Fiat has just unveiled the drop-top version of their famed 500 subcompact at this year's New York Auto Show. The 2012 500c is different than other convertibles, specifically the Mini convertible. Instead of the absence of B and C pillars, the 500c features a power-operated dual-layer panoramic folding soft top that leaves the frame arches in place. In other words, from a side view, it's hard to tell whether or not it's the open roof version.
This design also prevents the roof from being in the way of rear passengers and has little to no interference in cargo space. The top can be lowered at speeds up to 60 mph and has the ability to be partially closes where it would act as a sunroof instead. The 500c also has a slightly taller windshield than the hard top version, as it's meant to improve visibility. Out back, the rear seats can still fold down to allow up to 23.4 cubic feet of space.
Power will come from Fiat's Multiair 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 101 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque and is mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Sales are set to begin later this spring.