Nardelli: Fiat 500 to come to U.S.

Though he says he will be stepping down from his post by the time it would go on sale, Chrysler Chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli indicated that the Fiat 500 will be homolgated soon for sale in the United States. The diminutive retro-hatchback that has been a hit in Europe would likely first be imported before North American production would begin.

Though no official word has come out of Chrysler's Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters about future products, Nardelli's statements confirmed the speculation that the 500 was bound for the U.S.

Rumors persist that the 500 will not be eligible for sale in Canada in its current state, however, because of the height of the headlamps. When the original Fiat 500 was sold in North America, it received revised "bug eye" headlamps in order to conform with different standards, though slapping a pair of spotlight-esque lights on the front of a 500 seems less likely today.

Fiat has said that most of its vehicles were designed with U.S. and Canadian crash and emissions standards in mind since European standards are similarly strict.

The 500 is currently sold in Mexico, where it starts at less than $17,000 for the entry-level model, which includes air conditioning, ABS, seven airbags, Bluetooth, a CD player and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Its 1.4-liter four-cylinder pumps out 100-horsepower and 131 lb-ft. of torque.