way of thinking, with the fixed side panels, this is only a full open-roof vehicle and not a true convertible. …
“In general, the Fiat 500 seems to be targeted at the Mini Cooper crowd by offering the same type of personalization and customization accessories, including your choice of the American, Canadian, Italian or Mexican flag on the roof.
“My wife would love to toss her Honda Accord for a Mini, but the price has always been a deterrent and at least for her, even though the Fiat price is more reasonable, it is not an acceptable substitute for the Mini. I think this is the feeling of most perspective Mini owners so I am not sure how effective this type of marketing will be for Fiat. I think they need to stick with the J-Lo style celebrity endorsements that will attract the younger audience.
“Would I consider one of these? Well, Fiat got one thing right with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes as standard, but just like most all of the other small cars, the manual transmission is available only in the base model – and it is only a five-speed, not a six-speed – so I think I will just watch this one for now and see how the reviews are over the next year.”
CUMMING, GA.: Chris Rhodes wrote: “This is a convertible (sort of) version of the cute little micro car from Italian automaker, Fiat. To retain as much structural rigidity as possible (a key concern in such a small vehicle), Fiat elected to keep the entire uniside of the 500C intact, resulting in what is essentially a full-length cloth ‘sunroof.’ While this design is unique by today’s standards, it is not the first such body style to be sold in the U.S. As you may recall, VW offered a similar version of the original Beetle.
“While the compromise afforded by the ‘rollback’ soft top does retain body strength, the downside is poor rear visibility. When the top is fully lowered, it stacks fairly high and renders the rear-view mirror virtually useless.”
EVANS: PJ Rodgers wrote: “It’s difficult to imagine that my motorcycle has an engine almost four times the size of the Fiat’s and gets gas mileage as good or better.”
FRANKLIN, N.C.: Dale A. Sanford wrote: “The Fiat 500C starts at under $20,000 and gets mileage in the low to mid-30s. It is interesting how they have incorporated the center-mounted stop light to be in position whether the top is up or down. It would probably be more like driving a car with a huge sunroof instead of a traditional convertible because of the roof pillars and window frames. It is quite different from the Fiat 124 Spider convertible that I had in the late ’70s until I traded it in on a Ford conversion van after my first son was born.”
HEPHZIBAH: Eddie Cleaves said: “I’m just getting back from California. They’re hot out there; they’re everywhere. But here, nobody’s advertising or selling them – let alone seeing one on the road.”
Also: April Cox
MARTINEZ: Jim Muraski, Jeff Miller and Robert Willoughby
WADLEY, GA.: Josephine Cowart
WATKINSVILLE, GA.: Joe Arp wrote: “The ‘What Is It?’ for this week is a 2012 Fiat 500C – aka ‘It’s the Fiat 500 with a pricey sunroof.’ ”