Fiat launches celebratory limited edition 500
The new model of the super-popular Italian super-mini is designed to mark the 57th anniversary of the iconic car's launch.autos Updated: Nov 16, 2013 13:19 IST
The new model of the super-popular Italian super-mini is designed to mark the 57th anniversary of the iconic car's launch.
The 1957 Edition will go on sale in the US in 2014, after its appearance at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, and has been conceived to pay homage to the original and as such will feature a host of subtle design cues and unique features.
These include a choice of new colors, including a special celestial blue paint finish (paired with a Bianco white roof) and specially built 16-inch retro styled alloy wheels. Fiat has also chosen to revert to its old 1950s logo for the car's exterior wheel hub and tailgate badges. However, bringing the car bang up to date is the inclusion of sports-tuned suspension as standard.
Inside, the dashboard is finished in ivory in contrast to the seats' Marrone brown leather. Even the steering wheel and door panels get a leather wrap. Powering the car forward is a 1.4-liter MultiAir engine which combines thrills and spills with lower emissions and better fuel economy, mated to a five-speed manual (or six speed paddle-shift automatic); the car can be driven gently round town or, with the touch of a button, amplify the fun thanks to a sports mode that firms up the suspension and boosts throttle response time.
The car to which this limited edition pays homage -- the original Nuova Cinquecento (New 500) -- did for Italian style and personal mobility what the Mini did for the UK and Citroen 2CV for France. It started a revolution. Here was a car as attractive, innovative and fun to drive as anything being built by Ferrari, yet its style was attainable.
As such, it remained in production for almost 20 years, selling nearly 4 million examples in the process. To celebrate its 50th birthday in 2007, Fiat reimagined the little car for the 21st century and the result, the New Fiat 500, has gone on to be one of the world's top selling small cars -- the 1 millionth example rolled off the production line on November 19, 2012.
It was also the car that announced the Italian brand's return to the US, a market it had been forced to exit in the 1980s due to poor performance and reliability issues. Since its launch in 2010, the little car has been a huge hit, just like the latest -generation Mini.
Fiat is yet to confirm pricing for the 1957 Edition or how many examples will be made. But it will be opening the order book for US customers at the beginning of 2014 with a spring delivery expected for the first models.