Its become such a phenomenon in itself, spawning an entire family of cars, that it’s easy to forget the Fiat 500 pays tribute to the first car to bear that name, launched all the way back in 1957.
The Nuova 500 was to the Italians as the Volkswagen Beetle had been to the Germans and the Citroen 2CV to the French; cheap and simple transport for the masses. So cheap and simple, in fact, that spares were sold by newsagents. And it’s tiny size made it perfect for the tight confines of Italy’s ancient cities.
The current 500 is more a fashion statement than mere transport, a cute runabout with a lot of character. On sale since 2007, over 1.5 million have left the factories in Poland and Mexico. So it’s well on the way to at least matching the success of its grandfather, which racked up 3.9 million sales in an 18-year career.
Fiat will reveal the latest special edition 500 at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Fiat 500 Vintage ’57 takes inspiration directly from the original. It comes in a range of retro pastel shades, with contrasting white elements, and rolls on slotted-disc wheels, just as the Nuova did.
Inside there’s a white dashboard and tan leather upholstery with ivory inserts. The period Fiat logos are a nice touch, as well.
The rest of the car is as per the standard 500, with aircon and Bluetooth as standard. there’s a choice of 68bhp 1.2-litre and 84bhp 900cc TwinAir petrol engines.
Prices for the Fiat 500 Vintage ’57 start at £12,545 when it goes on sale in April.