The Fiat 500 has been elected 2009 Design Car of the Year by 59 journalists from around the world, beating 51 short listed cars from the world's top car makers.
The Fiat 500, along with the Citroen C5 and the Jaguar XF, were selected as the finalists for the last round of judging at the New York International Motor Show, with Fiat's chic and sophisticated small car taking the top design prize.
Four international design experts, namely Silvia Baruffali, Editorial Director of Auto & Design magazine, Robert Cumberford, design critic and journalist for Automobile and Auto & Design magazines, Akira Fujimoto, Editor-in-Chief of Car Styling magazine and Tom Matano, Executive Director of the School of Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, voted the Fiat 500 absolute winner of this year's award.
"We are proud to receive this prestigious international award, as further endorsement of Fiat's commitment to creating attractive, innovative cars, which express the best of Italian manufacturing capability," commented Roberto Giolito, Fiat's Head of Design. "Italian design has often been a step ahead of future trends in the automotive world and our latest models, spearheaded by the Fiat 500, are an expression of 'practical beauty', which is what the world expects of Italian cars. We will continue to work untiringly on innovative design, and endeavour to combine the best of the future with the historical, cultural and industrial identity of the Fiat brand."
The Fiat 500 is available in the UK with a choice of three frugal, ultra-low emissions Euro 5 engines, including 69 bhp 1.2-litre and 100 bhp 1.4-litre petrol units, and the 75 bhp 1.3-litre MultiJet turbodiesel.
Power is delivered through manual or Dualogic (automatic) transmissions, while Fiat's fuel saving Start&Stop system is also available.Published 14 April 2009