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Fiat upgrades 500 range to be more competitive

Fiat upgrades 500 range to be more competitive

The iconic and extremely appealing Fiat 500 has received a major upgrade, with the Italian car manufacturer expressing a keenness to keep the model up-to-date and competitive with other vehicles in its segment.

One of the key developments in this latest edition is an entirely new feature – the first-ever TFT digital instrument display in a city car, that delivers a whole new era of technology-inspired motoring without compromising on the now trademark aesthetics of the Fiat 500.

The addition largely stays true to existing dimensions but in this upgrade, the central display area – which contains a digital image of the vehicle – can be adapted to show unique computer readouts, such as distance travelled, instant fuel consumption and range.

Another standout development is the inclusion of the TwinAir engine, which is again unique to this model. It has embedded in it a highly efficient turbocharger, an exhaust manifold incorporated into the cylinder head; a fuel-saving Start&Stop system and the new MultiAir II intake valve control system.

Deploying a six-speed manual gearbox, the engine is capable of delivering 105hp at 5,500rpm and 107lb ft (145Nm) of torque at 2,000rpm in sport mode (98hp and 89lb ft (120Nm) in eco mode. In other words, it can achieve 0 to 62mph in just ten seconds and a top speed of 117mph.

The latest 500 now benefits from air-conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, Blue&Me connectivity (Bluetooth, voice recognition, steering wheel remote controls and a USB port), a leather-trimmed steering wheel, heated door mirrors and a fixed glass sunroof.

Occupying a sportier exterior, the 2014 upgrade carries a lot more attitude than its predecessors, largely thanks to the accents applied to the body. Every little feature has been improved to reflect this new character, making it a fitting rival to other city cars from the likes of MINI and Toyota.

The Fiat 500 was re-launched in 2007. Dubbed a contemporary interpretation of car designer Dante Giacosa's 1957 eponymous, it has since sold over 1.2 million units worldwide.ADNFCR-3205-ID-801723692-ADNFCR