In 1957, the original FIAT 500 was introduced. 50 years on, FIAT reintroduced the 500 into their range in 2007. Due to the huge success and popularity of the model, there is now a New 500, which will go on sale in early September with prices starting from £10,890 OTR.
Hatchback and Convertible bodystyles will be available, with three trim levels: Pop, Pop Star and Lounge. As standard, all models have LED daytime running lights, seven airbags and a five-inch Uconnect infotainment system with six speakers, AUX-IN/USB ports and steering wheel controls. The Pop Star trim adds air conditioning, body-coloured mirror caps with heating function and 15” alloy wheels. The Lounge version however, has more sophisticated features such as: panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a chrome front grille, front fog lights, leather-trimmed steering wheel and Uconnect 5” LIVE touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration.
The compact shape of the FIAT 500 is what made the car so iconic. The city-friendly dimensions are retained, while front and rear styling has been subtly refreshed, ensuring the unmistakeable Italian identity remains.
Headlight clusters integrate dipped-beam headlamps and turn signals, while the lower light cluster integrates the main beam headlights and LED daytime running lights which when dark, project the 0s of 500.
The tail lights of the New 500 are comprised of a ring-shaped structure and have body-coloured centres. The rear fog lights and reversing light are now relocated to the edges of the bumper, finished in either black or chrome, depending on the model.
Although the New 500 has matured over its predecessor, a huge variety of customisation options are still available. There are 13 colour hues to choose from and a ‘Second Skin’ initiative, which offers a range of individual options capable of satisfying all creative tastes.
The interior has been extensively revised, too. The dashboard design being the focal point, with the new five-inch Uconnect infotainment system, giving better connectivity and functionality.
The new steering wheel, featuring remote control buttons are easier to operate and are made from high quality materials, making them pleasant to the touch.
The circular instrument cluster sat behind the steering wheel, remains from the predecessor on Pop and Pop Star models, while a seven-inch TFT display is standard on the Lounge, and optional on Pop Star. The TFT display is integrated with Uconnect Radio LIVE and Uconnect Radio Nav LIVE, meaning the media player, telephone, and navigation message also appear on the LCD screen.
Further visible interior additions include a new lidded glovebox design and a revised centre console with push-down-pull-up electric window switches.
The engine choice of the New 500 at launch includes a 0.9-litre TwinAir, in either 85 bhp or 105 bhp format, and a 1.2-litre 69 bhp petrol engine. While the two-cylinder engines boast exceptional performance, economy is guaranteed. An ‘Eco’ configuration of the 1.2-litre and 1.3-litre turbo diesel motor, are available after the launch and will significantly reduce emissions due to a smart alternator, aerodynamic pack and 14” or 15” tyres with low rolling resistance.
I have no doubt that the New FIAT 500 will be a roaring success. Since re-launched in 2007, the roads in the UK are dotted with colour from a popular, fun and stylish footprint left by the Italian city car.