Fresh off of the success of the first Gucci-inspired Fiat 500, the Italian automaker is back for another round of luxury goodness.
This time around, Fiat once again looked the way of its compatriot Gucci to dress up the new 500 Cabriolet. The new special edition 500 fell under the guidance of Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini in collaboration with the Centro Stile Fiat, and to their credit, the Gucci magic gives the small Fiat hatchback the luxury upgrade few fashion houses can compete with.
Just like the first version, the changes were entirely aesthetic, which means that the powertrain remains the same. But for people who care more about how the car looks than how it performs - Fiat 500s aren’t about ponies, anyway - the new 500C by Gucci is right up their avenue.
Interested buyers can now pre-order the car on the www.500bygucci.com website. The asking price (€20,000) is a little more expensive than the last one (17,000) but even if it’s a little pricey for our standards, people who enjoy a little dash of luxury on their hatchbacks will have no problem shelling out that amount for a car that has been "Gucci’d" up.
UPDATE 08/17/2011: The Fiat 500 by Gucci will be heading to the States in time for New York Fashion Week, beginning on September 8, 2011. Anyone who is interested in buying the special edition hatchback will be able to drive away in one, as well as purchase a number of Gucci clothing and personal accessories such as handbags, watches, shoes, and sunglasses that will also be at the event.
More details on the Fit 500 by Gucci after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
The new 500 by Gucci will feature two unique color schemes: a white with matte chrome plated version and a glossy black with shiny chrome-plated accents.
Both models will come with a black soft-top that’s been designed with the Italian fashion house’s iconic green-red-green Gucci web pattern printed lengthwise. The wheels, meanwhile, are set on 16" allows and characterized by a special spokes with a retro design, perfect for the whole set-up of the luxed-up hatchback. Even the caps on the wheels come with Gucci’s iconic double "G" insignia with a matching italicized brand signatures on both the door pillar and the tailgate.
Inside, Gucci elements are also prevalent, including a stylish stitching unique to the Italian brand. High-end materials were also used, as were satin and polished chrome-plated elements with a velvet-like finish on the radio panel. As for the seats, they all come with a two-tone Frau leather with the popular ’Guccisima’ print. Another popular logo of the Italian fashion house, the "Gucci" web theme, is also finished on the seats, gearbox, key cover, mats, and on the seat belts.
On top of all the Gucci styling elements that have been added to the car, standard equipments will also be around, including an automatic climate control system, seven airbags (front, side, window and knee), Blue&Me system integrated with rear parking sensors, car radio with CD-MP3 player and leather steering wheel with radio controls.
Even if the aesthetics have been given a drastic make-over, the powertrain of this special edition 500C remains the same. That means that it will come with an all-new 1.4-liter 16-valve engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology, delivering an output of 101 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb/ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine is then paired to a five-speed manual transmission, with a fuel-efficiency return of 38 highway mpg.
The last Gucci-inspired model of the Fiat 500 was sold for €17,000 - around $23,000 - from April 1st to June 30th of this year. Those who missed out on the first run of the car can now pre-order the convertible cvariant at www.500bygucci.com at a slightly higher price of €20,000, or about $28,000 based on current exchange rates.
You won’t find another Fiat 500C that will cost just short of $30,000 except for this one. That figure alone is a 50% spike in the price of a standard 500C so you could pretty much conclude that the Gucci name alone accounts for that jump in price.
That’s why this car is so difficult to judge relative to its competition. The powertrain remains virtually the same so don’t expect any surprises there and when you take that into account with the price tag, paying $30,000 for a car that nets only 101 ponies is just ridiculous. Add a few more thousands to your budget and you can get an American muscle for that price.
This car is all about Gucci. Buying it should be based solely on the added luxury that comes with having one of the foremost Italian fashion houses attached to it. Will we fork over $30,000 for that alone? Not really. The $23,000 price tag for the first version was a little justified for us, albeit barely.
But there’s always a market for cars like this. That’s why the first version was so popular in the first place.
Gucci name adds luxury to the car
Cabrio version is sexy
Those double ’G’ caps look awesome
Way too expensive
No powertrain upgrade
Appeals only to a certain market