Jumat, 22 November 2013

LA Show 2013 Highlights: 2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition

Automakers love to create anniversary editions to spur sales. Tenth anniversary Miatas, 50th anniversary 911s, oodles of commemorative Corvettes, but is a 57-year celebration really necessary? Leave it to Fiat to present us with a 2014 500 tagged as the 1957 Edition in the 57th year since the brand’s first Nuova 500 was produced. This step back would be lost on Americans, enamored with tail-finned Chevys and Plymouth Furys that year, but history must be served. That Nuova 500 was conceived by Dante Giacosa, the genius who also penned the prewar Fiat Topolino, two little machines as important to Italy as Ford’s Model T was to the U.S.

But what does a tribute to 1957 get you today? Well, Fiat begins with its Lounge trim level and adds throwback exterior finishes Bianco, Verde Chiaro, and Celeste. (That’s white, light green, and baby blue for those not familiar with Italiano.) The 16-inch retro-look wheels are finished in body color and white, housing vintage Fiat emblems, and a white roof and white mirror caps are available.

That exterior is a nice touch, but it’s the dashboard that really takes you back. Both its shape and Avorio (ivory) finish are reminiscent of the 1950s. Leave it to the Italians to effectively mix ivory, Grigio (gray), and Marrone (brown); the latter used on the leather seats, the door panels, the inside of the steering wheel, and shifter boot. Contrasting ivory stitching over the rich leather seats looks very uptown. Our biggest disappointment is that rather than including a ’50s-era tube radio, Fiat opted for a six-speaker, 276-watt audio system.

The Fiat 500 1957 Edition is powered by the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder found throughout the Italians’ American lineup, although engine specifics are not available. The mill will back up to a choice of a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Pricing information should become available closer to the ’57 Edition’s on-sale date of next spring.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

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