Modest but meaningful changes are in store for the entire 2015 Fiat 500 lineup that arrives at Fiat salons across the country in July. While all versions of the diminutive "Cinquecento" receive various interior upgrades, the high-performance Abarth and Abarth Cabrio variants as well as the 500 Turbo will boost their appeal even further by adding a new 6-speed automatic transmission to their option rosters.
Key changes to the 2015 Fiat 500 family center on a new main instrument cluster that uses a 7-inch TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display. In addition to its basic readout, it offers multiple screen options including a parking screen on cars fitted with Rear Park Assist as well as screens that display audio and telephone related information. It also varies color schemes/themes to reflect whether the car is being driven in normal or Sport modes. This new display is standard on all 500 models except the Pop, where it will be available as an option. Other interior tweaks include a redesigned center console with improved cupholders and an additional USB port as well as new Bluetooth streaming audio to complement the existing Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.
Recognizing the preferences of target buyers here in the U.S., Fiat also will offer a new a 6-speed automatic transmission for the hot Abarth/Abarth c and 500 Turbo models. While sharing the same engineering basics as the unit found in standard 500/500c models, the transmission had been reinforced to deal with the higher torque requirements of the 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine in those vehicles. It also features a revamped Sport mode calibration that includes more aggressive throttle pedal mapping, fuel cut on upshifts, rev-matching and brake-assist on downshifts plus corner-gear and fast-off gear-holding functions
Rounding out the change list for the 2015 500 set are three new exterior colors: Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver). All of the new 2015 Fiat 500 models will be on display at the 2014 New York Auto Show, however pricing won't be announced until closer to their actual on-sale date.
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