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The word's media has now descended on the Jacob K. Javits center for the 2010 New York Auto Show. I took a quick look around and have to say this year blows away last year's by a couple of dozen laps.

While there are dozens of debuts from Cadillac, BMW, Ford, etc. I shot straight past them to see the Fiat 500 from Chrysler, due to hit American roads later this year, along with an all-electric version in 2012.

This Fiat will be the most European-inspired vehicle on the road, with its 140 inches in overall length, 64.0 inches in width and 58.6 inches in height. This tiny car is visibly  smaller than the Mini Cooper. For those of you worried about its safety, it comes with seven air bags.

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The Fiat 500 will come in a base model with a 1.2 liter engine that produces roughly 70 hp (not bad for a 2,000 lb. car), a soft top convertible, and a sporty Abarth version, with a turbocharged 1.4 liter engine that puts out 135 hp. The base model wil have a fuel efficiency of 46 mpg.

These specs are what I love about the Fiat 500. Most European cars that come over to the states are redesigned to fit American needs, often bloating its dimensions, engine and functionality. The Fiat 500 remains largely unchanged from what you would see in Europe.

Newsday / Jose Moreno Photo

PHOTOS: Fiat 500 | Nissan Leaf EV | MINI Cooper EV | Chevrolet Volt

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