Brian Joss – There are two new stars in Fiat firmanent. The iconic Fiat 500 continues to rack up successes and now the stylish car has two new top-of-the-range trim levels: the 500 Star and 500 Rockstar.
The iconic Fiat 500 was reborn in 2007 to “brighten up” the daily lives and streets of the whole world, becoming a genuine, unique, useful solution to international urban mobility needs. It has enjoyed a history studded with commercial successes and seemingly isn’t going out of fashion any time soon.
In 2018 – in its eleventh year of production – the Fiat 500 achieved its best-ever annual sales figures with almost 194,000 units registered (total for Fiat 500 and Abarth 595). Not forgetting that it has now been the FCA Group’s best-selling model for two years, as well as being the current leader of the city-car segment in Europe. The Fiat 500 also spawned a whole family bearing its name – comprising the 500, 500X and 500L models – which will soon reach a combined three million units sold in Europe.
“These are outstanding figures, for a model that has never gone out of fashion through its 12-year history, and in fact has kept on evolving, without ever losing its identity,” Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat and Abarth brands, explains, “The next verse of the song is 500 Star and 500 Rockstar, extending and enriching the 500 to make it even more universal, even younger, and even more exciting.”
Fiat has succeeded in expanding the number of potential 500 fans even further, with a new range that exploits the model’s dual personality, with its elegant and sporty sides. The refined Lounge trim is now raised to fresh heights by the new Star, while the 500’s sportier character comes to the fore in the feisty 500 Sport and the new, even more dynamic Rockstar. To delight a younger market, Fiat has decided to make the Lounge and Sport trims more affordable and connected by offering the Uconnect 7″ HD LIVE touchscreen radio – Apple CarPlay-ready and compatible with Android AutoTM – as standard, to make every trip a unique, exciting experience.
Colour has always been one of the Fiat 500’s most distinctive traits and the new 500 Star and 500 Rockstar won’t disappoint. Over its twelve-year lifetime, the Fiat 500 has offered more than 40 colours across the range, more than half of them completely new, making it the FCA Group’s most “colourful” car. Of special distinction will be the new ceramic-look mica colour with pink tints of the Star trim, alongside the new matte green paintwork that debuts on the 500 Rockstar.
These original shades, along with the use of new materials, are the results of research into the latest trends far removed from the automotive industry.
Fiat went from fashion to technology, from art to interior design, and from sport to film to identify the colours. So how long does it take to develop a new colour? An incredible 52 weeks. The work of the Centro Stile – Fiat’s in-house design studio – does not move on to the research, development, testing and production phases until it has identified the right shade, the best coating, and the most suitable pigment.
Craftsmanship and refined elegance also characterise the interiors of the new 500 Star and Rockstar. The elegantly sporty 500 Rockstar features a central band on the seat covers inspired by tailored pin-stripe suits, re-interpreted through a combination of more contemporary materials, such as the grey-blue details on the side panels and the black eco-leather upper part of the seat. Like the Rockstar trim, the new 500 Star also adopts original, exclusive interiors, the ultimate expression of style for the 500 range, which are available in two colour combinations: white sand and black, and in the elegant, new Matelassé finish with details in eco-leather and an embroidered 500 logo.
The Fiat 500 Star and 500 Rockstar are available in hatchback and cabriolet body styles differentiated by different 16-inch wheel styles. They are all powered by Fiat’s TwinAir petrol engine. The turbocharged two-cylinder 875cc engine delivers an astonishing 62.5kW at 5,500 rpm and flexible torque of 145Nm at 1,900 rpm. The combination allows effortless urban driving and impressive fuel consumption, returning just 4 l/100km on the combined cycle.
The newcomers are covered by Fiat’s three years or 100,000km warranty.
Pricing starts at R219,900 for either Star or Rockstar and R259,900 for Star or Rockstar Cabriolets. Automatic transmission is available for an additional R13,000.
CAPTION: Iconic: the 500 Star gets top of the range trimmings. Picture: Quickpic