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Fiat 500 PDF Print E-mail

The Fiat Cinquecento was born in 1957 as anaffordable Italian city car.? Designed byDante Giacosa, it was a tiny, cramped machine with an equally tiny two-cylinderengine of just 479 cc. Mounted in the rear it was air-cooled and produced just13 bhp (under 10 kW).? The little ?500?was certainly never going to set the world alight.? Despite its humble origins and low price, thelittle Fiat was initially not a great success, but over the years ? it lasteduntil 1975 ? it became a popular runabout in almost every Europeancountry.? It might have made its filmdebut in the 1968 Michael Caine movie TheItalian Job ? which was set in Fiat?s home city of Turin - except for director Peter Collinson?spreference for the Mini which stole the limelight in the numerous exotic stunts.

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Now there is a new Fiat 500 ? launched onJuly 4 2007, exactly 50 years after the original ? which goes on saleimmediately in Europe although no decision has yet been made about Thailand, orindeed other Asian markets.? Designedthis time by the Fiat Style Centre in Turin andbuilt at Fiat?s Poland plantin Tychy, thenew 500 retains similarly compact dimensions to the original, although it nowfeatures three doors.? It is just 355centimeters in length, 163 cm wide and 149 cm tall.

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Despite its miniscule size, Fiat claims the500 offers ?class-beating safety?.? Itcan be equipped with up to seven airbags: dual front bags, curtain bags andside bags and one for the driver?s knees: a record for a vehicle in thissegment.? In addition, a host ofelectronic aids contribute to occupant safety, including ABS, EBD, stabilityprogram, anti-slip and a hill start program to assist the driver of steeptakeoffs.? There is also hydraulic brakeassist which steps in for emergency stops.

There is a choice of three ?green? engines:1.2 or 1.4 gasoline units, or a 1.3 16-valve turbodiesel, one of the best smallengines available with over two million made so far.? The gasoline models produce 69 and 100 bhprespectively, and comply with Euro 4 emissions standards, while the dieseldelivers 75 bhp and is fitted with a particulate trap.

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Fiat claims that with the range of engines,transmissions, wheel options and 12 body colors, there are no less than 500,000possible combinations in order for a buyer to personalize his or her 500.? In addition, the new car introduces numerousnovelties for its segment with the idea of making features that previously wereexclusively reserved for more upmarket motors, available to everyone. Ahands-free function with Bluetooth interface and evolved voice recognition isavailable, while the latest sat-nav system is also on offer.

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The latest incarnation of the 500 has beendeveloped from the concept car from the 2004 Geneva show.?The enthusiasm and interest from the public convinced Fiat, and inparticular its dynamic CEO Sergio Marchione, that the original shape created byDante Giacosa had not exhausted its unique appeal.

In order to involve the public in thedesign of the new 500, Fiat launched a communications project called ?500 wantsyou?. But it was on the web at www.fiat500.comthat the project really came into its own.?To date more than 3,700,000 hits have bee received by this site, whichis available in a number of languages, and is still proving to be hugelypopular.

It is widely expected that Fiat will launchthe new 500 in all thriving auto markets sometime in the near future, includingHong Kong, Chinaand, hopefully, Thailand.? Add your weight to the ongoing campaign by registeringat the website.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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