July 4th 2016 marks Fiat 500’s nine-year anniversary since it was brought back in to production. Relaunched in 2007 to commemorate 50 years since it was first made, the hot hatchback has gone from strength to the strength in the 21st Century.
Based on the Nuova 500 which was produced between 1957 – 1975, the Fiat 500 came back considerably heavier and larger with a front-mounted engine and front wheel drive. In its first cycle of production, the original 500 sold more than four million units.
Sparked by the unprecedented success of the Smart Fortwo, Fiat recognised that there was a gap in the market for a new small car. They concluded that “most customers want more than just the Smart’s two seats” and hence developed the 500 model that has been on sale for the past nine years.
Since coming back in to production, the 500 has won over 40 awards including Car of the Year (CAR Magazine 2007), ‘Best City Car’ (Top Gear 2007, Auto Express 2008 and 2009), ‘World’s Most Beautiful Automobile (2009) and International Engine of the Year (2010). With the expansion of today’s global marketplace, the 500 is now marketed in over 100 countries worldwide.
The revamped Fiat 500 has become the cornerstone of the Italian company’s production line with larger body-type versions also in production. The 500L, in production since 2012, is a five-door mini MPV, while the 500X joined the newly competitive crossover SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) marketplace in 2014.
The new release 2016 models saw the 500 receive a facelift which included reshaped headlights incorporating daytime running lights with LED technology, a redesigned grille, revised 15 and 16-inch alloy wheels and a number of new body colour choices available.
The Fiat 500 is enjoying a glorious renaissance and will undoubtedly be planning something big to mark their decade birthday celebrations.