There is no such thing as a sure thing in today's car market, but we don't believe the bean counters at Fiat are losing any sleep over the introduction of the new 500C. In fact, we'd venture to suggest that the Italian manufacturer will find itself struggling to keep up with demand.
See more of the FIAT 500C
We've already raved about the 500's characterful and compact design, not to mention the sublimely peppy qualities of the Abarth model, a car that's highly suited to some nifty backroad thrills. The 500C adds an essential summer ingredient to the mix - a removable canvas roof. Unlike some of its competitors, the 500C isn't a full convertible, a design decision that weighs in the car's favour. Whereas the MINI crams its canvas roof back into an already compact space, making for a rather pram-like profile with the top dropped, the 500C's canvas simply scrunches up as it retracts. The retention of the windows and side pillars mean there's no awkward bits of folding metal, which helps keeps the boot relatively free (although it wasn't exactly enormous to begin with).
The 500C's roof operates electrically in several stages, allowing you to chose the amount of available sky. It's also offered in three shades (black, ivory and red), all the better to contrast with the 500's famously comprehensive options list. This simple style of open-roof motoring is a deliberate nod to the original 1957 500, which offered a fabric roof as standard. These days, however, base model convertibles are virtually unheard of, so the 500C comes in at a significant price premium over the regular car. However, it's still no wallet-buster, meaning that those in search for a cost-efficient way of opening up their urban view need look no further.