Fiat Nuova 500
|Body style||3-door hatchback|
|Engine||1.2 L petrol|
1.4 L petrol
1.3 L JTD
|Transmission||5 and 6-speed manual|
|Wheelbase||2300 mm (90.5 in)|
|Length||3546 mm (139.7 in)|
|Width||1627 mm (64.1 in)|
|Height||1488 mm (58.6 in)|
|Weight||865-980 kg (1907-2161 lb)|
|Fuel capacity||35 L (7.7 imp. gal)(9.2 US gal)|
|Related||Fiat Nuova Panda|
Ford Ka II
(Fiat Stile Centre)
|Video||Top Gear Fiat 500 Abarth SS|
A new Fiat 500 was announced by Italian automaker Fiat on May 5, 2006. Images of the new Fiat 500 were presented on March 20, 2007, and the car was launched officially on July 4, 2007, with 250,000 in attendance. This was the largest launch party held in the last ten years, a testament to the 500's huge popularity.
The car is produced at the moment only in Tychy, Poland, by Fiat Auto Poland alongside a sister model, the second generation Ford Ka due for release in 2008, and the other city car in the Fiat range, the Panda.
The 500 is almost identical to the concept car Trepiùno, presented in 2004. Strictly a four-seater, three-door hatchback and about the same length as the Panda, it is intended to compete both in the city car market and the "fashion car" niche market. The 500 may be badged in different markets as the Fiat 500, the Fiat Nuovo 500, or the Fiat Cinquecento.
The 500 is available with three different trim levels: Pop, Lounge and Sport. Customers can choose also between 15 interior trims, 9 wheel options, 19 decals and 12 body colours. There are over 500,000 different personalized combinations of the 500 that can be made by adding all kinds of accessories, decals, interior and exterior colours and trims. The car is also available with Blue&Me Navigation system.
The launch show
The launch show, which took part in the Turin's Murazzi del Po region, was a huge firework spectacle that also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the old 500 launch. The show was coordinated by Marco Balich, who was also responsible for Turin's 2006 Winter Olympic Games, and was an event never made before for a car launch. Several artists performed during the show, including Lauryn Hill, Israeli dancing group Mayumana and others. In the first part of the show, artists reproduced scenes of the 60s, such as scenes from films by Federico Fellini, a Beatle's show made by a cover band and Marilyn Monroe's iconic Happy Birthday, Mr. President, which became "Happy Birthday, dear Cinquecento" (sung by a Marilyn cover to celebrate the original 500's fifty years). Several bikes also represented the Giro d'Italia competition, filmed by a camera man inside an original 500, just like in the 60s. Both the 500 and the bikes floated on the river.
The show was broadcast live by Italian Canale 5 and by a live video stream at fiat500.com, which was watched by over 100,000 people online.
The design of the new 2007 Fiat 500 is based on the Fiat Trepiuno concept introduced at the 74th Geneva Motorshow in 2004. This car featured a distinctive retro-look, with Fiat hoping to emulate the retro-styled Volkswagen New Beetle and success that the BMW MINI achieved in recent years, with the 500 being substantially cheaper than those cars, with a starting price of €10,500. The basic price is 10,500 euro in Italy; with options 15,000 euro. Trepiuno was designed by Fiat Stile Centre.
The new 500 has seven airbags (five in the UK-spec models)in all models except the "naked" (sold only in Italy) version. There are also electric aids available such as ABS brakes, ESP (electronic stability program), ASR (antislip regulation), HBA (hydraulic brake assistance) and hill holder device. The 500 was awarded with 5 stars by EuroNCAP, succeeding the BMW MINI as the shortest car to have a five-star rating.Fiat also said that the 500 was engineered so that it will be able to achieve a six-star rating when EuroNCAP starts to adopt this classification.
The Fiat 500 passed the Euro NCAP car safety tests with following ratings
"500 wants YOU"
A project called "500 wants you" was launched by Fiat as part of a major online advertising campaign. The project uses the Internet to involve the public in planning the evolution of the new vehicle. The official 500 internet page has been visited by over four million people. All 500 cars are pre-sold; 450 that were offered on Ciao Fiat 500.com on a marketing campaign were sold within 2 1/2 hours.
New 500 in US
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has indicated that the United States may receive the newly designed Fiat 500. “Sooner or later it is a possibility that the 500 will arrive on the American market,” he said, adding “but it will not happen now, probably after 2010."
It is rumored that the 135-horsepower Abarth version will make it to U.S. shores after 2010. The car would likely be sold in U.S. Alfa Romeo dealerships after Alfa Romeo (set to return to the U.S. in 2009) retains a firm foothold in the market.
|Name||Volume||Engine||Fuel||Output||Torque||0-100 km/h,s||Top speed||CO2||Notes|
|1.2 8v||1242 cc||4cyl||Petrol||69PS @5500rpm||102Nm @3000rpm||12.9||160kmh||119 g/km|
|1.4 16v||1368 cc||4cyl||Petrol||100PS @6000rpm||131Nm @4250rpm||10.5||182kmh||149 g/km|
|1.3 16v Multijet||1248 cc turbo||4cyl||Diesel||75PS @4000rpm||145Nm @1500rpm||12.5||165kmh||111 g/km|
|Abarth||1368 cc turbo||4cyl||Petrol||135PS @5500rpm||206Nm @3000rpm||July 2008|
|0.9 SGE||900 cc turbo||2cyl||Petrol||66-81 kW (90-110 PS)||Planned|
Fiat is planning to expand the 500 range far beyond the current hatchback model. The first new version will be the Abarth 500. Powered by Fiat's 1.4 multiair turbo engine, the Abarth will be available with a standard 135PS engine, or a hard-core 160PS 'ss' version incorporating the Alfa Romeo Q2 Torsen C limited slip differential. Fiat was originally planning to unveil the Abarth at the Bologna motor show, but due to unprecedented demand for the 500 Fiat has been forced to delay the official launch of the Abarth 500 until the 2008 Geneva motor show. Sales of the Abarth 500 are likely to start in LHD markets in the Summer of 2008, and will be launched in RHD markets towards the end of 2008. A cabriolet version is planned, with sales starting in early 2009. Fiat are also likely to go ahead with a 500 estate, in homage to the 500 giardanetta of the 1960s. An S.U.V version is being considered by Fiat too. If it gets the go ahead Fiat will launch this model in 2011. The 500 will be one of the first cars to receive Fiat's new generation of small engines. The all new 0.9 turbo engine will be launched in the winter of 2008. This will replace the 1.2 and normally aspirated 1.4 engines. This engine will be available in 90 and 110PS forms. As these engines are lighter than the engines they replace, performance will be improved. The big plus about these engines is not the added performance, but the extra fuel economy. A stop-start system is also planned to be offered in the near future on the 1.2 and 1.3 Multijet.
Production sold out
The 500 has enjoyed phenomenal sales success so far. Within 3 weeks of the 500's launch the entire years production of 58,000 had been sold out. To date, Fiat has received more than 80,000 orders for the 500. 40,000 have been sold. Amazingly, the Fiat 500 isn't available yet in many major markets. While Italy obviously has been the 500's main market, (In October 2007, some 9000 cars have been sold in Italy, making it the 3rd bestselling car there) the 500 is gaining a strong following in many countries. Fiat France had received more than 10,000 orders by the end of October 2007. With Fiat planning to release the 500 soon in many other countries demand is likely to increase further. To cope with this demand Fiat has announced that production has been increased to 200,000 in 2008. The 500 was launched January 21st 2008 in UK. By 2010 production (including the new Abarth, cabriolet and estate versions) is likely to break the 350,000 barrier.
Production to be started in Italy
As a result of the 500's huge success, Fiat is planning to start production of the car in Italy. This will start in the final quarter of 2008, following the upcoming renovation of the Termini Imerese factory in Sicily. Up to 120,000 Fiat 500s a year may be produced there. Fiat wants to increase production at this plant as currently the plant only makes 100,000 cars a year, despite boasting a capacity of 300,000 units.
- What Car? readers' affections 2007
- CAR Magazine: Car of the Year 2007
- EuroCarBody 2007 award
- European Car of the Year for 2008
- The World’s Most Beautiful Automobile (City Car and Small Car category)
- AUTO EUROPA 2008
- Fifth Gear: Best Small Car 2007
- Top Gear: Best 'City Car' 2007
- Auto 1 Europa 2008 - (Auto Bild)
- Official Fiat 500 website
- My500 - Independant Fiat 500 Community
- Unofficial Fiat 500 resource
- Fiat 500 Review at Times Online
- Fiat 500 first drive
- Future models based on the 500
- New Fiat 500 Flickr Group
- Independent Fiat 500 website & forum
- Independent German Fiat 500 website
- The FIAT Forum - FIAT 500 Forums
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