This is going to fall under the, “say it isn’t so” category. Green Car Reports.com is reporting that a new five door Fiat 500 may be in development for U.S. markets only. The Fiat 500 will be the first car released in the U.S. since Fiat took over Chrysler earlier this year. The Fiat 500 by itself is a cool looking, sporty little micro-car that has been met with rave reviews in Europe. It’s funky styling is very reminiscent of the original 500 that was released by Fiat over 53 years ago. Think of it as the new VW Beetle.
The success of the Fiat 500 comes in three parts. First is the styling, as it is a very cute little car. It’s fun looking and has a definite visceral appeal that is sure to turn heads everywhere. Second is the economy as the 500 is said to get around 37 mpg from its 1.4-liter engine. Not bad considering it only has 99 hp. The third aspect of the 500 would have to be the fun factor, which, according to all the reviews is said to be quite high. I brought these factors up because the 500 is a special car that has a definite appeal to it and my fear is that by offering a five door version immediately the brand might get diluted before it’s even been given a chance to take off.
Look at what BMW did with their own small car, the MINI. They didn’t immediately flood the market, but instead released the cars to select dealers. Little by little they then brought out newer models with enhanced features to keep the public interested. Now, the MINI is powerful brand that keeps to the philosophy of slow and steady wins the race. Hopefully Fiat will follow this model with the new 500 and in turn not only build a brand, but a great following as well.