Back in September, Chrysler released vehicle sketches representing Mopar’s vision of an extreme makeover that would be making their way to 2012 SEMA show in Las Vegas.
This past Friday morning, members of the media were invited to a preview of five of these vehicles at Mopar’s engineering headquarters in suburban Detroit.
A previous article touched on the “juiced-up” Viper-inspired Dodge Charger, while today we’ll be discussing a vehicle at the very opposite end of Chrysler’s vehicle offerings – a Fiat 500 Cabrio-based beach cruiser.
Mopar Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser
Calling it a “take on the West Coast car customizer vibe,” Mopar has taken a Fiat 500 Cabrio and radically altered it to create a very special Cinquecento.
Beginning on the outside, Mopar engineers flared both the front and rear fenders by extending them out 4 inches on each side – widening the body by 8 inches.
The body was then given a matte grey finish. Setting off this finish are exterior trim pieces finished in brushed silver satin including the door handles, mirror caps, bumper guards, roof rack, rear license plate plinth and front badge spears.
The numerous “cues from vintage hot rod culture” include a functional louvered hood and louvered rear deck lid and red painted prototype Mopar aluminum wheels. The surfing theme is also evident in the teak woodwork on the slats of the roof rack, which carries a custom surfboard finished to match the body.
This theme is also carried on in the inside, which has matching teak “boardwalk-inspired” floor slats.
Interior trim bezels also carry a brushed satin silver finish, while the dashboard is topped off by the requisite swaying hula girl. The naugahyde front and rear seats feature red and white terrycloth “beach towel” inserts.
Lest you think these changes are only skin deep, you’ll want to know that the Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser does feature a number of performance upgrades.
These include a Mopar exhaust and Mopar cold-air intake to provide a boost in horsepower, while a Mopar strut tower brace lends itself in the handling department.
The 2012 SEMA Show runs from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and is open to manufacturers, buyers, exhibitors and members of the media only.
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