Italian Car Specialists - Fiat 500
Specializzati Automobilistica Italiana - Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 was originally realised in 1949 to meet the demand of the post-war market demand for economical cars.
Originally a 2-door coupe body with sun-roof, this was later complemented by an Estate version and both continued to be produced until 1954 when they were replaced by a new, lighter bodied car. This featured a rear-engine, similar to the Volkswagen Beetle, just like its bigger brother the 1955 Fiat 600. Several car makers successfully followed the now uncommon rear engine configuration.
Despite its diminutive size, the 500 proved to be an enormously practical and popular vehicle throughout Europe. It proved to be cheap to run and manufacture and was easy to maintain with simplistic engineering and basic engines.
Production of the 500 ended in 1975, although its replacement, the Fiat 126, was launched two years earlier. In Italy the 126 was not as successful as its predecessor, but it proved enormously popular in the former Eastern Bloc countries where it is famed for its mechanical durability and high fuel economy. The Fiat 500 has a Cx (aerodynamic resistance coefficient) of 0.38, a very good performance for its time.
In 2007 the modern day reincarnation of the classic Fiat 500 was born to compliment the re-issued retro scene along with the new VW Beetle and BMW's Mini Cooper.
It underwent a further facelift in 2016 with the latest models featuring some 1,800 detail changes, according to Fiat. The principal differences appear to be new lights and grille and a revamped interior.
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