July 4 is a significant date for the mighty Fiat 500, marking the day the original model was first introduced to Italian crowds back in 1957.
Almost 3.8 million Fiat 500s were sold before, exactly fifty years later, on July 4 2007, Fiat chose to celebrate that heritage by introducing the new 500 a car that embodied the same spirit and personality as the original and has also enjoyed phenomenal success all over the world.
Eight years on, with more than 1.5 million produced, the torch is now being passed to the new Fiat 500, which the brand is preparing to use to take on new market challenges without forgetting its illustrious roots. Centro Stile Fiat has refreshed the car's exterior and interior styling elements, retaining the unmistakable 500 look that has made it such a global success but, while also making it even more attractive and contemporary.
The new 500 has not grown in size but it has grown in maturity, featuring advanced technologies, improved efficiency and even more customisation ideas. In this way, Fiat has carefully evolved and refined the features, which have made it an Italian masterpiece in the first place. Available in two body styles (hatchback and convertible), the new 500 will be available in three trim levels: Pop, Pop Star and Lounge. All models are well equipped with LED daytime running lights, seven airbags and a Uconnect infotainment system with six speakers, AUX-IN/USB ports and steering wheel remote controls as standard equipment.
The Pop Star version adds air conditioning, body-colour mirror caps with defrosting function and 15-inch alloy wheels, while the Lounge version adds sophisticated features such as a panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a chrome front grille, front fog lights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a Uconnect 5-inch LIVE touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration and numerous built-in apps to help users stay safely connected while on the move.
The engine line-up for the new 500 at launch includes a 0.9-litre TwinAir engine, producing 85bhp or 105bhp, and a 1.2-litre 69bhp unit. The two-cylinder engines boast exceptional efficiency, with the 85bhp engine producing 90g/km of CO2 and the 105hp unit emitting 99g/km. Meanwhile, a new 'Eco' configuration of the 1.2-litre 69bhp (available after the launch) will reduce emissions to 99g/km of CO2.
The new 500 also benefits from no fewer than 1,800 innovative detail changes, all designed to enhance the ownership experience and refine its inimitable style. Most noticeable are the new front headlights with LED daytime running lights and the new rear light clusters, not to mention the revised colour palette; the revamped dashboard and the improved materials used throughout.
The updates are substantial with a focus on technological evolution, but loyal to the unmistakable 500 style. The 500 is a global best-seller with a quintessentially Italian heart elegant and stylish but affordable and packed with fun and with its carefully considered enhancements, the new Fiat 500 will undoubtedly reassert itself as the benchmark in its segment from every perspective.