Fiat had first introduced the 500, or Cinquecento, back in 1957. It will always be remembered as a cheap, practical and easy-to-drive car, which put Italy on wheels, much like what the Maruti 800 did for India, VW Beetle did for the Germans and the Mini for England. In 2007, Fiat reintroduced the iconic car in a modern avatar while managing to retain most of its retro looks. Seven years down the line, Fiat has now decided to give the 500 another makeover and the folks at AutoExpress are already out with a set of renderings the new car. To go on sale by 2016, the new car will be wider and longer than the current car and feature a host of retro styling cues as well as latest technological updates.
The car is currently being developed at Fiat's headquarters in Turin, Italy. The decision to increase the dimensions of the car has been taken to suit the needs of customers in the US, which currently is its biggest market. The car will continue to be offered as a three-door hatchback while a five-door version will be placed a segment higher, to slot in between the three-door car and the 500L. Riding on an enhanced platform of the Fiat Punto, the car will replace the same, rivaling the likes of the Ford Fiesta.
Following the footsteps of BMW, the 500 will only be gain styling updates rather than get an all-new look. Most of the changes will be made inside the car and AE expects the car to take inspiration from the 2004 Trepiuno concept. The renderings show large oval headlights outlined by LED rings, oversized tail-lamps and rubbing strips along the sides. Inside, the instrument cluster will be replaced by a full TFT screen. The dashboard will integrate a touch screen infotainment system with navigation.
The engine lineup is expected to be carried over from the current car with tuning for better performance and efficiency and lower emissions. The 500 has been a great success for Fiat, which might be one of the reasons why the Italian manufacturer is in no hurry with this new one. The 500 was Europe’s top-selling city car and also has a huge following in the US. More details are expected to be revealed over time, though Fiat has one mammoth task in its hands to replace such a popular car.