Image credits: © Fiat.

2014 Fiat 500L Beats Edition

500L Beats Edition™ and new 2014 500L range: the new additions to the 500 family for continuing growth

•Début of the new 500L Beats EditionTM Special Series: blend of cutting-edge technology and metropolitan look
• New 2014 Fiat 500L range: rationalisation of the offer and new product features, like the brand-new Venezia Blue, new fabric/leather upholstery and new optionals
• New 120HP engine versions for the 500L range: the 1.6 MultiJet II turbodiesel, a byword for efficiency and performance, featuring a small variable geometry turbocharger developed by Honeywell; the 1.4 T-Jet petrol engine, a reliability and running costs champion; coming soon, the 1.4 Turbo LPG, the green engine wîth attitude
• The exclusive Mopar® accessories for the new versions and all the quality of the assistance services, warranties and maintenance plans offered by the Mopar Vehicle Protection range
• In 2013, in Europe, the 500L range has soared up the sales rankings to take the top spot in its §egmènt in just a few months, wîth a share of 17.2%. Moreover, it was the leader in its §egmènt in Italy, wîth a share of 40.9%, in addition to being the top-selling car both among medium-sized and diesel-powered models

Fiat presents the new 500L Beats EditionTM special series and the new 2014 Fiat 500L range, which rationalises the offer wîth new colours, interior trims and new optionals for new members of the 500 family. What's more, the start of 2014 sees the affirmation of the new 120 HP 1.6 MultiJet II and 120 HP 1.4 T-Jet engines for 500L, the latter also in a dual-fuel (LPG/petrol) version shortly.

The important developments will certainly consolidate the success of the 500 range - 500L, 500L Trekking and 500L Living models - which in Europe in 2013 has soared up the sales rankings to take the top spot in its §egmènt in just a few months, wîth a share of 17.2%. Moreover, in Italy it was the leader in its §egmènt wîth a share of 40.9%, in addition to being the top-selling car both among medium-sized and diesel-powered models.

Fiat 500L Beats EditionTM

If the special series of the iconic 500 are a byword for 'fashion', those of the 500L start from the world of technology which, according to the Fiat brand, must always feature sophisticated content but be easy to use, to make everyday life simpler and more enjoyable.

The Fiat 500L Beats EditionTM offers a sound system that is revolutionizing the way music can be experienced inside the car. Legendary artist and record producer Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman and record producer Jimmy Iovine, worked side by side wîth Fiat Group sound engineers to develop and calibrate the sound system introduced for the first time last year on the 500L model. The result is a system that offers a listening experience marked by premium sound that only two music experts like Dr. Dre and Iovine could have achieved.

On the outside, the Fiat 500L Beats EditionTM is characterised by the refined two-tone grey/black livery - matt or glossy - enhanced by red and satin chrome elements for a modern, metropolitan look. The same style is found inside, in particular in the distinctive 'total black' environment and the new fabric and eco-leather black trim wîth red stitching.

The new 500L Beats EditionTM special series is on sale starting from this week in the Italian Fiat showrooms and soon in the rest of the Europe.

New 2014 Fiat 500L range

For the launch of the new Fiat 500L Beats EditionTM and new 120 HP engine versions, the 500L model range is getting an update, wîth a rationalised offer which includes some important new product features, like the brand-new Venezia Blue metallic body colour and the new fabric and leather interiors, as well as new option packages that ensure more and more benefits to those who become part of the 500 family.

Depending on the market where it is sold, the new 2014 Fiat 500L range comprises three trim levels (Pop, Pop Star and Lounge), the 500L Beats EditionTM special series and the Business version dedicated to professionals. What's more, numerous optionals and accessories are available that, for the customer's convenience of choice and economic advantage, can also be purchased in specific packs, such as the 'Pop Star Pack', 'Lounge Pack' and 'Trekking Pack'.

New 120 HP engine versions for the 500L range

In order to continue in its leading role in the §egmènt, the 500L range too - including the 500L Trekking and 500L Living models, the two developments of the 500's identity that lead the 500 family to explore new territory, breaking the conventional §egmènt barriers - expands wîth two new engines: the 1.6 MultiJet II turbodiesel and the 1.4 T-Jet petrol engine.

Both turbocharged and wîth 120 HP - a section of the market which accounts for up to 16% of sales in the §egmènt in Europe - the two power units share the same winning characteristics: performance when it counts, fun driving in all situations and limited consumption and emissions.

The 1.6 MultiJet II 120 HP is a high-performance engine also marked by fuel economy, ideal for long journeys. Its 'secret' lies in the effective combination of advanced engine solutions wîth Fiat's proprietary MultiJet II technology. Equipped wîth a variable geometry turbocharger, developed by Honeywell, the new engine ensures §egmènt-leading performance, as demonstrated by the maximum power of 120 HP at 3,750 rpm, maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1,750 rpm, top speed of 189 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.7', combined consumption of 4.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 120 g/km.

If efficiency and performance are the watchwords of the 1.6 MultiJet Turbo, the 120 HP 1.4 T-Jet is characterised by reliability, compact dimensions and the optimum balance between outstanding driving and running costs.

Specifically, the 1.4-litre engine is a worthy expression of the concept of 'downsizing', thanks to the addition of consolidated, reliable technological solutions such as Fire and Turbo. Today, the more than 500,000 Turbocharged Fire engines produced testify to the success of a technological choice which has become a point of reference in all markets and all applications. With Euro 6 type approval, the 1.4 T-Jet on the Fiat 500L delivers a maximum torque of 215 Nm from as low as 2,500 rpm and enables the 500L to achieve significant performance: maximum power of 120 HP at 5,000 rpm, top speed of 189 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.2', combined consumption of 6.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 159 g/km.

The extreme versatility of the Fire plus Turbo combination has also permitted the development of a petrol/LPG version of the 1.4 T-Jet, which will be available in the coming weeks on 500L models. In particular, the dual-fuel power unit ensures torque and power on a par wîth that of the corresponding petrol version, wîth the addition of the advantages offered by a fuel which represents an effective solution in terms of environmental and financial balance. Additionally, thanks to the adoption of the most advanced technology, the dual-fuel 1.4 T-Jet complies wîth the strict Euro 6 standard, increases the available range and ensures impressive performance: maximum power of 120 HP at 5,000 rpm, top speed of 189 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.6', combined consumption of 8.9 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 144 g/km.

Interestingly, the 1.6 MultiJet II 120 HP fits a small variable geometry turbocharger developed by Honeywell. Leader in manufacturing and technology and one of Fortune's top 100, Honeywell supplies aerospace products and services, building control technologies for homes and industries, turbochargers and high-performance materials to customers worldwide.

Exclusive Mopar® products

Transform your car into a unique, personalised item thanks to the wide range of exclusive accessories created by Mopar®, the reference brand for services, customer care, original spare parts and accessories for the Fiat-Chrysler brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Among these are specific accessories for the new 500L Beats EditionTM, like the brand-new satin-finish moulding on the bonnet, the polycarbonate kick plate and the velvet mats wîth 500 logo. What's more, 'Mopar Vehicle Protection' is available for the 500 family as well. This exclusive service offer is designed to take care of the vehicle throughout its entire useful life, guaranteeing that all maintenance operations are carried out at authorised dealerships and workshops within Europe by highly qualified and specialised technicians, using original parts.

The 500L range heading up the European rankings

In Europe, last year the 500L range has soared up the sales rankings to take the top spot in its §egmènt in just a few months, wîth a share of 17.2%. Moreover, it was the leader in its §egmènt in Italy, wîth a share of 40.9%, in addition to being the top-selling car both among medium-sized and diesel-powered models.

A model that wins over customers wîth varying tastes, cultures and needs, because it always offers functionality, interior space, versatility, but also something more: it's the only car in its §egmènt to 'have an inner 500', to the extent that more than 40% of customers buy the higher-spec versions, the ones wîth two-tone livery and equipment typical of higher §egmènts. And that's not all. The 500L Trekking, the 'coolest' model in the range, currently represents more than 15% of all sales.

The Fiat 500L is therefore the perfect example to demonstrate how the future of the 500 family lies in its transversal development: in fact, if the 500 is the 'cool' city car par excellence, the 500L adds the functionality that makes it unbeatable in day-to-day life and the performance and contents that let it live new experiences outside of the city limits.

The 500 family is also pioneering a new concept of individual mobility, as demonstrated by the largest fleet of cars set aside for car sharing in Italy: more than 640 cars, 500s and 500Ls, cover the streets of Milan every day, in the Enjoy project - car sharing by ENI in partnership wîth Fiat - wîth more than 26,000 people registered who, in the space of a month, have made more than 35,000 journeys.

The new features of the 500L range presented today to the international press will certainly contribute to consolidating the Fiat brand's path of globalisation, which was undertaken several years ago and reached an important milestone last year. Despite the persisting economic crisis in Europe, and in Italy in particular, the brand maintained its position, registering 573 thousand cars to achieve a share of 4.7%, growth of 0.1 points compared to 2012. This is thanks to the new global approach which has seen growth on all major European markets: for example, sales volumes increased by 9.5% in France in 2013, by 20.2% in the ÚK and by 28.8% in Spain.

Moving beyond the figures and percentages, 2013 marked an important stage in defining the 'new Fiat', and in particular its new international development strategy through two models: the Fiat 500, the icon of the emotional and aspirational brand, and the Fiat Panda, a byword for practicality, simplicity and fun. This resulted in the '500 and Panda families', which in 2013 led Fiat to a position of undisputed leadership in the A §egmènt wîth more than 27% of the share in Europe.

An important result, achieved in part through the excellent commercial performance of the new Panda, which - in its first full year after the range update - is Italy's best-selling car for the second year running in addition to being second in its §egmènt in Europe, after the Fiat 500. This is thanks to the most extensive and diverse range in the category: it's the only city car also available wîth four-wheel drive; the only one to offer the City Brake Control safety system which won it the prestigious 'Euro NCAP Advance award'; the only one to boast a engine range which stretches from turbodiesel to turbo petrol, from LPG to methane (the TwinAir Turbo Methane was named 'Best Green Engine of the Year 2013').

Source - Fiat
With more than four million produced during its twenty-year production run, the tiny Fiat 500 was something to behold. Easy to spot by its rounded egg-like body, the Fiat 500 filled a need for utilitarian transportation for the Italian masses when it was introduced in 1957. The post-war European market needed an affordable option, and the rear-engined Fiat 500 was just the solution. The rear-engine design was taken from the Volkswagen Beetle and proved popular enough to be adopted by several other carmakers.

The designer behind the 500 was Dante Giacosa, who was famed for being one of the greatest designers in Fiat's history who not only dealt with the car design, but also had a big hand in the engineering. A cheap and practical town car, the Nuova (new) 500 was debuted in July 1957 and is considered one of the first city cars and lasted until 1960. Giacosa was extremely motivated to construct a car that packed more into a smaller space and he did this by making the engine mount at the rear side. It featured a smaller two-cylinder engine than all newer models, and produced just 13 bhp. The Nuova featured a fabric roof that folded entirely back to the rear of the car, similar to the Citroën 2CV. It was one of three models that came with 'suicide doors'. A stylish Sport version of the Nuova came with a special red stripe and more power in the engine.

With kart-like handling, the four-seat 500 was powered by an air-cooled 479cc flat twin, which eventually was boosted to 499cc that gave 18 bhp. With a top speed of 55mph, the 500 was an incredibly popular and practical vehicle of choice throughout Europe. Weighing at only 1,100 pounds, the 500 had a wheelbase of 72.4 inches, a length of 116.9 inches, a width and height of 52.0 inches. The 500 had a Cx (aerodynamic resistance coefficient) of 0,38, which was quite impressive for the era.

The 'D' replaced the original Nuova in 1960. Similar in appearances to the car it replaced, two differences set the models apart: the engine size and the roof. The D came with an uprated 499 cc engine that produced 17 hp as standard and continued to be used until the end of the L in 1973. The roof for the D didn't fold back as far as the Nuova, but it that earlier roof was available as the 'Transformable'. The D also came with 'suicide doors'. Torino Motors assembled the 500D in New Zealand and it was locally dubbed the 'Fiat Bambina'.

The 500 was offered as the 'Giardiniera' station wagon variant in addition to the two-door coupe in 1960 until 1975. The wagon had the standard engine laid on its side, an additional 10 cm wheelbase that made room for a useable rear seat, larger brakes and a full-length sunroof. Called the K or Giardiniera, the estate version of the Fiat 500 is the longest running model. To create a flat loading surface, the engine was laid under the floor of the trunk. The roof stretches all the way to the rear and didn't stop at the driver and front passenger like other models of the time. The K came with 'suicide doors', and unlike other models, it continued to carry these doors into the 1970s. Production moved to Desio in 1966 and the Giardiniera was constructed by Fiat subsidiary Autobianchi. Production of the Giardiniera tallied at 327,000 which later examples featuring Autobianchi rather than Fiat badging.

The Fiat 500 F or Berlina was produced from 1965 until 1973 and spans two period of 500 production, the D and the L. Because of the two production periods, the F model is very easily confused and misidentified. The F sported the same badging as the D from 1965 until 1969, but the two models can be easily told apart by the positioning of their door hinges. The F produced from June 1965 finally featured front-hinged doors while the D has 'suicide doors'. From '69 until '72 the F was sold next to the Lusso models as the less expensive 'base model' version. There wasn't much mechanically different from the F and L, but the main differences lay in the bumpers and the interior. The L had an extra chrome nudge bar, and the inside of the L featured a fresher updated look while the F interior didn't change from the original 1957 design.

Introduced in 1968 was the L or Lusso 500 model. It featured a modern interior that included a revamped dashboard and paid special attention to comfort and style for the passenger. The 500 L was produced until 1972.

The final version of the 500 was the R or Rinnovata version. The R model sported a larger 594 cc engine that was designed by Abarth with a more practical power rating of 23 bhp and a full synchromesh gearbox. This final model was much more comfortable than previous version yet was more simply equipped and trimmed than before. The fuel gauge was removed and only the low fuel indicator was left.

Several custom models of the 500 were produced, included the 'Jolly' version by Carrozzeria Ghia with inspiration taken from the very exclusive Fiat 600 Jolly. The Jolly came with wicker seats, a chopped-roof, no doors and usually seen with a canopy roof.

Showing that they had a lot of muscle behind their compact frame, seven Fiat 500s contested the first and only Liège-Brescia-Liège Rally in July of 1958. They were beaten by Messerschmitt TG500 and the Berkeley SE492s, but the little Italian cars show their rugged side and proved they were capable of incredible durability. Reputed to be the smallest car to complete a world circumnavigation, a 1969 Fiat 500 travelled 32,000 road kilometers in less than 100 days. In 2005 a 1973 500 took a 16,000 km trip travelling through Russia for a 100 day journey. Its progress was documented by newspaper and television stations worldwide and eventually a book entitled La bizzarra impresa ('The bizarre exploit') was published about the trip. In 2007 this same car became the first Fiat 500 to reach the Sahara dunes was taken around the Mediterranean Sea for over 10,000 kilometers.

The Fiat 500 was produced from 1957 until 1975 and was replaced with the Fiat 126. The 500 R was sold alongside the 126 for two years before the 500 was retired. More than 3.6 million Fiat 500 cars were sold during its lifetime and at end the production had been outsourced to a Polish company called FSM. The 126 never reached the same popularity as its predecessor in Italy. In March of 2007 Fiat debuted the all-new 500 model, based on the '04 Fiat Trepiuno concept. Its arrival coincided with fifty years since the original 500. The new 500 is also dubbed the bambino and competes with the Mini Cooper and the Volkswagen Beetle.


By Jessica Donaldson
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