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1,800 invisible changes: it's the new Fiat 500!
Fiat reboots its city car after 8 years. Locate your most technical anorak for a game of spot the difference
Boys and girls, meet the new Fiat 500. New in 1,800 different ways, if we’re to believe what the Italians tell us, setting the scene for the most excruciating spot the difference puzzle in history.
Revealed exactly eight years after the 500 first returned to our lives, the new-new Cinquecento doesn’t mess with its predecessor’s winning formula, the shape – and dinky dimensions – remaining untouched. Hardly surprising, given 1.5 million 500s have sold since 2007.
The keen-eyed amongst you will have spotted some of the more obvious tweaks, though. The front-end styling has been subtly tweaked – bringing it a little more in line with the inflated 500X crossover – while new ring-shaped rear lights are very smart, and much better resemble those on the little Trepiuno concept that previewed the 500’s second coming way back in 2004.
Fiat promises us it’s overhauled the interior, too, but we fear our eyes aren’t peeled enough. The big news concerns flashy graphics, with TFT instruments optional to replace traditional analogue readouts, while a media screen is fitted as standard, and sits betwixt driver and passenger to display whatever level of media and nav you’ve specified.
Keeping pace with its rivals, there are more in-depth customisation options too, to satisfy, as the 500’s maker would have it, “the spontaneous congeniality that the iconic Fiat has always triggered.”
As well as spontaneously and congenially choosing from a plethora of new colours, you can also apply natty patterns to the exterior of your 500.
The engine range is much as before, with a traditional 69bhp 1.2-litre petrol as well as those thrummy little two-cylinder Twinair turbo engines, which offer as much as 105bhp.
There’s a diesel too, but with most of the petrols emitting less than 100g/km, you don’t want that. For those who like to, y’know, drive, burbling little 1.4-litre turbo Abarth hot hatch iterations surely aren’t too far away.
As before, you can choose between a traditional hatchback or the open-sardine-can 500C cabrio. Prices start at £10,890, and you can expect plenty of accessible finance offers to get the yoof behind the wheel. This or a Renault Twingo, internet?