Fiat freshens up 500 bambino

Time of article published Jul 6, 2015

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By: IOL Motoring Staff

Turin, Italy - It's one thing to recreate a design legend, as Fiat did with its reincarnated 500 back in 2007, but 'remaking' that remake is another matter altogether. Little surprise, then, that Fiat kept the design changes on the subtle side when modernising its retro 'boutique' hatch.

Fiat has opted for a facelift rather than an all-new model here, although technically speaking as many as 1800 of the parts are new.

Designers added flavour to the front end with a bolder bumper/grille design and headlights with new inner bits, while the bragging point at the rear end is what Fiat calls 'empty' light clusters, which sport a body coloured centre section. Fiat is quite chuffed with the idea that light appears to emanate from this centre section like an illuminated tattoo.

Two new exterior hues, Glam Coral and Avantgarde Bordeaux, bring the tally to 13 colour options and the 500 continues to offer a wide range of personalisation options outside and in.

On that note, the interior has been extensively updated, most notably in the central dashboard that's been redesigned to accommodate the new Uconnect infotainment system. The system has touch-screen functionality, in Lounge versions, and brings the 500 up to date with the latest connectivity trends.

Fiat also redesigned the steering wheel and there's a new seven-inch TFT instrument cluster available as an option on Lounge models.

According to our Fiat SA contact, the new 500 is likely to reach our shores in early 2016 and local specifics will be announced closer to the time. For now though, it appears as if the current 1.2- and 1.4-litre normally aspirated petrol engine line-up will soldier on as there are currently no plans to introduce the Twin Air turbopetrol or any diesel engines.

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