Found on the official Fiat USA Facebook site are two photos of what appear to be the US version of the Fiat 500. It shows a new style bumper, what I would call a hybrid of the regular Fiat 500 and the 500 Abarth's bumper. You can view the pictures here. (I apologize for not posting the pictures, as I am waiting to get the official OK to do so).
Update April 20, 2010: These photos have been deleted from Fiat USA's Facebook page, I was asked and have removed the link to them as a courtesy.
Update June 8, 2010: automobilemag.com has posted spy shots of the US-Spec Fiat 500. You can view them here. These photos show a car not noticeably different than the Euro-Spec 500. This is at odds with the photos previously posted on Fiat USA's Facebook site. This is intriguing and we'll have to see if the hybrid front end shows up again. .
These pictures were found in the public Facebook photo album titled "Fiat USA Vehicles". The pictures appear Photoshopped or retouched, but they are definitely not the Euro bumpers found on a regular Fiat 500.
The shape is similar to the 500 Abarth's bumper. Essentially, it looks like they took the Abarth's bumper, minus the side air vent, and combined the lower grill, chrome bumper strip, and Fiat logo of the regular 500.
To make it easier to visualize, look at the Euro 500 and 500 Abarth bumpers and compare them to the pictures in the above links. I suggest you open the links in another window to follow along.
1) The lower grill on the US version of the Fiat 500 is wider. You can get the idea with the above pictures (pardon my crude attempt at Microsoft Paint).
2) On the US version of the Fiat 500, you'll see a character line that runs along the bottom of the high beam light just like on the Abarth. This crease is not on the Euro 500.
3) The US version of the Fiat 500 bumper shape projects out like the 500 Abarth's bumper. The Euro 500's bumper is more blunt. On the Abarth, this is done to accommodate the intercooler for the turbocharger, on the US version this could be for bumper impact standards and to accommodate a side marker. Is it possible the high beam will be moved into the headlight housing and the lower light converted to a side marker?
This bumper projection might help explain the the differences between the lengths I reported last week at the 2010 New York Auto Show. You can read that story here. Look at the dimensions above and compare the overhangs at the front. The US spec sheet at the Auto Show showed the 500 to be 3622mm long, very similar to the 500 Abarth's 3657mm.
Compare for yourself
Do your own comparison between the US bumpers and the Euro ones with the help of the following pictures:
At this point it's all speculation, but those pictures on Facebook are very interesting. This could be just a design proposal, again, we'll have to wait and see, but it is getting near crunch time as training and manufacturing will have to start soon.
I think it looks great! It combines the best features of the regular 500 with the Abarth's.
I'll post these pictures here to make it easier for everyone to see as soon as I get the OK from Chrysler (hint, hint).
With thanks to Fiat Group Press