The Fiat company is preparing to follow in MINI‘s footsteps, by reinventing their popular Fiat 500 model for a second time. The new model is set to be unleashed in 2016 with enhanced technology and updated retro-themed styling.
The new 500′s design has been set for a while though Fiat are in no rush to replace the current car whose sales are still going well seven years after it’s initial introduction. In 2013, the 500 was Europe’s top selling city car, the Fiat Panda following in second place ahead of the Vauxhall Adam and the Volkswagen up! Model.
Are there any spec or engine changes for the new Fiat 500?
Under the bonnet, the new 500 isn’t likely to stray far from the current range of cars though all of it’s engine options are likely to be more efficient and powerful. The 1.3litre MultiJet diesel should see it’s CO2 emissions drop below 90g/km while the 0.9litre two-cylinder TwinAir, which is offered in several outputs, should be up to 105 brake horse power.
The Fiat 500 styling and tech changes
Inside the buttons will be replaced with a large central touch screen. To boost it’s popularity in the US, the largest global market, the 500 will be wider and longer than at present. This will improve the interior space and stretch the proportions for a sportier profile.
Through inside information, the model will be gaining larger oval headlights framed by an LED ring and oversized tail-lamps to emphasise the extra width, while rubbing strips give a tougher look. The new high technology interior is inspired by the 2004 Trepiuno concept which previewed the current 500, three years before it went on sale.
Unlike MINI who are to add a five-door hatchback to their line up, Fiat will offer the new 500 as a three-door only though a larger five-door hatch with 500 styling cues will be introduced in 2015.
The new 500 will replace the Punto as it will sit on a modified version of that car’s platform. It will line up next to the 500,500C, 500L, 500 MOV and the imminent 500X crossover, as well as the Abarth 500.
Many other manufacturers have recently released new models; Hyundai with their i10, Citroen with their C1, Toyota and the Aygo, Peugeot’s 108 and Renault with their Twingo and other big brands such as the likes of Kia with the Rio. but Fiat’s biggest competition will be itself. With how popular the current 500 model is, Fiat will face the big challenge of repeating this success when the new model goes on sale, though it will help if the entry level price stays at around £10,000.