– BY Ananth Choalla : IT III Year
The FIAT CINQUECENTO or better known as the FIAT 500 is back on the road. This coupe was first manufactured in 1957 by the Italian car manufacturer FIAT. It launched as the NUOVA 500 as a cheap and
practical town car just 2.07 meters long with a small 479 cc, 2 cylinder air cooled engine. It was designed to meet the past war markets which needed economical cars and 500 redefined the term “economical car”. It is one of the first cars among the city car segment. 500’s were in production till 1975 and discontinued due to changes in the market. After 32 years the car is re-launched with new engine and styling.
FIAT previewed the new 500 in March 2007, exactly 50 years after the first fiat 500 was launched. It was launched in India in July 2008. The car comes in two models, sport and lounge. Designed FIAT Centro Stile the car was designed not to look like a FIAT 500 but the one that could be a FIAT 500. The design while respecting the original concept is aimed to improve and increase the functionality, reliability and economy. With very minimal front, a short bonnet and rear overhangs the 500 has an exceptionally compact body shell. The combination of circular headlights, separate lower full beam lamp housings and the trademark chrome whisker and logo, gives it the name” The Little Mouse”. The rear of the car holds a large chrome plated tail gate, large tail lamps, an integrated roof spoiler and an additional stop light. Safety plays an important role in the design and the rounded front bumper increases pedestrian protection. The company provides a feature where the customer can design his own style of 500 before it is bought.
The interior of the FIAT 500 is quirky, bucking the trend of modern-day conservative cabin. The leather upholstery is available in two tone shades. The overall space available is less due to its small size. The dash is neatly organized with round dials and buttons. The steering is modern version of the classic 500 steering. The gauges are put in concentric circles which might be a bit confusing to look at. The chrome plated gear rod is into the dash of the car saving space. Everything inside the 500 is shaped round representing the completeness of the vehicle.
Moving to the performance of the car, it no more has the low powered 479 cc engine but a powerful 1248 cc engine that outputs 75bhp@4000 rpm. The 4 cylinder with in-line arrangement are placed in the front. The car has added performance with the electronically controlled Common Rail Multi-jet Direct Injection fuel feed that extracts more power from every drop of fuel. A supercharger and an intercooler are also provided which are not present in many big cars in our country. This small car can hit a top speed of 165 km/h and accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 12.5 seconds. The car is provided with good independent suspension in the front and interconnected shocks in the rear. The braking is good as ABS with EBD is provided.
With a classic compact design, luxurious interiors, impeccable performance, the 500 is off the hook!! The mouse that you are using to scroll the article may cost you just about Rs500 but this little mouse form FIAT costs you a whole Rs15 lacs.
It may look like a little mouse but has the power to beat the cat off its competitors.