First US Fiat 500s Will Be Sold with Manual Transmissions

The US launch of the Fiat 500 has hit an unexpected bump, as the units due to arrive in late February will come with manual transmission only, according to AutoWeek. For the 101 hp, 1.4-liter MultiAir engine fitted to American-spec cars, this could only mean a six-speed manual.

Later this year, you’ll be able to get a six-speed automatic transmission to swap the cogs for you, according to Fiat's North American brand chief, Laura Soave. But until then, customers in need of a bit of Italian pint-sized charm will have to do the shifting themselves.

Another hiccup US customers will have to live with is the fact that only about 20 percent of the total 130 Fiat dealerships will be open when the 500s will arrive on the market, according to Soave.

"We will really start to ramp up in March and April," she said. By that time 500s with six-speed automatic transmissions from Aisin Seiki Co. will hit dealerships across America. The carmaker expects most 500s sold in the United States to have automatics. Once a full range arrives, customers will have a choice of three trim levels, 14 exterior colors, 14 materials combinations for the seats, two interior tones, and even a range of Mopar accessories.

Whichever transmission you go for, the power comes from a 1.4-liter engine with Fiat’s patented MultiAir technology. “MultiAir significantly reduces emissions while improving fuel economy and power delivery by up to 10 percent when compared to similar engines,” Fiat says.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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