Fiat 500 to Arrive in the US by 2010
But more importantly, it order to be eligible for the United States market, Chrysler has to modify the 500 a bit, especially when it comes to the front fascia. For instance, the aforementioned source explains that in order to comply with US standards, Fiat 500 would need a new bumper beam which could obviously be done in a very short time, given Fiat's and Chrysler's resources. However, the whole US certification saga may take some time, so the 18 months milestone sounds realistic.
Another interesting aspects is that Fiat 500 cannot be launched in the Canadian market because Canada demands all vehicles to be equipped with front turn signals that could resist at impacts of up to 5 mph (8 km/h). A potential Canadian Fiat 500 would require the two partners to develop a new front fascia for the car which Chrysler cannot afford for the time being.
According to the aforementioned source, the American Fiat 500 will be equipped with a 100-horsepower gasoline four-cylinder engine. This would mean Chrysler's Fiat-sourced model would be less powerful than its local competitors, Mini Cooper (118 hp) and Mini Cooper S (172 hp).
Since this is only pure speculation, we're still waiting for an official statement from the two new allies. So, keep an eye on autoevolution and we promise you, the moment we hear something else about it, you'll know it too.