Fiat 500 Electric: An Italian icon reinvented
Over the years the Fiat 500 has gone through a variety of updates, with the all-new electric version being the latest, but always maintaining the essence that made it one of the world's most-loved cars. Let's take a look back through the history of this iconic car in more detail!
An Italian masterpiece is created
Originally introduced as the ‘The Cinquecento’ (‘500’ in Italian), back in 1957 as a way of bringing affordable transportation to the Italian masses. With 4 seats and just over 9 feet long, this first-of-its-kind city car was designed by Dante Giacosa to serve as a functional and economical town car for post-war Italy.
Its small size helped drivers navigate the mazy streets of Italy's cities, with nimble driving style and ease of parking. Giacosa designed the Fiat with rear hinged doors to make it easier for passengers to open from the inside. Despite some of the safety issues this created, people loved them and the Fiat was an instant success.
In the years following on from its launch, the Fiat went through a variety of updates: like the introduction of the sport model in 1958, an added sunroof and the controversial removal of its much-loved rear hinged doors in 1965.
When the original Fiat’s production came to an end in 1975, the car had become an icon of Italy & was one of the most popular cars created with nearly 4 million produced between 1957-1975.
Once production ceased, Fiat moved their attention away from the beloved Fiat Cinquecento to other models such as the Panda and Punto. Until 2007...
The 21st century rebirth
In 2007 the Fiat Cinquecento was back for its 50th anniversary! Only this time, it was simply called the Fiat 500. It returned in its instantly recognisable styling, albeit with a slightly larger silhouette and now built for the modern world. It had the latest technology and added safety features such as dual front airbags and antilock brakes.
As the years went by Fiat updated the 500 with new trim levels, innovative technology like daytime running lights and tweaks to the overall design as well as giving their customers access to more premium materials and features.
Electrifying an icon
In 2020 came the biggest change to the 500 line in years, when Fiat released the all-electric version.
It hit the scene with its classic circular headlights, small yet distinctive shape, and chrome detailing all taking inspiration from the original 1957 model. The new Electric model has the addition of fin-esque indicators, 16” alloy wheels and the distinctive front grill that you’d usually expect to see on the Fiat 500 has an eye-catching chrome ‘500’ logo.
This EV maintains the heritage of its predecessor from a distance, however on closer inspection it's had a major upgrade. The Fiat 500 is packed with modern tech such as a digital cluster display, assisted driving and 10.25’’ Cinerama Touchscreen Infotainment. There’s sustainable touches too with the interior containing plastic recycled from the sea and the steering wheel wrapped in eco-leather.
Though the electric 500 may still be compact, it offers a real world range of 145 miles, and can go from 20% to 80% charge in just 20 minutes thanks to its 85kW rapid charging capability.
The Fiat 500 is a car that has legions of devoted fans and you can see why from its rich history as a style icon. With this latest electric model, we think it will be gaining even more!
Available on subscription in both hatchback and convertible versions. Have you fallen for the Fiat 500?
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