The Fiat 500 is living proof that a high-end lifestyle doesn’t always mean driving the biggest and most powerful four-wheeled machines on the planet. Thanks to the 500, you can still enjoy the finer things in life while not having to sell your soul for the name of luxury. The marketing boys over at Fiat have found a new way to infuse these two tenets in one small and cute package by striking a partnership with noted Italian luxury brand, Gucci.
Seeing as both groups are celebrating anniversaries of some sort this year – Fiat is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy whereas Gucci is celebrating its 90th birthday - it seemed like a logical move to join forces and, well, celebrate together, all in the name of the red, white, and green. The special edition 500 was born from a collaboration between Fiat’s Centro Stile and Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini. The car will be on the stand at the Geneva Motor Show together with a Gucci pop-up store within the Fiat stand.
UPDATE 05/09/11: US fans of the Fiat 500 by Gucci will be happy to know that the Italian automaker has approved the availability of the special edition hatchback to the US market. Featuring several styling cues inspired by the world-famous fashion house, the 500 by Gucci is a true collector’s piece for any fan of both brands. Also, Fiat has released a set of new images for the car posing with - what else? - a hot model. Good times all around!
Find out more about the Fiat 500 by Gucci after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
The 500 by Gucci will come in two available exterior body colors: black with chrome details and white with satin chrome details. Both versions of the 500 Gucci will have a number of styling references of the Italian luxury fashion shop, including hubcaps that feature the unmistakable interlocking ‘GG’ logo that’s been synonymous with Gucci for as long as the brand has been alive. The Italian design house will also have its signature printed on the 500’s rear hatch and B-column while the rear brake calipers will come in the iconic ‘Gucci green’ color. But the most telling part of the car’s ‘ode to Gucci’ exterior is the fashion company’s signature green-red-green stripe, which runs along the entire perimeter of the 500. Rounding out the upgrades on the exterior is a set of 16” alloy wheels.
As for the interior, each of the two versions of the 500 Gucci will have their own set of interior colors with the black version getting a two-tone black and white interior while the white version is getting a similar two-tone ivory and black finish. And just like the Gucci house-stripes dress-up the outside of the car, the interior also gets the same green-red-green stripe treatment on the seats, the seatbelts, the key-cover, the gear knob, and the carpets.
Under its hood, both versions of the 500 by Gucci will come with a 1.4-liter TwinAir two-cylinder engine that produces 100 horsepower.
For the privilege of owning one of these limited edition 500 models, you’re going to need to pre-order online at www.500bygucci.com from April 1st to June 30th, 2011 for €17,000, or about $23,000 based on current exchange rates.
Fiat did well for themselves with this partnership with Gucci. Not only were they able to combine two market bases - the young group and the rich folks - with one car, but the price tag for the car isn’t big enough to scare away those who thought they might not be able to afford it. Heck, if you can get a Gucci-branded car for less than $25,000, that’s a pretty good deal.
Having said that, there’s still the matter of comparing this car to one that knows a thing or two about special editions: the MINI Cooper.
To be fair, the MINI Cooper is actually a car that can put the 500 to task any day of the week. It’s got a more powerful 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 121 horsepower compared to the 500’s 1.4-liter TwinAir two-cylinder with 100 ponies.
Any other time, we’re going to give the nod to the Cooper, but for this special occasion, the ’Gucci Influence’ swings the pendulum the 500’s way, but that’s just us. Heck, we’d even stomach this particular 500’s $23,000-something price tag. All in the name of Gucci, friends.
- Fiat 500 gets luxed up
- We dig the 16" rims
- Gucci. Gucci. Gucci.
- Price may be a little steep for a 500
- No performance upgrades
- No (free) souvenirs?