Fiat is positioning the 500S as a sportier-looking alternative to the rest of the 500 range. Externally the 500S is distinguished by unique front and rear bumpers, a honeycomb grille, and a chrome-plated exhaust tip.
There's also new side skirts and rear spoiler, as well as a grey satin finish for the door and tailgate handles, alloy wheels, and wing mirror caps. Two new colours, metallic Italia Blue and matte Alpi Green, are exclusive to the 500S.
The 500S rides on standard 15-inch alloy wheels, with 16-inch rims an optional extra. Despite the 'S' badge, Fiat makes no mention of a retuned or lowered suspension package.
Depending on the market, the 500S will available with a large selection of engines. Petrol engines include a 51kW 1.2-litre, 75kW 1.4-litre, and the 60kW, 63kW and 78kW variants of the 900cc TwinAir turbocharged two-cylinder motor. There's also a 71kW 1.3-litre turbo-diesel.
These engines drive the front wheels via either a five- or six-speed manual, or the five-speed Dualogic automated manual transmission.
On the inside, the 500S features black seats and roof lining, matched with contrasting door panel inserts, a satin grey finish for the dashboard fascia, and a sports steering wheel. Stitched Frau leather upholstery is present on the options list.
In the centre of the dash is a 7.0-inch touchscreen display that drives the Uconnect infotainment system, which includes Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary jack connectivity. The Uconnect system can be upgraded to incorporate satellite navigation, and a new 400-watt Beats Audio sound system with an eight-channel amplifier.
The 500S will be available in both hatch and convertible body styles. We're waiting to hear back from Fiat Australia about local availability.