New Fiat 500
With over 1.5 million sold, the New 500 is preparing to take on new market challenges without forgetting its own deep roots.
July 4 has always been a red-letter date for Fiat 500: the ‘great little car’ and emblem of mass motorisation in Italy, of which nearly 3.8 million were sold and which has become firmly established in collective imaginary, was introduced on this day in 1957. Fifty years later, in 2007, Fiat chose to capitalise on that heritage and drive into the future: the new 500 was born and it was an immediate success.
Eight years later, with over 1.5 million sold, the torch is being passed to the New 500 with which Fiat is preparing to take on new market challenges without forgetting its own deep roots. Made by the Centro Stile Fiat, the car has a refreshed exterior and interior design which is unmistakably 500 and even more attractive. It has not grown in size but it is packed with more technology, engine versions and customisation ideas: only in this way can the icon evolve and refine the features which have turned it into a masterpiece even further.
Available in two versions (saloon and convertible), the New 500 will have three trim levels at launch: Pop, Popstar and Lounge. The first includes seven airbags, Uconnect Radio 5″ with six speakers, AUX-IN and USB ports, controls on the steering wheel and LED daytime running lights as standard equipment. The Popstar version adds manual climate control system, chrome-plated mirror domes and vintage style steel hubcaps.
The New 500 Lounge version is even richer featuring additional sophisticated details, like a panoramic glass sunroof, 15″ alloy rims, chrome-plated front grille, Uconnect Radio 5″ LIVE touchscreen infotainment system and leather steering wheels with controls allowing to integrate a smartphone, use many apps on the onboard system and stay connected.
The engine line-up of the New 500 includes a 0.9 TwinAir engine (85 hp or 105 hp), a 1.2 litre 69 hp engine and a 1.2 litre LPG 69 hp bi-fuel. In particular, the two-cylinder engines boast record-breaking performance: 90 g/km for the 85 hp engine, 99 for the 105 hp.
‘Eco’ configurations of the 1.3 Multijet 95 hp and the 1.2 litre 69 hp (available after the launch) will limit emissions to 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre. In short, the latest arrival is even more focused on sustainable future mobility. Finally, for some markets, the engine line-up of the New 500 will feature a TwinAir 0.9 65 hp aspirated engine and a 1.4 litre petrol 100 hp engine.
Audacious and seductive, the New 500 has no fewer than 1800 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. Not by chance, the iconic Fiat is the manifest of a new concept of mobility; it is a ‘gentile revolution’ on the world’s roads because it can make apparently opposite values meet.
So, today the New 500 is refreshed under the sign of aesthetic continuity and technological evolution. This is the magical formula of being 500, the only model capable of coherently blending opposites: it is exclusive, yet accessible; it is a global best-seller with a quintessentially Italian heart; it is an elegant product which is also packed with fun. It is very personal although over 1,500,000 units have been sold. What is more, the New 500 combines technology and sentiment to reassert itself as the benchmark in its segment from all points of view.
The Lingotto in Turin was chosen for the world première of the New 500, and not by chance as this a symbolic location has adapted over time and evolved while remaining true to its tradition, not unlike the iconic 500. Opened in 1923, the Fiat factory is still admired today for its modernity and elegant vertical development. At the time, the solution of building a test track on the roof gained the admiration of architect Le Corbusier.
Even before having been completed, the building which has been designed as a place of work had become the symbol of the burgeoning Italian industry and soon gained a footing in the nation’s collective imaginary. The cars which rolled off the lines here have travelled through the decades and contributed to motorising Italy until production was transferred to more modern plants.
After having been decommissioned, the Lingotto was renovated to suit the needs of a changing urban fabric: from fine example of industrial archaeology, the factory underwent a long interior refurbishment while maintaining the exterior appearance unaltered.
Today, the New Fiat 500, the heir of the icon which during the 1950s was tested on the track on the factory roof, will be revealed at the Lingotto: the deep link between the Lingotto, the New 500 and the city of Turin is being renewed.