FIAT is about to launch a truly nostalgic vehicle this coming spring. It is a special 57th anniversary edition of the FIAT Nuova Cinquecento (New FIAT 500 in English – meaning, of course, new when it was initially released). This small city car came out in the late 50s (1957 to be exact) and was a popular town and city car of the era, remaining in production in various forms until the 1970s.
The modern incarnation sports classic 16 inch wheels, a retro brown leather interior ivory trim and grey door panels, and badges on the nose and tails just like back in the days. It comes in lovely pastel colors – light green, light blue, or white. The models having the first two colors offset the color of the body with white mirrors and roof.
The engine for these nostalgic gems is a FIAT 1.4 liter MultiAir 4 cylinder. There is an option as regards the transmission to which this engine is yolked. Customers can choose either a 5 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic transmission. Other options include a higher quality audio system a sport tuned suspension.
Why is FIAT going to the trouble of doing all this? It’s really not all that much trouble. It’s sometimes possible to see these sorts of anniversary re-releases as crass and profit-driven. It usually doesn’t cost an auto maker as much to re-issue a tried and true vehicle, even with the improvements, as it does to come out with current and cutting edge designs and technologies. And they can, of course, charge a nice hefty price for vintage editions of classic cars.
However, perhaps this is a bit cynical. The release of the vehicle seems redolent with symbolic meaning for FIAT. Rather than viewing it as the re-issue of just another updated classic vehicle, FIAT is presenting the 500’s return as a celebration of “the rebirth of FIAT and its product range.” Jason Stoicevich summed it up this way: “The 1957 Edition celebrates the Cinquecento, the icon of our brand, and its unique cachet of Italian style, efficiency and engaging road manners…” FIAT is seeing some high times these days, so it seems fitting that it would want to celebrate some of its hard earned status as a leading global auto maker.
Source: Holt FIAT of Ft Worth, TX