The coveted Car of the Year 2008 award, which was given to the Fiat 500 by a jury of 58 specialist journalists from 22 European countries, was presented this evening (28 January) at a ceremony in Berlin.
Fiat’s supermini was not only the overall winner, but it also received votes from the largest number of jury members: 57 out of 58 included the car on their short lists, and 33 put it in first place.
It is the second A-Segment car – the first was the Fiat Panda in 2004 – to win the worldwide motor industry’s most prestigious title. An extraordinary record that brings the total Car of the Year titles won by Fiat Group Automobiles to 12.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Group Automobiles, who received the award, said: “We have gone a long way in a short space of time, and I am proud to be able to underline that Fiat was the fastest growing car brand in Europe last year. The 500 is not a final target for the brand, but just the first stage in the ongoing development of the ‘new Fiat’. Which is why we see the 500 as not just a car, but as a ‘travelling agenda’ of what we want to achieve.”
The Fiat 500 marks the first time that a car of just 3.55 metres long has been awarded five Euro NCAP stars for crash safety, and the standard fitting of seven airbags is a ‘first’ for this category (the knee-bag is unique for a supermini). It is also the first car to be launched with an engine range (69 bhp 1.2, 75 bhp 1.3 MultiJet with DPF and 100 bhp 1.4 16v) that already reaches Euro 5 emissions limits, more than two years before these become law.
These are some of the winning features of a car that has become the new benchmark for its segment. And the prestigious Car for the Year 2008 title confirms the great interest it has aroused since it was presented in Turin on 4th July last year. More than 140,000 orders have been placed by European customers since the car’s launch.Published 29 January 2008