There are dates which are destined to remain firmly lodged in our collective memory; moments which, in the short term, or with the passing of time, can prove to be revolutionary. One of the dates which has undoubtedly managed to escape the anonymity often imposed by the calendar is the 4th of July, 1957.
Indeed, this was the momentous date on which the '500' was first produced in Turin, the 'big small car' which soon became the emblem of the concept of driving for the mass market. The figures linked to this success may be significant, but they are simply not enough to tell the whole story. Over 4 million vehicles have been sold, but there's more to understanding this car than that.
Instead, the trick is to widen our perspective and pay particular attention in order to round up all the innovative features that the 500 has crammed into a space of less than three metres, not only with regard to the motoring world but in relation to society in general. Fifty years on, again on the 4th of July, Fiat used its popularity as leverage for accelerating towards the future with the 500 of the new millennium and in the first months of 2017 will break the record of two million cars sold.
Another peaceful revolution on the roads of the world, a vehicle capable of combining what seem to be contrasting values: it is exclusive but accessible, it is elegant but fun, it is quinquennially Italian but is a global best seller sold in 100 countries. Interestingly 80% of all 500s were sold outside Italy.
When Fiat celebrates sixty years of its global icon, for the occasion, the Geneva show will provide the stage for the launch of the special 60th anniversary series. This exclusive numbered limited edition pays tribute to the original 500 through a specific characterisation and the contemporary reinterpretation of some of the style details that made it famous, such as the vinyl dashboard, the vintage logo on the front, between the chrome spoiler and on the boot door and steering wheel, as well as the chrome finish on the bonnet.
Exclusively available as a convertible, the Fiat 500 special 60th anniversary series presents brand new dual colour paintwork evocatively named Dolcevita: Three layer White for the body of the car and pastel Ivory for the bonnet and pillars. The grey and burgundy waistrall enhances this chromatic combination, whereas the colour chosen for the hood is grey.
The style of this special series is enhanced by its many cool aesthetic details, such as chrome mirrors caps, special 16" lightweight alloy wheel rims and a dedicated logo: 560. Here we truly have a brand within a brand, as the red '6' and '0' are contained in the last two figures of the 500 logo.
This exclusive badge adorns the pillar and also appears on the chrome sill and the numbered limited edition nameplate. The Fiat 500 60th anniversary special series will be available for orders; the edition will total 560 cars, all with individual authenticity certificate, for sale on the main EMEA region markets with delivery.
The interior also presents retro details, such as the tubular elements of the seats in ivory leather with contrasting burgundy seams, which match the central part of the dashboard, and the bespoke dual colour car mats. But the tribute to the past is only skin deep: in terms of technology, the 60th anniversary special series offers the very best of everything available today when it comes to technology and on board comfort.
Standard features include a leather gear stick knob and steering wheel with built in commands, the 7" Uconnect Radio Live touchscreen system with Bluetooth, satellite navigator and USB and AUX IN ports; 7" TFT, automatic climate control, fog lights and rear parking sensors.
The MY2017 innovations are also present: Speed Limiter and Cruise control and, on request, the CarPlay and Android Auto system; this makes possible for users to access the main applications of their smartphones directly on the 7" screen of the Uconnect system integrated on the central console.
With Apple CarPlay support, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car, drivers can get directions optimised for traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road.
The Android Auto integration allow to manage the compatible content and features on the device directly from the driving seat, getting directions, making calls, sending and receiving messages, and listening to music, always driving safely. Rain and Dusk sensor, Bi-Xenon headlights, tinted rear windows and Beats Audio system repeat this impressive outfit.
The selection of engines available on the 500 Sessantesimo is wide ranging and complete, with two petrol engines - also available with robotic Dualogic gearbox and paddle shift - the 1.2 with 69 HP and the 0.9 TwinAir with 85 HP. In the combined cycle, this results in a consumption rate of 3.8 litres/100km. All engines are Euro 6, including the small turbodiesel 1.3 16v Multijet II 95 HP version. The vehicle on the stand will be 1.2 69 HP, fitted with Stop and Start.
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