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Fiat 500
1wmfiat500.jpg
Manufacturer Fiat
Production 2007-present
Assembly Tychy, Poland
Toluca, Mexico
Predecessor Fiat Seicento
Class City car
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
3-door cabriolet
Layout FF layout
Engine(s) 1.2 L petrol
1.4 L petrol
1.4 L petrol turbo
1.3 L JTD
Transmission(s) 5 and 6-speed manual[1]
5-speed Dualogic (robotised manual)
Wheelbase 2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length 3,546 mm (139.6 in)
Width 1,627 mm (64.1 in)
Height 1,488 mm (58.6 in)
Curb weight 865–980 kg (1,910–2,160 lb)
Fuel capacity 35 L (9 US gal; 8 imp gal)
Related Fiat Nuova Panda
Ford Ka II
Designer Roberto Giolito[2]
(Fiat Stile Centre)

The Fiat 500 is a city car built by Italian automaker Fiat since 2007. The car is currently produced in Tychy, Poland, by Fiat Auto Poland alongside the Nuova Panda and second-generation Ford Ka, released in 2008, all using the same platform. Strictly a four-seater, three-door hatchback and about the same length as the Panda and Ka, the 500 is almost identical to the retro concept car Trepiùno presented in 2004. The 500 may be badged in different markets as the 500, Nuovo 500 or Cinquecento.

The car was announced on May 5, 2006[3] and the first images were presented on March 20, 2007. The car was launched officially on July 4, 2007,[4] 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.[5] The car was displayed in the squares of 30 cities in Italy for the launch.[5]

The 500 is available with four different trim levels: Naked, 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.[6] The car is also available with Blue&Me Navigation system.

Contents

Concept

2004 Fiat Trepiuno concept

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 success that the retro-styled Volkswagen New Beetle and BMW MINI have achieved in recent years, with the 500 being substantially cheaper than those cars. The basic price is €10,500 in Italy (with options, €15,000). The Trepiuno was designed by Fiat Stile Centre.[7]

The name "Trepiuno" is a contraction of "tre piu uno", meaning "three plus one" in Italian; the car received this name because it was one step above a 2+2, as it was designed so that by deflating part of the dashboard around the front passenger's legs, and using high-tech thin-layered materials which take up less room than conventional upholstery, the front passenger seat could be slid forward far enough to accommodate another full-sized adult seat behind it; the fourth passenger, behind the driver, would occupy the smaller seat.[8][9]

Specifications

Engines

Engine of 500 1.4 lounge

At launch three engines were available: two petrol and one diesel engine. All the engines met the Euro5 standards.[10] The 1.3 Multijet was equipped with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) as standard. Despite the vehicle's name implication, the lowest displacement is 1242 cc, notably higher than the previous 500s. However, a 900 cc Twin Air two-cylinder engine was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, but despite this, it will still put it above both 500s.[11]

Model Engine type Output@rpm Torque@rpm 0–100 km/h (s) Top speed CO2 emission (g/km) Notes
Petrol engines
1.2 8v 1,242 cc (1.242 L; 75.8 cu in) I4 69 PS (51 kW; 68 hp) @5500 102 N·m (75 lb·ft) @3000 12.9 160 km/h (99 mph) 119 with Start-stop system 113 g/km[12]
1.4 16v 1,368 cc (1.368 L; 83.5 cu in) I4 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) @6000 rpm 131 N·m (97 lb·ft) @4250 rpm 10.5 182 km/h (113 mph) 149
Abarth 1,368 cc (1.368 L; 83.5 cu in) I4 turbo 135 PS (99 kW; 133 hp) @5500 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) normal, 206 N·m (152 lb·ft) sport @3000 7.9 205 km/h (127 mph) 155 [13]
Abarth esseesse, Abarth Opening Edition 1,368 cc (1.368 L; 83.5 cu in) I4 turbo 160 PS (120 kW; 160 hp) @5750 206 N·m (152 lb·ft) normal, 230 N·m (170 lb·ft) sport @3000 7.4 211 km/h (131 mph) 155 [14]
Abarth Assetto Corse 1,368 cc (1.368 L; 83.5 cu in) I4 turbo 200 PS (150 kW; 200 hp) @6500 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) @3000 ? ? ?
0.9 Twin Air 900 cc (0.90 L; 55 cu in) I2 turbo 66-81 kW (90-110 PS) Planned[15][16]
Diesel engines
1.3 16v Multijet 1,248 cc (1.248 L; 76.2 cu in) I4 turbo 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) @4000 145 N·m (107 lb·ft) @1500 12.5 165 km/h (103 mph) 110

Fuel consumption (EC 1999/100)

Model City l/100 km Highway l/100 km Combined l/100 km
1.2 8v
(Dualogic)
6.4 L/100 km (44 mpg-imp; 37 mpg-US)
(6.2 L/100 km (46 mpg-imp; 38 mpg-US))
4.3 L/100 km (66 mpg-imp; 55 mpg-US) 5.1 L/100 km (55 mpg-imp; 46 mpg-US)
(5.0 L/100 km (56 mpg-imp; 47 mpg-US))
1.2 8v PUR-O2 5.7 L/100 km (50 mpg-imp; 41 mpg-US) 4.3 L/100 km (66 mpg-imp; 55 mpg-US) 4.8 L/100 km (59 mpg-imp; 49 mpg-US)
1.4 16v
(Dualogic)
8.2 L/100 km (34 mpg-imp; 29 mpg-US)
(7.3 L/100 km (39 mpg-imp; 32 mpg-US))
5.2 L/100 km (54 mpg-imp; 45 mpg-US) 6.3 L/100 km (45 mpg-imp; 37 mpg-US)
(6.0 L/100 km (47 mpg-imp; 39 mpg-US))
1.3 Multijet diesel 16v DFP 5.3 L/100 km (53 mpg-imp; 44 mpg-US) 3.6 L/100 km (78 mpg-imp; 65 mpg-US) 4.2 L/100 km (67 mpg-imp; 56 mpg-US)

Safety

The old (1966) and new 500. The new 500 is 0.5 metres (20 in) longer than the old one.

The new 500 has seven airbags in all models. 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.[10] The 500 was awarded with 5 stars by EuroNCAP, succeeding the BMW MINI as the shortest car to have a five-star rating.[17] Fiat also said that the 500 was engineered so that it would have been able to achieve a six-star rating had EuroNCAP adopted this classification.

The Fiat 500 passed the Euro NCAP car safety tests with following ratings[18]


Special versions

500 Abarth (2008-)

Fiat 500 Abarth

The 500 Abarth is a performance model of Fiat 500. The 1.4L engine with IHI RHF3-P turbocharger is rated at 135 PS (99 kW; 133 hp) at 5500 rpm and 180 N·m (130 lb·ft) (206 N·m (152 lb·ft) in sport mode) torque at 3000 rpm. It includes a 5-speed C510 transmission, low ride suspension, dualdrive electric power steering with SPORT setting, 6.5 x 16” aluminium alloy rim with 195/45 R16 tyres, 4-wheel disc brakes (front ventilated). Interior includes turbo pressure gauge, gear shift Indicator, aluminum foot pedals, Blue&Me MAP with Telemetry monitoring and GPS system. The car costs £13,600 in the UK.

The 500 Abarth was unveiled at the 78th Geneva Motor Show, a year after the rebirth of Abarth brand and company.[19]

500 Abarth Esseesse

The 500 Abarth Essesse (pronounced "SS") is a conversion kit for the Abarth 500 within 12 months or 20,000 km (12,000 mi) of the car's first registration. Engine is upgraded to 160 PS (120 kW; 160 hp) at 5750 rpm and 206 N·m (152 lb·ft) (230 N·m (170 lb·ft) in sport mode) at 3000 rpm. It also includes drilled and ventilated 284 mm (11.2 in) x 22 mm (0.87 in) front brake discs with new pads, 240 mm (9.4 in) x 11 mm (0.43 in) drilled rear brake discs, Abarth front and rear springs, 17-inch white or titanium colour alloy rims with 205/40 R17 tyres, tyre pressure monitoring system, unique key cover. The conversion costs £2500 in the UK.[20]

500 Abarth Opening Edition

The 500 Abarth Opening Edition is a limited production model (100 cars) for the Italian market. It includes the upgrades found in the 500 Abarth Esseesse. The car is available in 2 colours (Campovolo grey or pearlised White), while there is also the option of special stickers including a red chequered flag on the roof (exclusive to the Campovolo Grey shade) that pays homage to the numerous sporting victories of the Abarth brand.[21][22]

500 Abarth Assetto Corse

Unveiled in 2008 Paris Auto Show.[23], the 500 Abarth Assetto Corse is a limited production model (49 cars), designed by the Fiat Group Automobiles Style Centre and produced by a team of Abarth Engineers and Designers. Engine is rated at 200 PS (150 kW; 200 hp) at 6500 rpm and 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) at 3000 rpm. It includes white 17 inch special ultralight racing wheels, low ride, sports racing mirrors and a place for a number on the sides, pastel grey body with red Abarth side stripes.[24]

500 Start&Stop

The 500 Start&Stop is a model based on the 1.2 Lounge, with parts built by Bosch and Fiat Powertrain Technologies. The Start&Stop system stops the engine automatically whenever traffic conditions bring the car to a complete halt, and restarts it when the driver wants to move off again. The car reduces fuel consumption by up to 12% over a regular 1.2 Lounge in urban driving, with 113g/km CO2 emission. Other standard features include hands-free telecommunications and entertainment system. It costs £9,700 in the UK.[25]

500 PUR-O2 (2008-)

The 500 PUR-O2 is based on the Fiat 500 Start&Stop, but also includes an Eco Drive system. Beginning in January 2009, a Dualogic transmission option is also available. The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 Paris Motor Show.[26]

500 by Diesel (2008-2009)

In 2008, Fiat launched a special edition 'By Diesel' 500. In a partnership with Fiat and Italian clothing brand Diesel, the special edition 500 will run, it is suspected, for two years, with a production run of 10,000 planned. The 500 by Diesel is available in a choice of three exclusive colours, and can be marked out from standard 500s with its unique alloy wheels, 'Diesel' logos and burnished metal inserts to the bumpers and side-rubbing strips. Inside, there are denim seats and a special 'Diesel' branded gear knob. Coloured stitching can also be seen throughout the car's already unique interior. The 500 by Diesel is based on the 500 Sport, using the same 1.2 petrol, 1.4 petrol and 1.3 diesel engines.[27]

500 Aria (2008)

The 500 Aria is a concept car based on the 1.3L Diesel vehicle, but with diesel particulate filter, Stop & Start system, Dualogic transmission, recycled rubber floor from used tires, recycled and woven leather upholstery (mataleather) by Matamata, Ecolabel polyester fabrics by Apollo company.[28] The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 Geneva Motor Show.[29]

Ferrari version (2008)

The Ferrari version is a limited edition model (200 units) of the 1.4 (100 bhp) Sport, mainly used by Ferrari dealers as courtesy cars for owners to use while their Ferraris are being serviced. It includes red body, aluminum pedals, red brake calipers, 16-inch wheels with 195/45 tires, sporty steering wheel and a few tuning and exhaust modifications.[30][31] Sixty of the Ferrari edition cars were shipped to the UK.[32]

Felipe Massa version (2008)

The Felipe Massa version is a customized 1.4 Sport presented to Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa. It includes a 1.4L engine rated at 120 PS (88 kW; 120 hp), Pearl White body, brown Cordura interior trim, a Skydome electric sunroof, 16 inch alloy wheel with diamond alloy finish, red brake callipers. The vehicle was unveiled in Monte Carlo (Monaco).[33]

Barbie version (2009)

Fiat Barbie 500 at 2009 Barcelona motorshow

A special edition of the 500 designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of toy icon Barbie. Created by Fiat Centro Stile and Mattel, the car was unveiled on March 9, 2009 in Milan's fashion district, and parked at the entrance to La Rinascente department store, in Piazza Duomo, where German singer Nena performed live in the background. The 500 Barbie Edition will also be making an appearance at Fiat UK's flagship store at Marylebone in London.[34]

Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" (2009)

The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" is a version based on Abarth 500. The 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine is rated at over 180 PS (130 kW; 180 hp). It includes a MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical transmission with paddle shifter, 17 inch alloy wheels with performance tyres, Brembo 284 mm (11.2 in) multi-section discs with fixed 4-piston calipers, "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust, Scuderia Red body with Racing Grey wheels and rear air intakes, Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting xenon headlights, "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats in black leather upholstery with carbon fibre shell and seat base, black leather steering wheel with red leather inserts and a tricolour hub, Jaeger instrument panel, non-slip aluminium foot wells, Scorpion racing pedals, special kick plates and a plate bearing the vehicle series number. The vehicle was unveiled in 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.[35]

Abarth 500 SpeedGrey (2009)

The Abarth 500 "SpeedGrey" is a very limited edition version model (10 cars only) produced by Neubauer, the official Abarth distributor in France, exclusively for the French market. Starting from the "Esseesse" version of the Abarth 500, Neubauer added the "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust system (boosting output to 165 PS (121 kW; 163 hp)), as well as a pair of "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats in black leather upholstery with carbon fibre shell and seat base. Tinted windows were added, along with the Blue&Me GPS system. Finally, Neubauer repainted the car in a special "Maserati Grey" paint.[36]

500C (2009-)

500C in Geneva 2009.

A softtop version (cabriolet) 500C was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2009. It is the same size as the basic model, and features the same three engine options. It will also have the Start&Stop system. The 500C is to be launched in the UK before sales begin in the rest of Europe in Summer 2009, as British buyers traditionally buy more convertibles than any other market.[37]

Pink (2010)

A limited edition 500 in pink , based on the 1.2 Lounge.[38]

Abarth 500C (2010)

The Abarth version of 500C (cabriolet) was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.[11] Abart 500C has top speed of 205 km/h (127 mph) and it can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds.[39]


International versions

La Nuova 500 in Mexico

The Nuova 500 was introduced in Mexico in September 2008, powered the 1.4 L 16V 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) engine, transmissions are dualogic for the 500 Classic, 500 Lounge and 500 Vintage trims or 6 speed manual gearbox for the 500 Sport Trim. The 500 Abarth variant will be introduced during 2009. It competes with the successful Mini Cooper. Mexico became the first country in the Americas in which the Nuova 500 is sold.

United States

Fiat 500 Elettra BEV exhibited at the 2010 Washington Auto Show.

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."[40]

In 2009, several press reports have mentioned that a rebadged version of the Fiat 500 might be produced under the Chrysler-Fiat partnership in Toluca, Mexico, alongside the Dodge Journey and Chrysler PT Cruiser starting 2010.[41] Although according to fiat500usa.blogspot.com, the first batch of US 500s may be made at the plant in Tychy, Poland, where the European models are made.

According to Richard Gadeselli, vice president of Fiat communications in Italy, the Fiat 500 will be sold in Chrysler dealerships in the United States in about a year and a half, as of June 2009.[42]

Fiat now owns a minority stake in Chrysler after the latter's bankruptcy claim in early 2009.

Fiat 500 on display at the 2010 Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto

The Fiat 500 will have its US production debut at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, and has been slated for a December 2010 production start. The vehicle was also featured at the 2010 Canadian International Autoshow, making it's Canadian debut, along with the 500 Abarth edition.

Electric vehicle

The Micro Vett[43] electric Fiat 500 has been presented at the London Auto Show by the NICE Car Company. The Micro-Vett electric Fiat 500 is powered by a Lithium polymer - Kokam battery with a 22 kWh capacity and is able to get to a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). The range of the Micro-Vett electric Fiat 500 is 70 miles (110 km) and after that will need between 6 and 8 hours to re-charge it.[44]

Future

Fiat are also likely to go ahead with a 500 estate, in homage to the 500 Giardinetta 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 2009. This will replace the 1.2 and normally aspirated 1.4 engines. This engine will be available in 90 and 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) 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.[45] A stop-start system is also planned to be offered in the near future on the 1.3 Multijet.[46]

Production sold out

Within three weeks of the 500's launch, the entire year's production of 58,000 had been sold out. To date, Fiat has received more than 205,000 orders for the 500. While Italy 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 has gained a strong following in many countries. Fiat France had received more than 10,000 orders by the end of October 2007. To cope with demand Fiat has announced that production has been increased to 200,000 in 2008. The 500 was launched January 21st 2008 in UK.[47] By 2010 production (including the new Abarth, cabriolet and estate versions) is likely to break the 350,000 barrier.[48]

Marketing

The launch show

Presentation of Fiat 500 in Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza, in this occasion the new Fiat 500s were covered with a cloth resembling the old Fiat 500.

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 Beatles 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.[4]

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.

"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.[6]

Awards

Further reading

  • (Italian)(English) Fiat 500 - by the people for the people, di Alessandro Sannia, ed. All Media, 2007, ISBN 8890300205
  • (Italian)(English) Fiat 500 - l'evoluzione del mito, di Alessandro Sannia, ed. Gribaudo, 2007, ISBN 9788879063852

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