This is the New, 2016 FIAT 500 – yes seriously!

150703_FIAT_Nuova-500_03You might not be able to tell by a quick glance, but what you’re looking at here is the new, 2016 FIAT 500.

Doubtless you’ll be scratching your head for a few minutes to spot any differences between it and the model that has been sold globally over the last eight years, but there are quite a few.

According to Centro Stile, FIAT’s design studio, the 2016 500 “has a refreshed exterior and interior, retaining the unmistakable 500 look that has made it such a global success but at the same time making it even more attractive and contemporary.” The automaker added, “It has not grown in size but it has grown in maturity with advanced technologies, improved efficiency and even more customisation ideas. In this way, FIAT has carefully evolved and refined the features which have made it an Italian masterpiece in the first place.”

150703_FIAT_Nuova-500_48Like its predecessor, this “masterpiece” is going to be offered as either a coupe or convertible, and will be available in three trim levels: Pop, Pop Star, and Lounge. All models have LED daytime running lights, seven airbags and a Uconnect infotainment system with six speakers, AUX-IN/USB ports and steering wheel remote controls as standard equipment. The Pop Star version adds air conditioning, body-colour mirror caps with defrosting function and 15-inch alloy wheels, while the Lounge version adds sophisticated features such as a panoramic glass sunroof, rear parking sensors, a chrome front grille, front fog lights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a Uconnect 5” LIVE touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration and numerous built-in apps.

The engine line-up of the 2016 FIAT 500 at launch includes a 0.9-litre TwinAir engine (85 hp or 105 hp) and a 1.2-litre 69 hp unit. The two-cylinder engines boast exceptional efficiency – 90g/km for the 85hp engine and 99g/km for the 105hp unit – while a new ‘Eco’ configurations of the 1.2 litre 69hp (available after the launch) will reduce emissions to 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer. It is not yet confirmed which powertrains will be offered in Canada and the U.S.150703_FIAT_Nuova-500_04

FIAT says, the 2016 500 is “bold and seductive, and benefits from no fewer than 1,800 innovative detail changes, all designed to enhance the ownership experience and refine its inimitable style. Most noticeable are the new front headlights with LED daytime running lights and the new rear light clusters, not to mention the revised colour palette; the revamped dashboard and the improved materials used throughout. The updates are substantial, with a focus on technological evolution, but loyal to the unmistakable 500 style so as not to upset the successful balance of exclusivity and accessibility it embodies.”

The Italian automaker goes on to say, “the FIAT 500 is a global best-seller with a quintessentially Italian heart – elegant and stylish but also affordable and packed with fun – and with its carefully considered enhancements, the 2016 FIAT 500 will undoubtedly reassert itself as the benchmark in its segment from every perspective.”

Pricing information for the 2016 FIAT 500 has not been revealed for North America, but expect it to hit local dealerships in the last quarter of this year.

— For more automotive news, check out: www.weeklyvoice.com

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