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Saturday, October 11, 2008
Fiat 500
Image: © Wheat Images

Fiat 500 - The Merger Of Fashion And Efficiency

Fiat had the Fiat 500 on display at the Paris Auto Show last week. The Fiat 500 is a breakthrough for Fiat in both styling and engineering, and it has taken on an image as a fuel efficient car with designer roots. Fiat has merged style with functionality in the 500, and they have taken a bold step to provide a large variety of styling options. The Fiat 500 is currently available in Europe, but not presently sold in North America.

The 500 has a choice of 8 pastel colours and 3 metallic colours, and there is an additional image colour 'funkwhite', which is like pearl white (see photo). The 500 can be ordered in four theme styles: Sport, Lounge, Pop and the 500. The exterior body can be ordered in either Kit Sport or Kit Chrome depending on your personal taste. There are 7 types of Aluminium rims available to order, and you can customise the exterior with 8 different sticker kits of stripes and chequers, and 10 different exterior name badge styles. The remote key door opener is also a personal style choice with 9 different varieties inclusive of colour and emblem choice.

There are three interior colours available on the 500 - Ivory, Maroon, and Charcoal (Black), and the available seat materials align with the order styles - Sport, Lounge, Pop and 500, and there is also an available leather option.

The 500 has three engine choices available. There are two different petrol (gasoline) FIRE engines - a 69 hp 1.2 L 8-valve engine with a 5-speed manual, and a 1.4 L 16-valve 100 hp engine, available with either a five or six speed manual. The third engine is Fiat's high technology 1.3 Multijet 16V 75 hp diesel motor, and is mated to a 5-speed manual. The 1.2 L 8 -valve petrol (gasoline) engine has a zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 12.9 seconds, the 1.4 L 16-valve takes 10.5 seconds, and the 1.3 L diesel takes 12.5 seconds. 

The Fiat 500's two most fuel efficient engines are the 1.3 L Multijet 16V 75 hp diesel, and the 69 hp 1.2 L petrol. The diesel has the highest fuel efficiency with a combined urban/highway rating of 4.2 L/100 km (56 U.S. MPG / 67.3 Imp MPG) and a very low 100 g/km CO2. On the highway, the diesel engine version can achieve a remarkable 3.6 L/100 km (65.3 U.S. MPG / 78.5 Imp MPG). The  1.2 Litre petrol (gasoline) engine has a fuel consumption urban/highway combined rating of 5.1 L/100 km (46.1 U.S. MPG / 55.4 Imp MPG) and achieves 4.3 L/100 km (54.7 U.S. MPG / 65.7 Imp MPG) in the pure highway mode.

For safety on the road, the Fiat 500 has disc brakes on all wheels, and It also has ESP (Electronic Stability Control). There are seven air bags onboard and all seat belts have pre-tensioners as part of their safety design.

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