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Monday, January 4, 2010

Inside the new Fiat 500...

The Fiat 500 interior is a well thought out place to be. Although the 500 is smaller outside than the Mini, inside it is roomier. This is due to some very careful design and engineering.

I've had the chance to check out a Chrysler evaluation vehicle, and let me tell you, the interior was fantastic. The Frau leather interior was supple and fragrant, the aroma being intoxicating! Poltrona Frau leather is ultra-high end leather, used to upholster luxury furniture and only the most exclusive cars. The 500 has the charisma to carry this off and, as I've mentioned before, some Ferrari dealers actually use the 500 as a courtesy car for their clientèle. The inside of the 500 has clever features such as hidden storage compartments in the side of the center counsel and under the passenger front seat. There's also lots of room for odds and ends with map pockets behind the seats, trays under the dash, storage bins in the doors and a concealed glove box. There's plenty of room up front for a six-footer to stretch out and be comfortable, plus an average sized adult can fit in the rear if the front seats aren't pushed all the way back. The trunk is, all things considered, roomy.

The overall impression is the 500 is a very neat car. It's cozy, without being cramped, and very well finished, with lots of features and equipment to keep one busy. It feels solid and substantial, the kind of car you can drive to work everyday and, later, take it out for a night on the town without feeling the need to "change up." Below, with the help of Fiat Press, is a detailed look at the interior of the Fiat 500: The designers paid the utmost attention to detail, while focusing on simplicity, which is the leitmotif of the new model. Simple does not mean ‘bare’, but embraces a particular stylistic and constructive interpretation that strives for ‘simplified enjoyment.’

The passenger compartment is airy and roomy, an environment where you can enjoy the time you spend in the car comfortably and at ease. It is also an embracing, protective environment thanks to the large ring that circles the entire space inside.

The structure of the Fiat 500 cabin sums up the comprehensiveness of the modern, ergonomic outfit, in a design inspired by the historical 500. Starting with the steering column, which is made up of steering wheel and instruments, grouped in a single panel which contains the speedometer, rev counter and trip computer, all concentric and perceptible immediately and simultaneously.

These elements, together with the central console and the radio-air vent unit, can be ordered in ivory or ..., a choice that influences the character of the car, making it more ‘vintage’ or sporty.

The instrument panel on the Fiat 500 is an ideal blend of retro styling and modern technology which adapts perfectly to the interior of the car. Built by Magneti Marelli, it comes in two versions: ‘Comfort’ and ‘Matrix’, and the latter features a dot matrix monitor at the center of the panel which displays the pictograms for the satellite navigation system incorporated in the Blue&Me™ Nav device.

If the upper part of the fascia is designed to convey a sense of refinement and elegance, the lower part conveys functionality with capacious, open storage shelves, and small and medium sized drawers for more valuable items that you want to conceal.

The gear lever, which is positioned on the fascia, looks like a refined mechanical component, with chromed parts and a simple but efficient black knob that is shiny or chrome-plated depending on the version. The set of most frequently used buttons was inspired by the telltales and small levers of the old 500, and is very quick and easy to use.

Fiat 500 Pop Interior
The seats deserve a separate mention; the various versions copy those of the 500 F of the 1960s with the same ‘split’ effect: solid tone fabric at the bottom and the upper lunette and a head-restraint that match the color of the steering wheel.
Fiat 500 Lounge Interior
The most lavish version of the new 500 also offers elegant Cordura fabric upholstery, finished with a tubular border over the stitching,

Fiat 500 Sport Interior
...while the seats and fascia on the 500 Sport show the influence of the racing world, with two tone color elements, a chrome-plated gear lever knob and larger bolstering in the front seats.

Fiat 500 with Frau Leather
Fiat 500 customers can also order prestigious Frau leather upholstery, choosing from a traditional Black, a hide color that recalls the earlier 500 and an ultra-sporty Red.
The door panels feature a contrast between the part upholstered to match the seats and the plastic structure that incorporates a large oddment pocket and the speakers. The door handle has a chromed ‘hook’ shape that recalls one of the best remembered features on the door of the historic 500. What is more, in spite of its small size, the new model is amazingly roomy, thanks to careful placement of storage units, such as the two compartments on the fascia for the driver...

and passenger,
the hidden compartment on the passenger side,
those in the door panels,
another in the gearbox support and
one above the passenger seat.
And the luggage compartment is also quite capacious (185 liters, or a maximum of 550 liters right up to the ceiling), and the loading threshold is low to make loading easier;

the rear seat squab can also be folded down. The rear seat is very comfortable for 2 people, and on all versions it reiterates the same attention to detail that is evident in the front seats. To highlight the fact that the car really is roomy, the upper outline of the squabs is raised to support and clasp passengers’ backs better. And finally, a console positioned between the seats near the tunnel acts as a ‘docking station’, it can hold the usual small items (glasses and cans), and ... ...houses the 12V socket and USB port to connect a range of functional accessories, and telematic devices such as an iPod or PDA, or... ...even a fragrance dispenser which offers the customer a choice of fragrances. With thanks to Fiat Group Press

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