Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has just released information on the 2018 edition of their Fiat 500 minicar. We were expecting major changes, a redesign perhaps, but for now, the most significant news is an engine swap.
For the North-American market, gone is the 101-horsepower, naturally aspirated 1.4-litre four cylinder, replaced by a turbocharged version that develops 135 horsepower 150 pound-feet of torque. The latter is actually making a comeback, since it was available on option from 2013 to 2016. It can be matched to a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
The 2018 Fiat 500 will be offered in Pop and Lounge trim levels, which also receive standard 16-inch alloy wheels, a performance braking system, a sportier suspension and a standard rearview camera—a feature that will be mandatory on all passenger vehicles in 2018. Air conditioning, a seven-inch driver information display and an Alpine sound system are also standard across the board. Three new paint colours will eventually be offered in 2018, including Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl and Vesuvio Black Pearl.
Also still available is the Fiat 500 Abarth, which boasts a 160-horsepower version of the same engine, along with up to 183 pound-feet of torque, depending on the chosen gearbox.
The 2018 Fiat 500, in hatchback and cabriolet body styles, will hit dealerships this spring. Pricing will be announced at a later date.