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Geneva show: Fiat 500 goes Vintage

Retroactive: The badges on the 500 Vintage 57 use the old Fiat logo, highlighting the hatchback’s 1950s origins.

Retro-themed Fiat 500 Vintage 57 harks back the iconic Italian original

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Fiat logo4 Mar 2015

FIAT has ripped the covers off a retro-tinged version of its tiny 500 hatch at the Geneva motor show this week, with a Vintage ’57 paying homage to the iconic original.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia is yet to confirm the retro runabout for its roster Down Under, the special edition 500 is expected to lob here either later this year or early 2016.

The new variant takes styling cues from the first 500 that made its debut in 1957, with pastel blue paint contrasting against a white roof, while the 16-inch alloy wheels carry retro-look covers featuring the old Fiat logo for added nostalgia.

The old-school Fiat logo is also on the front and rear badges, while the spoiler, mirror caps and antenna are also finished in white.

More historical references can be found in the cabin, with a white dashboard and the old logo again making an appearance in the centre of the steering wheel.

Tan-coloured Italian Poltrona Frau leather seats with ivory leather half-moon inserts and 500 embroidery also feature in the cabin.

Standard gear in the little Italian includes the Blue&Me connectivity system that includes Bluetooth phone and audio, idle-stop, hill-hold assist, seven airbags and an electronic stability program.

For the European-spec Vintage ’57 that goes on sale in the United Kingdom in March, five powertrain options will be available – four petrol and one diesel.

They include a 1.2-litre normally aspirated four-cylinder and an atmo version of its 0.9-litre TwinAir inline twin-cylinder with 51kW each, or two turbocharged versions of the latter with 63kW and 78kW respectively.

The lone MultiJet 1.3-litre diesel option, produces 71kW and is expected to be the torque champion of the range.

It is unclear which powertrains would come to Australia if confirmed, but the current 500 line-up includes the TwinAir, 1.2- and 1.4-litre four-cylinder engines.

The new-generation 500 launched in 2007 – 50 years after the debut of the original – and has reinvigorated the Italian brand, spearheading its expansion into new markets, including the United States.

Last year, the 500 was the second-best-selling car in the retracting micro car class, with 2995 sales for the year – a 22.6 per cent improvement over the previous year – but not enough to knock off the Mitsubishi Mirage that captured 6478 new buyers.

The city runabout was updated for the Australian market in August last year, with more standard gear added across the range.

The retro-themed 500 is being shown at the Geneva show alongside the Doblo Trekking and the 500X crossover with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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