Fiat has finally revealed the new 500, which replaces its popular predecessor after 13 years. The 2020 model is still stylish and desirable, but now comes with electric power. At this pivotal moment in the history of the Cinquecento, we decided to look back at its 63 years so far.
2020 Fiat 50e
If you look closely at the new electric 500, you’ll see they’ve replaced the last ‘0’ in some of the badges with an ‘e’. Subtle, but effective.
Revolution under evolution
Underneath, more serious changes were needed, given the last 500 had been on sale for 13 years. This one uses an all-new platform, with an electric-only powertrain good for 199 miles of range (WLTP).
Preserving the icon
But you won’t spit your cappucino out upon first seeing it. The style icon is still instantly recognisable. Modern LED headlights keep the circular look, but in a new and interesting way. It’s still cute.
Minimal cabin, maximum tech
They’ve done the same on the inside, too. While there’s now a giant touchscreen and Fiat’s new user interface, which allows drivers to control parts of the car with their phone, the retro feel remains.
Yours for £29,000
The launch edition convertible, called La Prima, is limited to 500 units and available to order now. The full price will be £29,000 after the Plug-in Car Grant is deducted. Yes, that’s a fair bit, given the rival Honda e and Mini Electric are a few thousand less, but they also offer less range.
Three one-offs to be auctioned for charity
One-off designs from Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell are going up for auction to raise money for charity. If you want one, you’ll need to bid… Now, at this pivotal moment in the history of the Cinquecento, let’s look back at its 63 years so far.
Nuova 500: launched in 1957
The Nuova 500 launched in 1957 and helped mobilise an entire nation.
Nearly 3.8 million produced
During an 18-year production life, nearly 3.8 million units were produced.
Built in Turin
The Fiat 500 was built at the famous Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin.
Parade in Turin
Here we see a parade of new Fiat 500s just around the corner from the factory in Turin.
Powered by a 479cc engine
The first cars were powered by a two-cylinder, 479cc, air-cooled engine.
Measured just 9-feet long
The Fiat 500 measured just 9-feet long and was one of the very first city cars ever built.
Lights, camera, action
The 500’s cute styling meant it was a natural in front of the camera.
In 1958, seven Fiat 500s entered the Liege-Brescia-Liege Rally and finished 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th and 13th.
This cut-away drawing shows the Fiat 500 at its simplistic best. It was incredibly easy to maintain.
New Fiat badge
From 1972, the 500 featured the new Fiat badge on the front.
Fiat 500 De Luxe
This is a Fiat 500 De Luxe, produced between 1968 and 1972. Note the chrome nudge bars on the front and rear.
Fiat 500 De Luxe
Has there ever been a prettier city car? Discuss…
Fiat 500 Abarth
Here’s an early Fiat 500 Abarth on what appears to be the famous rooftop test track in Turin.
Fiat 500 in Britain
A group of UK journalists inspect the new Fiat 500.
A photo showing the spartan interior of the Fiat 500.
It’s impossible to look at this photo and not smile. The 500 has that effect on people.
We challenge anyone to drive a Fiat 500 and not spend the entire time grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
World’s largest display of Fiat cars
In 2006, the Fiat 500 Club Italia organised the world’s largest display of Fiat cars, when 754 cars turned up for a parade.
Turin to Beijing
And these chaps drove from Turin to the Olympic Games in Beijing, a journey of some 20,000km.
Fiat 500s at Monaco
Here’s a group of Fiat 500s tackling the famous Monaco GP circuit. We doubt they set a fastest lap time.
Yes, the 500s do appear to have red noses on the front.
Old meets new
In this photo, the new Fiat 500 looks to be the same size as the original. As we know, this is not the case.
Launched in 2007
The all-new Fiat 500 was launched in 2007 and fast became the must-have accessory to be seen in.
It’s a dog’s life
Has anyone lost a dog?
Seriously, this dog appears to be lost.
Oh, it’s OK. The dog has found its owner. Although someone has left a Fiat 500 on the beach.
All aboard the Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 is many things, but the last time we looked you couldn’t take it to water.
Fiat 500 Ferrari
There have been many, many Fiat 500 special editions produced since 2007, including the 500 Sport Ferrari.
New 2015 Fiat 500
Fiat unveiled a facelifted 500 in 2015, which was said to benefit from 1,800 detail changes.
1.5 million produced
At that point, more than 1.5 million ‘new’ Fiat 500s had been built. Wisely, Fiat didn’t stray far from the recipe for its update.
Available in hatchback and convertible
The Fiat 500 facelift was available in both hatchback and convertible forms.
Fiat teamed up with Riva to give a select few special 500s a luxury speedboat feel. It worked, although we wouldn’t advise crossing any rivers…
Curiously, very soon before the new 2020 500 was launched, Fiat revealed a mild hybrid model. We suspect this will be the electrified 500 you can actually buy in 2020, before the fully electric version follows in 2021.
The all-new 500
Now, the new 500 for 2020. Keep clicking for more pictures of it.