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Fiat 500

Fiat 500 update unveiled

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19th July, 2015

  • New Fiat 500 features new headlamps, grilles, chrome brightwork and LED daytime running lights
  • Rear enhancements include new ‘empty' light clusters
  • Interior revisions include new UconnectTM infotainment systems across the range, enhanced comfort and numerous detail improvements

Fiat re-imagined a modern day new generation 500 back in 2007, some fifty years after the original 500.

Now an update for the Fiat 500 has been revealed. Centro Stile Fiat has refreshed the exterior and interior of the 500, retaining the unmistakable look that has made it recognised around the world. It has not grown in size but it has grown in maturity with advanced technologies and improved efficiency.

Available in two body styles (hatchback and semi-convertible), the new Fiat 500 is a cut-above in terms of standard features compared to the outgoing model. The new models have seven airbags and a Uconnect infotainment system with six speakers, AUX-IN/USB ports and steering wheel remote controls as standard equipment.

New Fiat 500 benefits from several detail changes. Most noticeable are the new front headlights with LED daytime running lights and the new rear light clusters, the revamped dashboard and the improved materials used throughout.

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An important element of the appeal of the 500 has been its compact shape. The new car retains its city-friendly dimensions - approximately 3,570mm long, 1,630mm wide and 1,490mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,300mm - but the design of the front and rear ends has been refreshed to ensure the identity of the 500 remains. The exterior style of the new Fiat 500 expresses all the distinctive elements which characterised the 1957 original, but now reasserts this appeal with more a contemporary look and additional technical content.

The most obvious reference to the past can be found at the front end: The new Fiat 500 retains the "face" of its predecessors with headlights which are still circular in shape, but have a more dynamic slant. These clusters integrate the dipped-beam headlamps and turn signals and use innovative polyellptical modules for improved night vision and better safety. The lower light cluster integrates the main beam headlights and LED daytime running lights, which adopt the circular profile of the lamp to reproduce the zeroes of 500 - allowing the new Fiat 500 to stand out even when it's dark.

The rear of new Fiat 500 is transformed by the addition of exclusive new 'empty' light clusters comprised of an innovative ring-shaped structure with body-coloured centres. Thanks to these new clusters, which are unique to the segment, light appears to emanate from the bodywork. The rear fog light and reversing light, are relocated to the edges of the redesigned bumper trim, finished either in black or chrome depending on model. Naturally, the updated Fiat 500 retains the large chrome grab handle that is reminiscent of the number-plate light of the original Fiat 500.

The profile is instantly recognisable as a 500, with minimal overhangs and a very short bonnet, while its beltline is slightly inclined towards the front. New alloy wheel designs are also introduced for the new FIAT 500, offered in 15- and 16-inch sizes and available in a variety of finishes including an elegant diamond-cut design. The colour palette now totals 13 hues (seven pastels, one solid and five metallic) including two new colours: Glam Coral and Avant-garde Bordeaux.

Elegance and Innovation Inside

The interiors are revised, most noticeably in terms of dashboard design: it now integrates the advanced Uconnect infotainment across the range. The unit is not only easier to read and more intuitive to use, it also improves connectivity and functionality. The dashboard dome and air vents are also redesigned to accommodate the new unit.

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In place of the audio system of the previous 500, the new UconnectTM system now 'sits' in middle of the dashboard of the new Fiat 500. The system includes; FM/AM radio; remote controls on the steering wheel; AUX-IN and USB ports and six speakers as standard.

The new steering wheel features new remote control buttons which are easier to operate. The circular instrument cluster, with analogue dials for speed and engine revs and digital secondary gauges, is retained for Pop models, while the innovative seven-inch TFT display, developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli is also available. The driver can monitor data from the speedometer, odometer and trip computer simultaneously at a glance, while the central section of the display - sporting an image of the car - can be configured to show distance travelled, fuel consumption, range, trip time, warning messages and the Gear Shift Indicator, which advises when to shift gear to maximise fuel-efficiency, are also displayed in this cluster.

The front seats adopt a more ergonomic shape and the interior upholstery is available in nine colour combinations with contrasting "crescent" upper portions and head restraints in black or ivory eco-leather. Black, Bordeaux or Frau leather upholstery is also available (depending on model); with embroidered 500 logos on the crescent and contrasting bolster accents.

Further enhancements include a new lidded glove box on the passenger's side and a revised centre console with new cup holders and a relocated 12V power socket. New electric window switches, which adopt a push-down-pull-up operation, complete the visible interior revisions, while additional soundproofing panels in the wheelhouse and firewall making the passenger compartment more comfortable than before.

Australian availability

A local release of the new Fiat 500 is expected in early 2016. Stay tuned to Next Car for further details, specifications and pricing closer to the launch time.



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