These and other attributes have already been recognised and rewarded with prestigious international awards, including Car of the Year 2008, which is bestowed by 58 specialist journalists from 22 European countries.
Nine versions of the new 500, priced from £7900-£10,700 on-the-road, go on sale in the UK at launch, embracing three trim levels – Pop, Lounge and Sport. The new Fiat offers levels of equipment more usually associated with cars of a far higher segment, with ABS anti-lock braking, remote central locking, seven airbags, electric front windows and door mirrors, an MP3-compatible CD player and Dualdrive electric power steering fitted as standard even on entry-level models.
The new Fiat 500’s comprehensive standard equipment package is further enhanced by a range of innovative, safety and comfort-enhancing options such as automatic climate control, a SkyDome sunroof, parking sensors, an anti-glare electro-chromatic rear mirror, an Interscope Sound System Hi-Fi and Blue&Me mobile phone and MP3 player connectivity with steering wheel controls.
Moreover, the Fiat 500 personalisation programme offers an additional range of over 100 bespoke accessories which, generating more than 500,000 possible trim, colour and option combinations, gives owners the opportunity to personalise the new Fiat to levels unprecedented in this segment.
The new Fiat 500 goes on sale with a choice of three powerplants; the latest 75 bhp derivation of Fiat Group Automobiles’ widely acclaimed, state-of-the-art 1.3 litre 16-valve MultiJet turbodiesel, and two refined and economical FIRE petrol engines – a 1.2 litre 8-valve 69 bhp unit, and a spirited 100 bhp version of the 1.4 litre 16-valve powerplant.
Both 1.2 litre petrol engine and 1.3 litre turbodiesel come with 5-speed manual gearboxes, while the 1.4 litre petrol unit is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Dualogic – a clutchless, 5-speed sequential manual shift with a selectable fully automatic mode – is offered as an optional transmission on all petrol-engined Fiat 500 models.