By Matt Schmitz on April 7, 2014
Visitors to the 2014 New York International Auto Show this month will find a 2015 Fiat 500 lineup with updated offerings inside, outside and under the hood. Perhaps the most significant among these is a newfangled gauge cluster with a 7-inch high-definition display, which will be standard on the 2015 Fiat 500 Sport, Lounge, Turbo and Abarth models, and optional on the Pop. Meanwhile, the performance-focused Abarth, Abarth Cabrio and Turbo models will offer a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Fiat says the new Thin Film Transistor, or TFT, instrument cluster allows drivers to more easily monitor data including speed, fuel level, Eco index and trip info. On the main screen, an image of the vehicle is surrounded by info such as distance traveled, gas mileage and range; other display options include audio and phone screens showing station and call info, respectively. For models equipped with rear parking assist, a screen shows drivers their backup camera view.
Other model-year 2015 updates include a new console with redesigned cupholders and more conveniently positioned USB ports, along with Bluetooth streaming audio. That's in addition to a trio of new paint colors, including Giallo Moderna Perla (yellow), Laser Blu (metallic blue) and Billet Argento (silver).
For those interested in the higher performance Abarth, Abarth Cabrio and Turbo models, Fiat is offering a new six-speed automatic transmission. The optional transmission — a five-speed manual is standard — pairs with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 160 horsepower and 135 hp in the 2014 versions of the Abarth and Turbo, respectively. Fiat says the automatic transmission has been tuned for track readiness, and in Sport mode, calibrated to offer "an even more engaged driving experience."
No word yet on pricing for the new 500 lineup, but 2014 starting prices range from $16,995 for the Pop to $22,995 for Abarth styles (prices include an $800 destination charge). The 2015 lineup will be in dealerships this summer.
News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt