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Here comes the Fiat 500

 

 

22nd March, 2007

2007 Fiat 500

Fiat has announced the new 500 will make its debut exactly 50 years after the original car was launched.

On 4th July, 1957, in Turin, Fiat presented the Fiat 500, which became an icon of the Italian car industry. On 4th July, 2007, exactly 50 years later, again in Turin, Fiat will present the new Fiat 500 which will go on sale in Europe immediately after the launch. The new car may spark a revival and renewal for Fiat Automobiles SpA.

Developed by the Fiat Style Centre and manufactured in the Tychy factory in Poland, the new 500 is a 3-door model with very compact measurements: it is 355 cm long, 165 cm wide, 149 cm tall and has a wheelbase of 230 cm. The car has a choice of three engines: a 75 bhp 1.3 16v Multijet turbo diesel unit and two petrol engines, the 69 bhp 1.2 8v and the 100 bhp 1.4 16v, all of which are available with five or six speed gearboxes. The production target is 120,000 Fiat 500s per annum for worldwide consumption.

The new model confirms Fiatís interest in this tiny car category - a result of its heritage of technical, design and human experience accumulated over a century of producing cars.

The tiny 500 has a big task ahead of itself. With Fiat struggling on the Australian market due to the slow take-up rate of the Grande Punto which was released locally last year, the 500 will need to be priced well under the light car class leaders which include such successful and desirable models as the Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Colt, Suzuki Swift and Volkswagen Polo. It is difficult to see a revived Fiat succeed against such strong competition.

The Fiat 500 will be arriving in Australia in time for display at the Sydney Motor Show in October prior to a local launch in early 2008. Local prices and specifications are not yet known.

Interestingly, the new 500 is the basis for the next Ford Ka, which will be introduced in 2008 throughout Europe. The Ka will be manufactured in Poland, alongside the new Fiat 500. It isn't known if the new Ka will be released in Australia, although it must be stated that the Next Car team does not expect the new Ford Ka to come to Australia.



Other Fiat content: here.



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