Image credits: © Fiat.

Fiat 500 Models Add Technology, Trim Level and Exterior Colors for 2016

•2016 Fiat 500 lineup now features Úconnect 5.0 system wîth 5-inch touchscreen radio, Bluetooth connectivity and integrated voice command
•Fiat 500 Easy trim model now available, offering customers additional choices and personalization options
•New exterior paint colors: Spitfire Orange, Grigio Cenre (light gray), Rhino (dark gray), Latte Menta (light green) and Celeste Blue (light blue)
•Limited-production Fiat 500 1957 Edition builds on the Fiat 500's storied past wîth retro exterior and interior design elements
•Fiat 500 and 500 Cabrio (500c) models deliver 31 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 40 mpg highway wîth manual transmission

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 1, 2015 - Beautiful Italian styling combined wîth functionality, efficient design and innovative technology have been hallmark attributes for the Fiat 500 (Cinquecento) – making it a timeless icon for nearly 60 years. And for 2016, the Fiat 500 will continue to deliver on these attributes by introducing new features and exterior paint colors to enhance the customer's driving experience and personalization options.

For 2016, the Fiat 500 lineup features the Úconnect 5.0 system wîth a 5-inch touchscreen that enables handsfree calling via Bluetooth-equipped phones, as well as voice-command control of AM/FM, and optional SiriusXM Radio and navigation system. Digital music can be streamed wirelessly from compatible Bluetooth smartphones or audio players supported by a media hub equipped wîth an auxiliary jack and ÚSB port that enables recharging and seamless operation of portable devices. An integrated CD player offers additional media flexibility.

New exterior paint colors for 2016 are Spitfire Orange, Grigio Cenre (light gray), Rhino (dark gray) and Latte Menta (light green). Celeste Blue (light blue), previously only available on the Fiat 500 1957 Edition, is now available throughout the Fiat 500 lineup. Additional exterior customization is available wîth new-for-2016 wheel options.

Fiat 500 Turbo delivers more performance to the lineup
For the driving enthusiast who wants a Fiat 500 Sport wîth more power and performance, the 2016 Fiat 500 Turbo answers the call wîth a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, dynamic styling, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes and unique sport-styled interior.

The Fiat 500 Turbo features a single turbocharger, twin intercoolers and sport-tuned exhaust to deliver 34 percent more power (135 vs. 101 horsepower) and 53 percent more torque (150 vs. 98 lb.-ft.) compared wîth the Fiat 500's naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine. In addition, a track-proven C510 five-speed manual transmission offers an intermediate shaft wîth equal-length half shafts to mitigate torque steer. The Fiat 500 Turbo is also available wîth an optional six-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

The 500 Turbo offers sport-tuned spring rates, shock tuning and §teering calibration, along wîth a unique lower-control arm for spirited handling.

For a more aggressive appearance, the Fiat 500 Turbo features an aggressively styled front fascia, pushed 2.7 inches (6.9 cm) forward of the Cinquecento's signature 'whiskers and logo' face, to accommodate and cool the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.

Bolder side skirts and unique 16-inch aluminum wheels wîth Nero painted pockets enhance its iconic Cinquecento shape. At the rear, a liftgate-mounted spoiler extends the roofline, while a black-accented rear diffuser optimizes airflow. For a bolder look, Nero headlamp and tail lamp bezels replace chromed units, while a high-performance brake system features brake calipers lacquered in Rosso paint.

Inside, the Fiat 500 Turbo features sport-styled seating, performance-designed leather-wrapped shift knob and §teering wheel accented wîth Argento (silver) stitching and Grigio/Nero (gray/black) seating and interior environment. For an even more upscale look, heated leather seating in Nero/Nero (black/black) or vivid Rosso/Nero (red/black) is available. The standard 7-inch color TFT (thin-film transistor) cluster display allows drivers to easily monitor information.

An EPA-rated 40 mpg highway
For the individual who wants Italian style, personalization options and maximum fuel efficiency, the 2016 Fiat 500 and 500c deliver 31 mile per gallon (mpg) city and 40 mpg highway wîth the innovative 1.4-liter MultiAir engine and five-speed C514 manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) For a more engaging driving experience, the driver can select the Sport mode on the instrument panel, which changes the throttle map for improved engine responsiveness.

The six-speed automatic transmission wîth driver-selectable gear changes is also available, providing smooth shifting and excellent fuel economy. With the six-speed automatic transmission, the driver can also select Sport mode on the instrument panel for a more aggressive shift schedule and a unique throttle map for improved engine responsiveness.

Segment-exclusive Beats by Dr. Dre audio system
Beats by Dr. Dre audio system offers passengers of the Fiat 500 and 500c models a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended. The BeatsAudio studio-quality sound system includes six premium speakers, an 8-inch dual-voice coil (DVC) subwoofer wîth trunk-mounted enclosure and eight-channel 368-watt amplifier wîth BeatsAudio digital sound processing (DSP) algorithm.

Fiat 500 and 500c models
The amplified Fiat 500 and 500c models are infused wîth style, technology and convenience features to make life on the go more personalized and comforting – and wîth the 500 Turbo, even more thrilling.
u •Fiat 500 and 500c Pop /u

Designed for the individual who wants Italian style, efficiency and personalization options, the 2016 Fiat 500 and 500c Pop models include a five-speed manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels wîth all-season tires, seven standard air bags, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power heated mirrors, speed control, chrome exhaust tip and available 7-inch color high-definition TFT cluster display.

In addition to the features included on the hatchback model, the Fiat 500c Pop model includes ParkSense rear park assist, windshield-mounted antennae and a multi-position premium dual-layer power cloth top available in Nero, Bordeaux or Beige wîth wind deflector and integrated rear spoiler.
u •Fiat 500 and 500c Easy/u

New for 2016, the Fiat 500 and 500c Easy models build on the Pop models to provide customers wîth additional features and personalization options. The Easy models include a unique interior wîth premium cloth bucket seats, standard 7-inch color high-definition cluster display, premium audio system and 15-inch aluminum wheels wîth all-season tires. The all-new Úconnect 5.0 system, which includes a 5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth capability and integrated voice command, is also standard on the 500 and 500c Easy models.
u •Fiat 500 Sport /u

For the enthusiast who demands Italian style wîth sport-tuned suspension and more convenience features, the 2016 Fiat 500 Sport model encompasses modified springs, shock tuning, §teering calibration and exhaust tuning to deliver a more firm ride and responsive handling. The Sport model also includes a manual transmission and (in addition to the Fiat 500 Pop features) distinctively styled front and rear fascias wîth larger 'honeycomb' grilles, flared aerodynamic treatment and fog lamps.

Between its unique 16-inch aluminum wheels wîth polished face and Mineral Gray painted pockets (or optional 16-inch aluminum five split-spoke design painted bright silver) and all-season tires, the Fiat 500 Sport incorporates unique bodyside sill cladding and a liftgate-mounted roof spoiler for a sporty appearance. Completing this athletic vehicle's design theme are Rosso painted brake calipers attached to a sport-tuned suspension and fog lamps. Inside, the Fiat 500 Sport features unique sport-styled seating and a sport §teering wheel surrounded by a Nero/Grigio (black/gray) or Grigio/Avorio (gray/ivory) interior environment and FIAT premium audio system wîth six premium speakers and 276-watt amplifier. The standard 7-inch TFT color cluster display and available leather seating in Nero/Nero or vivid Rosso/Nero deliver an upscale look.
u •Fiat 500 and 500c Lounge /u

Vital Stats
Engine : 1.4 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 101 hp
Torque: 97 ft-lbs

Engine : 1.4 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 135 hp
Torque: 150 ft-lbs

5-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic, 5-speed Manual
Tailored for individuals who want their Fiat 500 to reflect their fashion-oriented lifestyles, the 2016 Fiat 500 Lounge model features premium amenities (in addition to the Fiat 500 Easy features) including front and rear fascia chromed accents, chrome mirror caps, fog lamps, fixed glass roof, 15-inch cast-aluminum wheels wîth split nine-spoke design and all-season tires, premium cloth seats, leather-wrapped §teering wheel wîth audio controls, SiriusXM Radio, standard 7-inch TFT color cluster display, FIAT premium audio system wîth six premium speakers and 276-watt amplifier and security alarm.

In addition to the features included on the hatchback model, the Fiat 500c Lounge model includes 15-inch cast-aluminum wheels wîth seven split-spoke design, ParkSense rear park assist, windshield-mounted antennae and a multi-position premium dual-layer power cloth top available in Nero, Bordeaux or Beige wîth wind deflector and integrated rear spoiler.
u •Fiat 500 1957 Edition/u


Created to celebrate 57 years of the original 1957 Nuova Cinquecento, the limited-production Fiat 500 1957 Edition continues for the 2016 model year. The Fiat 500 1957 Edition includes a sport-tuned suspension for improved handling, 16-inch forged aluminum wheels wîth retro body color design, throwback 'FIAT' badges, and a premium Marrone (brown) and Avorio (ivory) leather interior.

The model is available in four classic exterior colors: Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (green), Latte Menta (light green) and Celeste (light blue). For a two-tone look, Verde Chiaro, Latte Menta and Celeste exteriors are paired wîth a signature Bianco painted roof and mirror caps.
u •Fiat 500 Turbo/u

For the driving enthusiast who loves the 500 Sport's looks but demands more power and performance, the 2016 Fiat 500 Turbo offers a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine that delivers 135 horsepower, dynamic styling, track-proven brakes and unique sport-styled interior.

The 135-horsepower MultiAir Turbo engine features a single turbocharger, twin intercoolers and sport-tuned exhaust to deliver 34 percent more power (135 vs. 101 horsepower) and 53 percent more torque (150 vs. 98 lb.-ft.) compared to the Fiat 500 Sport's naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine. Additional powertrain upgrades include a track-proven five-speed manual transmission, intermediate shaft wîth equal-length and larger half shafts and larger constant velocity (CV) joints. Brake performance is improved wîth semi-metallic brake linings at all four corners and larger 11.1-inch ventilated front rotors (up from 10.1-inch) wîth unique lower control arm.

Additional exterior enhancements include a performance-designed front fascia wîth twin 'nostrils,' Gloss Black headlamp, tail lamp and parking lamp bezels, bolder-styled side skirts, liftgate-mounted spoiler, two-piece rear fascia wîth black-accented rear diffuser, sport-tuned exhaust and available 16-inch Hyper Nero aluminum wheels. Inside, the Fiat 500 Turbo features sport-styled seating, sport-designed leather-wrapped shift knob and §teering wheel accented wîth Argento stitching and Grigio/Nero seating and interior environment. For an even more upscale look, heated leather seating in Nero/Nero or vivid Rosso/Nero is available.

Fiat's successful small car formula worked then and still works now
Like the original Cinquecento, the 2016 Fiat 500 and 500c showcase the brand's ingenuity to build world-class small cars that ignite a spirit of the times through simple design, beautiful craftsmanship and timeless value. As a result, the Fiat 500 has continued to surprise and delight customers worldwide for more than 50 years.

Satisfying the individual mobility need for Italians and other Europeans after the Second World War, the original Fiat 'Nuova' 500 became a catalyst in 1957 for the country of the 'poor but beautiful' to be not quite as poor. With almost 4 million examples produced between 1957 and 1975, the small and efficient Fiat 500 succeeded in providing an affordable, comfortable and reliable transportation solution while helping to ignite Italy's post-war economic recovery.

More than 50 years later, and thanks to its stylistic and modern technological features, the modern Fiat 500 represents the spark of another milestone along the lasting process of expansion. And this is where its history started again.

Reminiscent of the original Cinquecento, the 2016 Fiat 500 builds on the vehicle's global popularity. Since its initial launch in 2007, more than 1 million Fiat 500 vehicles have been sold in more than 110 countries around the world. The model's unquestionable popularity is the result of the Fiat 500's great ability to deliver unmatched personalization options wîth advanced solutions in terms of quality, engine performance and passenger comfort. In addition to success on the sales front, the Fiat 500 has earned more than 80 international awards.

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.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_500
http://www.vihti500.info/history-of-fiat500.php
http://www.fiat500america.com/fiat500-history/

By Jessica Donaldson

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