Ford and Fiat Team up on new Fiat 500, Ka

It's official: Fiat is building a new Cinquecento (500) minicar with an unlikely partner. As you may remember, Fiat showed an updated 500 in the guise of the Trepi no concept in Geneva this year. Now, the company has announced it will develop a production version of the Italian icon — the cultural equivalent of the New Beetle — with Ford, which will rebadge the product as its new European Ka. The companies will use Fiat's Panda small-car architecture to underpin the new models, which will be launched in 2007 (Fiat) and 2008 (Ford). Italian-languant fluents can read more at Autoblog.it. [Update: CNN/Money picked up the story. Thanks, Chris.]

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Fiat May Roll Out New, Nostalgic Cinquecento; Fiat Group Goes on Product Rampage [internal]