Fiat revealed the new Fiat 500 at weekend on July 4, a date that has always been a red-letter date for Fiat’s bambino: the 'great little car' and symbol of mass car ownership in Italy, of which nearly 3.8 million were sold and which has become firmly established in collective imagination, 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.
The engine line-up of the New 500 includes a 0.9 TwinAir engine (85 hp or 105 hp), a 1.2 litre 69 hp engine and a 1.2 litre LPG 69 hp bi-fuel. In particular, the two-cylinder engines boast record-breaking performance: 90 g/km for the 85 hp engine, 99 for the 105 hp. 'Eco' configurations of the 1.3 Multijet 95 hp and the 1.2 litre 69 hp (available after the launch) will limit emissions to 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre. In short, the latest arrival is even more focused on sustainable future mobility. Finally, for some markets, the engine line-up of the New 500 will feature a TwinAir 0.9 65 hp aspirated engine and a 1.4 litre petrol 100 hp engine.
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.
Details and specifications for the new Fiat 500 in New Zealand will be announced when it arrives in 2016.
A concentrate of Italian style
The New 500 is compact: it is 357 centimetres long, 163 centimetres wide, 149 centimetres high and has a 230 centimetre wheelbase. The design of the front and rear ends has been changed while remaining true to itself. The exterior style of the New 500 expressesall the distinctive elements which traditionally characterised the 1950 classic precursor and today reasserts its identity with more complete technical content.
The most obvious reference to the past is in the upper headlights - which are still circular but have a more dynamic slant to convey the look of a more audacious gaze - together with the lower cluster, which combines LED technology for the daytime running lights and the 'whiskers and badge' set. Today, the upper headlights implement an innovative polyellptical module for clear night vision and extra safety: its 'eyes' are always open on the road. The dipped beam headlights and direction indicators are built into the cluster. The lower light cluster integrates the main beam headlights, the daytime running lights and the LED side lights, which follow its circular profile. The effect graphically reproduces the zeros of 500. The New 500 will stand out even in the dark with its unmistakable traits.
The bonnet has preserved its enveloping shape folding down onto the sides: this typical 500 style element is complemented by the front end with the very harmonious, classic trapezoidal nose sporting the elegant chrome-plated 'whiskers'. Today, the ribbing is bolder and the auxiliary air vent is a three-dimensional grille with chrome-plated buttons on the Lounge version which adds to the agreeable appearance of the car. At the same time, robustness and strong personality are emphasised by chrome-plated badges which direct the eye to the wheel arches. In this way, the New 500 is even more expressive and has a seductive gaze.
The profile is still soft and round and gives the New 500 a cheeky look that sparks a smile of complicity when tackling congested city traffic, small spaces and frenetic lifestyles. With a characteristic appealing shape, the car has a large side window, minimum overhang and a very short bonnet. What is more, the belt is slightly inclined towards the front enhancing its robustness.
The rear end has a large characteristically shaped chrome-plated handle that is reminiscent of the number plate light of the first Fiat 500 and today fits exclusive new light clusters. It is the only car in its segment to fit 'empty' light clusters - a ring-shaped structure which lets the body colour transpire from the middle - housing the light modules shaped to follow the sinuous profile of the car body degrading from the rear window to the new bumper. In this manner, light emerges from the body drawing nothing short of a 'light tattoo'. The rear fog lights and reversing light are arranged underneath at the ends of a black or chrome-plated thin, dynamic-looking grille. This division is functional and guarantees greater light efficiency.
New design alloy rims - 15" and 16", also diamond-finished - are also available. The colour palette features 13 body paints (seven pastel, one three-coat and five metallised), featuring the new Corallo Red and Opera Burgundy. Two striking black-yellow and black-red variants are also available in combination with 'Second Skin', an exclusive customisation offered by the New 500 to satisfy the most different moods and creative needs. Everyone can tailor the 500 they want and dress it with ever new looks. Walking into a dealership will be a bit like walking into a high-end fashion house.
Like a garment, like a second skin
The New 500 offers a further outstanding opportunity which will not cease to surprise and stimulate imagination and flair while respecting the spontaneous congeniality that the iconic Fiat has always triggered. It is called 'Second Skin' and it is an exclusive customisation for transferring one's own personality onto the bodywork and feeling always at ease with Italian made taste and elegance.
Customers can pick the 'Small' version, featuring a geometric, trendy ethnic pattern along the belt line, while the 'Medium' solution includes pillars and roof - and in some cases also the bonnet and tailgate - with four patterns: 'Lord' (classic tartan), 'Comics' (pop decoration) in combination with the new two-colour body paintwork, 'Navy' (fresh and breezy) and 'Camouflage' (fashionably military). Like a tailor-made garment, everyone can express their own personality with a unique, distinctive style with the 'Second Skin' collection of the New 500.
Elegance and innovation for timeless interiors
The interiors are all new, starting from the dashboard design: it now integrates the innovative Uconnect infotainment with 5" screen (touchscreen on Lounge) for outstanding visibility, which is harmoniously inserted in a carefully designed, ergonomic whole. As a whole, it is new and high-tech but still unmistakably 500.
The passenger compartment is still enveloping, protective and packed with small details, full of references to the past re-interpreted in a modern key and embellished with exclusive materials. In this perspective, the buttons and dome over the dashboard are redesigned, like the steering wheel: today, the controls are more versatile and complete and the chrome-plated edging adds a precious touch. More in detail, the passenger compartment of the New 500 is the epitome of complete, modern, ergonomic equipment and design inspired by the classic 500.
The steering column is characterised by concentric circle analogue instruments which provide all the necessary information to the driver at a glance: the speed is shown on the outer rim and the odometer is placed underneath. The onboard computer information, with the digital fuel gauge and coolant thermometer, appear in the middle.
Worth mentioning is the innovative instrument panel with 7'' TFT display (available on demand), developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli, the international leader in the design and manufacturing of high-tech automotive systems and components. In detail, the device provides all the necessary information to the driver and expresses, once more, the 'trend-setting' spirit of this model, an icon that is always one step ahead.
The driver can monitor the data from the speedometer, odometer and trip computer simultaneously at a glance. Moreover, the central section of the display - sporting an image of the car - can be configured by choosing which trip computer data to show, such as distance travelled, instant fuel consumption, range, trip time. Highly visible are also the warning messages, such as doors open, temperature, etc. and the "GSI" (Gear Shift Indicator) system indicator, which advises when to shift gear to maximise fuel-efficiency by switching on a specific symbol.
This is all perfectly integrated with the UconnectTM 5" Radio LIVE and UconnectTM 5" Radio Nav LIVE so that the media player, telephone and navigator can share the same screen. Additionally, the LCD screen shows the Sport button activation signal on the 105 hp 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine version.
This element together with the central console and the radio-air vent set, may be ivory or black, to enhance the requisite vintage or sporty personality of the car. Incidentally, the new instrument panel of the New 500 is the ideal combination of retro look and modern technology.
New chrome-plated accents stand out on a harmonious whole, which is pleasant to touch and to look at but is practical at the same time: there are plenty of cleverly arranged object compartments and the controls on the steering wheel are standard on all versions. Also standard are the air conditioning system and the novel air vents with parallel fins for accurate air direction and flow rate adjustment.
The upper part of the body conveys sophistication and personality underlined by the central fascia which picks up the body colour, while the lower part is super-functional with capacious new object compartments. The gear lever is positioned on the dashboard for easy operation and looks like a sophisticated mechanical component, with chrome-plated parts and an efficient knob, which can be glossy black or chrome-plated according to the versions. The set of most frequently used buttons is inspired by the warning lights and levers of the classic 500. They are easy to identify and immediate to use.
The upholstery is available in nine colour combinations. Guaranteeing all the comfort you could possibly wish, the new seats are made with even more ergonomic materials and designed to facilitate passenger access to the rear seats. Seats for the for Pop trim level include tone-on-tone Chevron patterns while those for the Lounge version feature Glen plaid with ivory, olive green or coral accents and piping, contrasting head restraints and black or ivory eco-leather crescent. Optional is black, burgundy or tobacco Frau leather upholstery with 500 logo embroidered on the crescent with contrasting ivory or light blue crescents for the burgundy seats.
The rear seat is very comfortable for two passengers and picks up the design of the front seats. What is more, the upper contour of the backrest emerges from the upper edge to provide more support and shape the backrest more ergonomically and emphasise the actually available space. On the Lounge version, the 50/50 back seat can be split and folded to adapt to all loading needs in the best way.
The new concept upholstery and panels convey the impression of authentic, outstanding quality of the model at a glance. In detail, the door panels are decorated with contrasting upholstery matching the seats and plastic structure integrating a large object compartment and the speakers. Finally, the chrome-plated hook-shaped door handles are reminiscence of a key element of the classic 500.
Furthermore, although small in size, the new model has plenty of room resulting from the clever distribution of object compartments: there are two compartments on the dashboard (one for the driver and one for the passenger), a handy compartment on passenger's side, now closed by a lid, and compartments on the door panels and on the tunnel. Finally, the boot is generous: 185 litres which can become 550 by folding the rear backrest. Furthermore, the New 500 has a low threshold to facilitate loading objects.
There is something else which you cannot see but which is immediately perceivable and appreciable: the car fits new soundproofing panels in the wheelhouse and firewall making the passenger compartment even more comfortable and silent.
Always connected with UconnectTM
The large screen of the UconnectTM system stands out in the middle of the dashboard of the New 500, between the air vents arranged lower than on the previous version. On the Pop trim level, the system includes radio, six speakers, controls on the steering wheel, AUX-IN and USB port with hands-free system and Bluetooth.
The New 500 Lounge offers UconnectTM 5" Radio LIVE touchscreen, the next frontier of infotainment, as standard equipment. This system implements a wide range of functions, like UconnectTM LIVE and music options offered as standard for five years in addition to FM/AM radio, Bluetooth hands-free system, and voice recognition. The driver can connect multimedia devices via USB or using the 3.5mm auxiliary jack or stream music via Bluetooth using a compatible smartphone. DAB digital radio is available on demand. The system is provided with SMS reader for reading text messages received on compatible telephones using 'text to speech' technology.
Uconnect TM LIVE services, which are included in the price of the car, are now making their debut on the New 500. The UconnectTM LIVE app can be downloaded from Apple Store or Google Play Store on a smartphone. As soon as the smartphone is connected to the New 500 Lounge, many applications can be viewed and controlled on the touchscreen of the UconnectTM system. The apps have been redesigned and adapted for use while driving to keep concentrated on the road. UconnectTM LIVE will be gradually available in many countries across Europe; today, it is available in Italy, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on UconnectTM 5" Radio and Radio Nav for Android and iOS smartphones.
UconnectTM LIVE allows direct access on the touchscreen to TuneIn Internet radio, with over 100,000 stations worldwide, Deezer Internet music, with over 35 million tracks for 'Deezer Premium' users, Reuters, to remain updated on the most recent world news, and Facebook and Twitter, to keep in touch with friends. Finally, it can also be used to access eco
rive, the award winning driving style app which allows to slash fuel consumption by up to 16% and contributes to reducing CO2 emissions by providing driving tips in real time.
Furthermore, UconnectTM LIVE connects directly to my:Car with real time warnings, service deadline memos and an interactive owner handbook to manage car maintenance as best as possible. When a smartphone is connected via Bluetooth, the most important warnings are transferred to the UconnectTM LIVE personal account to make servicing easy as never before.
Finally, UconnectTM 5" Radio Nav LIVE with TomTom 2.5D and voice controls is available on demand. Navigating even the most complicated crossroads and junctions is easy with powerful features like the advanced lane indicator. Additionally, the TomTom IQ Routes® function is the most simple way to calculate the fastest route based on real clocked average speeds. Not last, turn-by-turn instructions can be safely displayed on the instrument panel when other functions are working on the radio.
UconnectTM LIVE with TomTom LIVE services
UconnectTM 5'' Radio Nav LIVE includes TomTom Live services with voice controls and high-quality traffic information to make every trip more efficient with the Uconnect LIVE app.
New 500 drivers can now experience the connected navigation quality of TomTom and latch onto the world's biggest source of traffic information with over 100 million of monitored kilometres of traffic collected everyday. The navigation system updates every two minutes and UconnectTM suggests the faster routes and more accurate estimated arrival times by implementing an evolved processing engine. In addition to real time information on traffic conditions, users can also benefit from the information on the location of fixed and mobile speed traps (where available) and weather forecasts in real time. Finally, with TomTom Search & Go users can run searches by category or type, like petrol stations or supermarkets, and be directed there.
Environmentally friendly engines
The New 500 fits brilliant but fuel-efficient engines which are even more environment-friendly, as demonstrated by the Euro 6 type-approval. Combined with five or six speed mechanical gearboxes or a Dualogic robotised transmission, the engines line-up available at launch include the 1.2 litre 69 hp, the TwinAir 85 hp or 105 hp and the two-cylinder 1.2 litre 69 hp EasyPower (LPG/petrol).
The TwinAir 0.9 cm3 is available in two versions: 85 hp and 105 hp. Fuel consumption of the first is equal to 3.8 litres/100 km on the combined cycle with emissions lower than 90 g/km of CO2: this is a remarkable result in terms of eco-sustainability and further proof of the concrete, accessible technological solutions made available by Fiat to a very large audience to provide the best possible benefits for the environment and for the owner's pocket. In particular, the TwinAir engine stands out as a concrete example of how technology can reduce consumption and emissions, at an affordable price.
The New 500 range will be expanded after the launch with the 1.2 litre 69 hp in 'Eco' configuration and the 1.3 16v Multijet II 95 hp turbodiesel. More in detail, the first fits a smart alternator, a specific aerodynamic pack and new 14" or 15" tyres which guarantee low rolling resistance and high resistance to wear. These evolutions as a whole translate into real savings on running costs and a sustainable environment impact. One number for all: the CO2 emissions total only 99 grams per kilometre.
The New 500 is the only car in its segment, together with Panda, to offer a small diesel engine which is the best of today's engineering technology: it is the 1.3 16v Multijet II 95 hp, which emits only 89 grams of CO2 per kilometre and complies with Euro 6 standards.
Finally, to provide answers to all mobility needs, for some markets, the New 500 may be equipped with a TwinAir 0.9 65 hp aspirated engine and a 1.4 litre petrol 100 hp engine.
It is clear that the New 500 is as dedicated to the environment as its predecessor, which has been chosen for many innovative, sustainable mobility projects especially for its features. Not by chance, fleets of 500 are today the protagonists of car sharing projects in the most important Italian cities: efficient, simple and user-friendly services, which allow to live a more aware, shared use experience always under the sign of environmental respect.
Safety and comfort at the top of its segment
Created to comply with the toughest standards, the Fiat 500 is one of the safest cars in its entire segment. The already stable, effective braking has been improved further in versions equipped with 1.2 FIRE 69 hp engine by adopting a system with oversized discs. Furthermore, the efficient, brilliant engines guarantee good pick-up and predictable behaviour on the road. In brief, the car can overcome critical situations at ease.
The New 500 is also fitted as standard with seven airbags (two front, two window bags, two side bags and one for knee protection) as standard equipment. The new model also employs the most sophisticated technical solutions to ensure that the driver is in perfect control of the car (active safety): ABS with electronic brake distribution (EBD), advanced electronic stability control (ESC), anti-slip regulation (ASR) system, the Hill Holder devices - which help the driver with hill starts - and hydraulic brake assistance (HBA) to help with emergency stops.
The New 500 is also packed with dynamic and comfort properties making it perfect to tackle all journeys comfortably and safely. These qualities are enhanced by the suspension layout: the front system is a McPherson independent configuration, while the rear suspension features interconnected (i.e. semi-independent) wheels with a torsion beam. Based on a Magneti Marelli design, both configurations have been appropriately revised and developed for the new vehicle to ensure great handling and top level driving comfort.
Range: an answer for all needs
At launch, the New 500 has three trim levels, Pop, Popstar and Lounge, and it is available in saloon and convertible version, except for the EasyPower engine which is available on the saloon version only.
Below you'll find a description of the range destined for the entire EMEA region which, depending on the market, features some differences in content (standard or optional) in order to best meet the needs of the individual countries. To see the specific range for each country, visit your local Fiat Press website.
Standard equipment again includes seven airbags, Uconnect Radio with six speakers, AUX-IN and USB ports, controls on the steering wheel and LED daytime running lights. The Popstar version adds manual climate control system, chrome-plated mirror domes and vintage style steel hubcaps. Even richer is the New 500 Lounge which adds further sophisticated details like the panoramic glass sunroof, 15" alloy rims, leather steering wheel, chrome-plated front grille and Uconnect 5" Radio LIVE infotainment.
The engines, all Euro 6, can satisfy all needs. The 1.2 litre 69 hp (also with Start&Stop), TwinAir 0.9 85 hp or 105 hp (both with Start&Stop) petrol engines and the 1.2 litre 69 hp EasyPower (petrol and LPG), all with front wheel drive or Dualogic automatic transmission will be available at launch. The range will be expanded later with the 1.2 litre 69 hp in 'Eco' configuration and the 1.3 16v Multijet II 95 hp turbodiesel.
There are 13 body colours (pastel, metallised and three-coat), including the new Corallo Red and Opera Burgundy; eight alloy rims, 15" and 16"; and ten different interior configurations.
The New 500 is like a garment made to measure. For this reason, three different customisation packs are offered exclusively for the Lounge trim level and provide interesting advantages with respect to purchasing the single items individually. For instance, the 'Style' package comprises 16" alloy rims, side moulding and fog lights, while the 'Cult' package includes leather interiors, 7" TFT digital instruments, glossy black roof and wing mirrors. For customers seeking top level comfort, the New 500 saloon version only, offers the 'City' package: two-zone automatic climate control, handy parking sensors and electrochromic rear-view mirror.
Magneti Marelli for the New 500: state-of-the-art technology and components
International leader in engineering and making high-tech automotive systems and components, Magneti Marelli supplied much of the technology used on the New 500. These include, instrument panels, front and rear lighting systems, shock absorbers, suspension system, exhaust system, electronic control units, intake manifold, Dualogic robotised transmission, in addition to pedals, dashboards and other plastic components.
In particular, the instrument panel supplied by Magneti Marelli, in addition to the analogue version, is also available with 7'' TFT digital display, already projected towards the most evolved HMI (Human Machine Interface) standards. The panel with TFT display provides all the useful information to the driver, like speedometer, tachometer and trip computer, all visible simultaneously at a glance. Furthermore, the display shows all the information from the UconnectTM in the various versions.
The central section of the display - sporting an image of the car - can be configured by choosing which trip computer data to show, such as distance travelled, instant fuel consumption, range and trip time. Depending on the version of New 500, the TFT digital display is available with two basic graphic layouts - saloon and convertible - and it can change appearance according to the selected driving mode (Normal, Sport and Eco).
For lighting, Magneti Marelli has worked with Fiat for making the new front and rear clusters, which are one of the most distinctive elements of the New 500. More in detail, design and ergonomics characterise the upper element of the front headlights, which includes the halogen dipped beam module and the direction indicators, while the lower element integrates the halogen main beam module and - for the first time ever - LED side lights and the halogen daytime running lights (DRL). Xenon headlights, capable of increasing the light flow and light direction and saving energy, are available on demand.
The new lighting systems of the car are complemented by the rear clusters which are the perfect expression of design and sophistication and identify the rear end in uniquely distinctive manner.
Finally, DualogicTM, the next-generation robotised transmission, was jointly created by Fiat and Magneti Marelli. This is an automated electro-hydraulic version of the manual gearbox which combines comfort of use and reduces fuel consumption and emissions by electronically optimising shifting. The solution allows drivers to shift either sequentially without using the clutch or in fully automatic manner. In short, DualogicTM is the ideal instrument for choosing the preferred driving style of the moment: relaxed and comfortable in automatic mode; eco-friendly and more fuel-efficiency focused in ECO mode or agile and sporty using the sequential shifting with paddles on the steering wheel.