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Monday, May 25, 2009

About the New Fiat 500...

In previous postings we've explored the origins of the Fiat 500 starting with the Nuova Fiat 500 from the 1950's. We've covered the original designer Dante Giacosa and discussed the 2004 Fiat Trepiùno show car. In this installment, we'll take a closer look at the New Fiat 500.

Fiat introduced the new Fiat 500 on July 4, 2007 in Torino, Italy, exactly 50 years after the Nuova Fiat 500 was introduced in 1957. It heralded the revival of the new Fiat Automobiles SpA.

Fiat Trepiùno 2004 Concept Car

The New Fiat 500 is based off of the Trepiùno "3+1" show car that made its debut at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It was designed under master designer Frank Stephenson leadership at the Fiat Style Centre. A world renown designer who previously worked at BMW and designed many well known cars such as the BMW X5, the New Mini and is credited with the Ferrari F430 and the Maserati MC12. The actual design was penned by Roberto Giolito, a gifted designer whose specialty is small car design.  Giolito's Fiat Multipla, has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

A car created for the people, with the people’s ideas


In an extraordinary move, Fiat openly sought the active involvement of the public in creating the New Fiat 500. Fiat launched operation "500 wants you" 500 days before the launch of the new car. It started as a huge online laboratory, where users discovered the styling concept of the new car and could express their preferences, propose ideas and contribute, for the first time in motoring history, to its creation. The site was open to the public’s contributions and expectations, which were assessed by Fiat during the actual development of the product.

It was an unprecedented response with over 3 million enthusiasts submitting ideas through the Internet site. These ideas helped shape the New Fiat 500. It also marked a change of corporate culture, using an open approach to creating a car and marked a new way of a car company interacting with its customers, to meet their needs and expectations. ‘The 500, the car of the people, by the people’: this slogan sums up the philosophy behind the development of a project which, in the best Fiat tradition, ‘democratizes’ access to contents and technologies that have never been offered in this segment before.

As the company says:
"For the company, the birth of the 500 represents the start of a new chapter, a declaration of the role that Fiat aims to interpret in the future on the market and in society. The stimulus to a new model of conscious consumption. A model for the exploitation of experience in the automotive field that focuses on quality and emotions, on uniqueness rather than on mass-production, where simplification does not mean doing without. The 500 is the tangible synthesis of these aspirations. With the 500, Fiat smiles at the future."

Undisputed leadership in this category

The New Fiat 500 has won acclaim from all over the world. Among some of the awards it has won are "European Car of the Year 2008" , "World Car Design of the year", and Japanese "Best Compact Car". Fiat is Europe’s leader in the production of compact vehicles, which are by definition the most eco friendly and, for the second year running, its confirmed that Fiat has the lowest average value for CO2 emissions from the vehicles sold in 2008. Below are some of the awards the Fiat 500 has won.


  • What Car? readers' affections 2007
  • CAR Magazine: Car of the Year 2007
  • EuroCarBody 2007 award
  • European Car of the Year for 2008
  • The World’s Most Beautiful Automobile (City Car and Small Car category)
  • AUTO EUROPA 2008
  • Fifth Gear: Best Small Car 2007
  • Top Gear: Best 'City Car' 2007
  • Auto 1 Europa 2008 - (Auto Bild)
  • 2008 ‘What Car?’ Green Car of the Year Award
  • Auto Express: "Best City Car" 2008
  • Best Supermini/City Car Award 2008
  • readers Sexiest Car of 2008
  • Best Compact Car Consumers' Choice Award-Car of the Year in Japan
  • 2009 World Car Design of the Year

The Fiat 500 confirms Fiat Automobiles SpA’s undisputed leadership in small car design - a result of its extraordinary heritage of technical, design and human experience accumulated in over a century - and it takes a substantial leap forward in terms of comfort and safety, technology and equipment for this segment.


Keep an eye on as we go for an in depth view of the features of New Fiat 500

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Research: Internet and Fiat Press

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