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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
New Spy Shot of the Fiat 500
Here is the latest spy shot of a few Fiat 500s being tested in Poland. This shot was taken near Skoczów, which is about an hour from the 500 factory in Tychy, Poland.
The picture shows four cars with masking only on the front. Under the masking of these test mules, it is speculated that there are differences in the bumper, smaller lights and air vent. Now, this could be for the upcoming face lift scheduled in 2012 or, as noted in the forum posting this picture originated from, a revised bumper intake needed for the new TwinAir engine.
However, I have an additional theory, could these cars be testing bumper changes for the US 500?. Crunch time is rapidly approaching and we should expect to see test mules with different (presumably US) front ends showing up near the factory.
For a moment, let's take a look at the production time line. The US version of the 500 is scheduled to go into production December 13, pre-production models typically come out 2 months before, so that puts us into October (pre-production cars are vehicles used to validate production procedures and to shake out any issues before a car goes into series production). This leaves us approximately four months to order, manufacture and ship stamping and tooling to Toluca, Mexico.
Having said this, of course, it is all speculation and there are a couple of caveats with the above time line. First, pre-production is typically 2 months on a brand new vehicle, the Fiat 500 has been in production for 3 years, so it might be less than 2 months. Second, Fiat has been working on bringing the 500 to America for the past year, so production plans are well under way.
Well, stick around because it's going to get exciting in the next few weeks!