The small yet significant model, Fiat 500 has always been a news item every time it hit the sales chart in last 60 years.
As we are about to witness the release of 2012 Fiat 500 in few months from now, it gets interesting to peep into the history of the model.
Historic Overview of Fiat 500
Fiat 500 is a small model produced and marketed by Italian car make, Fiat. The model was designed by Dante Giacosa and its production span ranged from 1957 to 1975, with some of the limited editions being sold till 1977.
In 1957 the model was launched as Nuova 500 and was marketed as a practical town car. It was just 3 metre long and 10 feet high. The model at that time was motivated by a 479 cc two-cylinder air-cooled engine.
The model followed the foot steps of its so called big brother, the 1965 Fiat 600 model, and thus adapted the rear-engine pattern of Volkswagen Beetle. Despite its small size, 500 gained a lot of popularity all across Europe.
In the year of 2007, Fiat launched a similar model named Fiat Nuova 500.
2007 Fiat Nuova 500
After 50 years of its debut year, Fiat 500 was relaunched as Fiat Nuova 500 in March 2007. The 2007 model was designed on the 2004 Fiat Trepiuno concept. The model had the retro look similar to Volkswagen Beetle and BMW Mini but came at a substantially low price. The production of the model started in mid September and was commercially released in Mexico in the month of September 2008.
The latest 2012 Fiat 500
Fiat 500 Hatchback
Hatchback 500 will come in Pop, Sport and Lounge trim levels. Both the trims get a 1.4 liter 4 cylinder engine, which is mated to either a manual or an automatic gearbox. It manages a humble horsepower of 101 hp @ 6500 rpm and torque of 98 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm. The city limit mileage of the model is 30 mpg and it offers 38 mpg on highways.
Overall the model is spacious, fuel economic and pretty stylish for a subcompact model. The MSRP of the model ranges from $15,500 to $19,500 depending on the trim choice.
Fiat 500 Convertible
The convertible will be marketed either as C Pop or C Lounge trim. The powertrain and gas economy credentials of the convertible are identical to that of its hatchback counterparts.
Depending on the trim choice the MSRP is likely to vary in the range of $19,500 to $23,500.
2012 Fiat 500 is likely to make way for more competitive Fiat models in the future; also it is almost certain that the model will bring back the fashion of small and practical city cars.
Being a small car, the amount of interior space the 500 city car has is a main point of discussion. Like Mini Copper, it accommodates four passengers comfortably; on the other hand, some test drivers pointed out that the seats weren’t supportive.
It is nimble, and easy to park that makes it an ideal city car, while the imperfect driving position that it offers, noisy cabin, and jumpy ride are the main downsides.
Though the rear seat is too small, it has got decent amount of space to store luggage and groceries that doesn’t fit in the tiny cargo area.Ideally, it meets the expectations in the super mini car segment.