Fiat unveils retro Vintage ’57 500

Fiat has unveiled a new limited edition retro-style homage to the original 1957 Fiat 500, the new Fiat 500 Vintage ’57.

A contemporary take on the design of the very first 500 superminis, the Vintage ’57 is packed with unique and distinctive features like a white roof and spoiler, plus its funky pastel coloured finishes.

Nod to the original Fiat 500

It also comes with a roof-coloured antenna and mirror covers, but perhaps the most unique feature on the new Vintage ’57 is its vintage-style 16-inch alloy wheels.

A nod to the wheels used on the original 500, the new alloys have been updated and refined for modern tastes, and also feature period-accurate Fiat badging, which continues on the front and rear.

The bright, chirpy theme continues inside with a white dashboard and tan-coloured leather seats with ivory coloured ‘half-moon’ inserts and special Fiat 500 embroidery on the upholstery.

Despite its retro styling, there’s nothing old fashioned about the technology that’s included with the Vintage ’57, as it comes with a full range of modern kit to keep drivers comfortable and entertained.

Standard kit includes air conditioning, start-stop technology and electronic stability control, along with a hill holder function that prevents the car from rolling backwards during hill starts.

Alongside that, the Vintage ’57 also features seven airbags for occupant safety, along with Fiat’s Blue&Me hands-free infotainment system, which drivers can connect their smartphones to.

Two engines will be available in the special-edition 500, a 68bhp 1.2-litre petrol and a slightly more powerful award-winning 0.9-litre turbocharged with an 84bhp output.

Redefined small cars

Launched as the Nuova 500 in July 1957, the original Fiat 500 was a cheap and practical town car, so much so that many of the original models can still be seen on the roads of Italy even today.

Measuring in at just under three metres long and powered by an appropriately-sized two-cylinder engine, the 500 went on to redefine the term ‘small car’ and is considered among the first city cars.

Back in the 50s, the high-tech computer programs and clay models used to build modern cars weren’t around, so Fiat’s designers had to physically construct wooden models to design it.

Serving as master templates, the wooden bucks created by the company’s designers were gradually tweaked and shaved down over the years as the design evolved and the 500 grew.

Nearly 60 years on, and the Fiat 500 is as popular as ever, having been sold in more than 100 countries around the world and with more than 1.5 million models produced so far.

Due to be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the limited edition Fiat 500 Vintage ’57 will go on sale in the UK from April, priced from £12,545.