New Fiat 500 hits South African shores

Fiat 500: the ‘great little car’ and emblem of mass motorisation in Italy, of which nearly 3.8 million were sold was introduced  in 1957. Fifty years later, in 2007, the new 500 was born and it was an immediate success.

001-off-my-wheelsBrian Joss – Eight years later, with over 1.5 million sold; the torch is being passed to the New 500. Made by the Centro Stile Fiat, the car has a refreshed exterior and interior design which is unmistakably 500. It has not grown in size but it is packed with more technology, engine versions and customisation ideas.

Available in two versions (tin top and convertible), the New 500 will have three trim levels at launch: Pop, Popstar and Lounge. d stay connected.

The new Fiat 500: the “great little car” was introduced in 1957. Picture: Quickpic
The new Fiat 500: the “great little car” was introduced in 1957. Picture: Quickpic

The engine line-up of the New 500 includes a 0.9 TwinAir engine (65KW or 77KW),  In particular, the two-cylinder engines boast record-breaking performance: 90 g/km for the 65 KW engine, 99 for the 77KW. In short, the latest arrival is even more focused on sustainable future mobility.

There are no fewer than 1900 innovative details, all designed to enhance originality and make its style even more refined at the same time. New are the front headlights with LED daytime running lights, the rear light clusters, the colour palette, the dashboard, the materials: the updates are substantial but loyal to the unmistakable 500 style.

The New 500 is compact: it is 357 centimetres long, 163 centimetres wide , 149 centimetres high and has a 230 centimetre wheelbase. The design of the front and rear ends has been changed while remaining true to itself. The exterior style of the New 500 expresses all the distinctive elements

The bonnet has preserved its enveloping shape folding down onto the sides: this typical 500 style element is complemented by the front end with the very harmonious, classic trapezoidal nose sporting the elegant chrome-plated ‘whiskers’. The profile is still soft and round and gives the New 500 a cheeky look that sparks a smile of complicity when tackling congested city traffic, small spaces and frenetic lifestyles. With a characteristic appealing shape, the car has a large side window, minimum overhang and a very short bonnet. What is more, the belt is slightly inclined towards the front enhancing its robustness.

The colour palette features 13 body paints (seven pastel, one three-coat and five metallised), featuring the new Corallo Red and Opera Burgundy. Two striking black-yellow and black-red variants are also available in combination with ‘Second Skin’, an exclusive customisation offered by the New 500 to satisfy most tastes.

Worth mentioning is the innovative instrument panel with 7” TFT display (available on the Lounge Model only), developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli, the international leader in the design and manufacturing of high-tech automotive systems and components. In detail, the device provides all the necessary information to the driver and expresses, once more, the ‘trend-setting’ spirit of this model, an icon that is always one step ahead.

Furthermore, although small in size, the new model has plenty of room resulting from the clever distribution of object compartments: there are two compartments on the dashboard (one for the driver and one for the passenger), a handy compartment on passenger’s side, now closed by a lid, and compartments on the door panels and on the tunnel. Finally, the boot is generous: 185 litres which can become 550 by folding the rear backrest. Furthermore, the New 500 has a low threshold to facilitate loading objects.

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