Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Fiat favourite’s latest guise embraces the sporting life

Fiat favourite’s latest guise embraces the sporting life

THE ubiquitous Fiat 500, first launched way back in 1957, has seemingly been with us forever in some shape or form.

And in 2021 this plucky little car which has so brilliantly endured over the years comes to us in a variety of guises.

This includes a new 500 Full Electric and a 500 Hybrid, not to mention the 500X Sport — the car I have been driving this week.

But that is not all. Staying ahead of the game, Fiat has announced a partnership with Google to create a “Hey Google” special series for the 500 family, more on which later.

The 500X Sport Firefly Turbo 1.3 150HP is equipped with a turbo-charged engine together with a DCT automatic transmission.

This combination turns in a top speed of 124mph, and 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds with a combined mpg of 40.9. Not bad for a sporty little flyer of a car.

The new 500X Sport also benefits from tuned suspension with a 13mm reduction in ride height. It can be specified with optional 19-inch alloy wheels with performance tyres and black finishing. This achieves better road grip and dynamism.

The 500X Sport with 1.3 FireFly Turbo 150hp petrol engine, with DCT automatic transmission, has Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) on the front and rear suspension and adjusted shock absorbers for improved road holding.

The new Sport model offers body coloured side skirts and wheel arches, diffuser-style rear bumper, dual chrome exhaust and the full LED headlights and fog lamps.

Sport Red pastel paint is available exclusively on the Sport model, while there are titanium grey details on the handles, front bumper inserts, front moulding, mirror caps and a Myron “500” logo on the boot lid.

In addition to the exclusive Sport Red pastel paint, other colour options include Ice White, Cinema Black, Fashion Grey and Italia Blue, all of which can be combined with a black roof for a two-tone exterior.

Inside there is an aluminium gear knob and a techno-leather flat-based sports steering wheel with Alcantara inserts.

There is a smart Titanium grey dashboard, red elements on the instrument panel and specific TFT graphics plus Myron details finished with red stitching.

The standard Alcantara upholstered steering wheel and the instrument panel cover add a touch of sporting elegance. Aluminium pedals and ambient interior lighting complete the 500X Sport’s interior.

The new 500X has driving assistance systems as standard, including Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Assist.

A Uconnect seven-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation, compatible with Apple CarPlay and with Android Auto, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors and Cruise Control are also standard.

The 500X Sport can be equipped with a choice of two petrol engines, a 1.0-litre with 120hp and six-speed manual gearbox, and a 1.3-litre with 150hp and six-speed DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission, complete with steering wheel controls.

“Hey Google” will allow customers to connect to their car even when they are away from it, using their voice to request and receive information on the car and to interact with it.

They will do so via their smartphone or the Google Nest Hub, a digital display included with the welcome kit they receive when purchasing a new 500 Family Hey Google car.

The Hey Google special series increases customer interaction with the car. Even from a sofa at home, all it takes is to say “Hey Google, ask my Fiat ...” to find out where the car is parked, how much fuel is left, and the location of the nearest workshop.

I think the Fiat 500 family will just grow and grow and continue to surprise us into the next few decades.

Evidence of this abounds with the Fiat 500 being crowned Best EV City Car at the 2021 Fleet World Great British Fleet Awards.

Some 2.5million 500 models have now been produced at the Stellantis plant in Tychy, Poland.

The landmark vehicle, ordered by a customer from France, is a 500 Hybrid equipped with a 70hp mild hybrid engine.

The Fiat 500 story is by no means over.


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