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Future models - Fiat - 500 - Anniversario

Fiat celebrates 500 history with Anniversario special

Happy birthday: Fiat is recognising the 500 nameplate with an Anniversario version, which pays homage to the 60s.

Italian micro-car production anniversary marked with limited Fiat 500 Anniversario

Fiat logo28 Aug 2017

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

FIAT Australia is commemorating the 60th production anniversary of its iconic 500 micro car with a 60s-inspired Anniversario special, which will be restricted to 60 units when it arrives in October.

Externally, chrome accents have been added to the bonnet and side mirror caps, while the three-door Anniversario’s vintage-style 16-inch alloy wheels have an alternative diamond-finish design, which references the spokes of classic car rims.

Two new paint colours – dubbed Riveria Green and Sicilia Orange – will be exclusively available with the special, with Fiat saying the hues are “inspired by the liveries of the timeless icon”.

Additionally, an array of classic Fiat logos complement the cursive ‘Anniversario’ badge located on the front-wheel-drive 500’s tailgate.

Inside, new seats are trimmed in fabric with horizontal stripes, piping and an embroidered ‘500’ logo, while a coloured dashboard insert and Anniversario-branded floor mats are also included.

According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia, pricing for the limited-run 500 will be revealed closer to its local launch.

The Anniversario is based on the Lounge 1.2-litre hatchback variant, which checks in at $19,990 before on-road costs in manual form, while its automatic option adds a further $1500.

Confirmed to feature a 5.0-inch Uconnect touchscreen multimedia system, Bluetooth connectivity, digital radio and satellite navigation, the special could also pick up the Lounge’s 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster and rear parking sensors.

Motivated by a 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, the Anniversario produces 51kW of power at 5500rpm and 102Nm of torque at 3000rpm.

It is unclear if the special will be offered with the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission, a move which would mirror its donor car.

Alongside some 2017 model year pricing changes in June, Fiat quietly introduced a 1.2-litre version of the Lounge grade, which expanded its powerplant options beyond the 74kW/131Nm 1.4-litre unit that arrived in February last year as part of the 500’s facelift.

According to head of Fiat brand in Australia, Fulvio Antonelli, the Anniversario mixes the past with the present to create a fitting salute to its forbear.

“The Fiat 500 Anniversario edition offers a glimpse into the iconic heritage of the Fiat brand and pays tribute to the vehicle which launched 60 years ago,” he said.

“The Anniversario is a modern Italian-made hatchback that represents a reworking of the vehicle’s unmistakable design signature.”

Production of the ‘Nuova 500’ commenced on July 4, 1957 in Turin, Italy, while the current-generation model launched in 2007 to coincide with its predecessor’s 50th production anniversary.

However, the 500 nameplate actually first appeared on a Fiat product in 1936, but this model was more commonly referred to as the ‘Topolino’ during its 19-year production run.

This year, 443 examples of the 500 and Abarth have been sold to the end of July, representing a 33.5 per cent decrease over their 2016 result (666) during the same period.

Overall, the Fiat is fourth in the micro-car segment so far this year, trailing the Kia Picanto (1806), Mitsubishi Mirage (1015) and Holden Spark (628), but ahead of the recently axed Suzuki Celerio (141).

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