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Sizing up the 500
Sizing up the 500
The original Fiat 500, introduced in the 1950s and produced into the `70s, was aimed at drivers needing a small, efficient car to maneuver around narrow roads in ancient European cities using precious post-war gasoline.

This version was originally aimed at European drivers who wanted to look like they were driving the classic little Fiat but all the while enjoying the benefits of a clean, safe, modern car. Of course, it's also really good for getting around narrow roads in ancient European cities while using precious 21st century gasoline.

We don't know yet what engine the North American 500 will have but in Europe the most powerful available engine -- excluding high-performance Abarth versions -- is a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces a little under 100 horsepower. That might sound underpowered, but this car only weighs about 2,000 pounds. That's 500 pounds less than a Honda Fit which gets by with 117 horsepower.

NEXT: Selling the 500

Last updated November 12 2009: 6:15 AM ET
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