Fifty Eight Years Of The 500

It may not have the power or the asking price of some of the supercars we usually feature but the Fiat 500 can still turn heads. It might also be more suited to the congested streets of Asia's capitals.

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.

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.




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