2012 Fiat 500c starts at $19,500 in U.S.

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In brining back the Fiat spirit back to America, Fiat is introducing  the drop-top 2012 Fiat 500c as a fun car to drive. The drop-top Fiat 500c starts at $19,500, and that ought to take a chunk out of the VW Beetle’s sales.

The 2012 Fiat 500c comes in a variety of color options so customers can personalize to their own tastes. The car will be available in two models with about 14 exterior colors and 12 seat color and material combinations, plus an option of two interior environments and three exterior soft-top colors. The drop-top of the Fiat 500c can be retracted with a push of a button, and it can be safely operated at 50 mph.

The 2012 Fiat 500c features the new 1.4-liter engine with MultiAir technology to deliver optimum power and fuel efficiency, which produces 101 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque. And it is mated to the all-new six-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable gear changes to provide smooth shifting and fuel economy saving. Drivers can select the “Sport” mode if in a mood for spirited driving, which allows quicker gear changes, and new throttle map for improved engine responsiveness. With a 5-speed manual transmission, the 2012 Fiat 500c delivers up to 38 miles per gallon highway.

Like most today’s cars, the 2012 Fiat 500c comes with plenty of technology amenities such as Bluetooth for hands-free communication, large touchscreen display for navigation, and a Bose audio system with six speakers.

The new 2012 Fiat 500c arrives in U.S. FIAT Studios beginning in late spring 2011.