When Fiat first unveiled the current 500 hatchback back in 2007, Fiat’s retro-styled three-door proved to be a success and would later migrate to our shores several years later. However a recent wave of new competitors in the European market have begun to make the 500 feel a bit outclassed and dated. To address this problem, Fiat has just launched its newest variant of the 500 – the 2013 Fiat 500S.
Designed to be a bolder and more exciting entry in the 500 range, the 500S slots in between the standard 500 and the performance oriented Abarth model which is similar to the way that the 500T balances out the range for U.S buyers. However unlike the 500T which is only available in hatchback form with a de-tuned variant of the Abarth’s 160 horsepower engine, the Europe only 500S trim can be equipped on both the hatchback and convertible versions of the 500 and can also accommodate the five distinct engine choices that are available including the tiny and efficient 0.9 liter two cylinder twin air turbocharged engine which is good for a stout 85 horsepower. This should please buyers looking for variety and practicality from their 500S purchase.
Exterior tweaks for the 500S include a new trunk mounted spoiler, tinted windows, model exclusive front and rear bumper treatments, and splashes of dark chrome trim throughout the exterior. A set of model-exclusive alloy rims with grey inserts rounds out the exterior changes which all do their part to give the 500 a much needed dose of sportiness to go along with its cute styling cues.
The interior of the 2013 Fiat 500S has also received several minor tweaks and revisions from Fiat designers to allow the 500S to stand out from lesser 500 models. New sport-oriented bucket seats, an Abarth-inspired three spoke steering wheel, and a new shift knob carry on the exterior’s sporty theme, which is enhanced further by the red stitching that adorns all three components. Other changes include special matte grey trim for the dashboard (which is similar to the trim used on the Prima Edizione models) and 500S badging on the front seat backs.
Interested in putting the 2013 Fiat 500S in your garage? The 500S is currently available to order from Fiat and has a base price of €13,750 (which is about $18,000 when exchange rates are applied) with fully equipped models ringing in at €16,050 ($21,229). Unfortunately for U.S buyers, Fiat currently has no plans to offer the 500S in the United States at this time due to its likelihood of cannibalizing sales from the already available 500T model.