It may be an economy car first and foremost, but the Fiat 500 is still driven by style. I can’t get enough of it. The modern version uses those retro looks and cheerful attitude of the classic Cinquecento to elevate frugal motoring to a decidedly fancy place. Fiat provides a good reminder that you don’t have to spend $50,000 to get a fun car that reflects your personality these days.
In 2014, Fiat augmented that bottom line with the 1957 Edition, which dressed up the 500 with even more of the classic style of the original. Even better! If you’re going retro, go all the way, hubcaps and all! And you’ll never catch me complaining about body-colored wheels, though I’m sure some aftermarket company will find a way to make me eat those words. The popular limited-edition “1957” is back for 2015, and this time it’s available as a ragtop. An open-air version of the adorable little Italian seems like a natural step.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio.

  • 2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    five-speed manual
  • MPG(Cty):
    31
  • MPG(Hwy):
    40
  • Displacement:
    1.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    10 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    24700
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio Exterior
- image 626577

The diminutive Fiat 500 is defined by its short and tall dimensions. It’s the stubbiest car this side of aSmart fortwo, but it wears the look well, with a character crease bisecting the fat body, round headlights and a neat little chrome moustache. Saying that I like it is probably redundant, since I’m a fan of small, weird-looking cars. But the strong sales of the 500 suggest that I’m not the only one who appreciates this car’s flair.

Saying that I like it is probably redundant, since I’m a fan of small, weird-looking cars.

Short overhangs and a slope that’s similar front and rear complete the basic look. But seriously, the Fiat 500 doesn’t have a “basic look.” There’s a bit of character in every curve of its sheetmetal. The 500 Cabriolet is a subtle ragtop, with the side rails intact and a canvas center section that folds down to a visible stack at the rear. The result is an open-air experience without any cowl shake or wind buffeting at speed (as if you’d get much cowl shake from a gumdrop in any case).

The 1957 Edition takes things even further, with classic-style Fiat badging, contrasting-color mirror caps and body-color and chrome-accented wheels that mimic the partial hubcaps of the original. I like to think Audrey Hepburn would approve and have one to match each of several outfits. ("Why-y yes, i-it’s cute as a bu-ug’s eah!") Fiat’s broad color palette would encourage this, and the 1957 Edition sports three unique, very ’50s colors: white, pale green, or pale blue.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 90.6 Inches (2,300 MM)
Track, Front 55.4 Inches (1,406.8 MM)
Track, Rear 55.0 Inches (1,397.0 MM)
Overall Length 139.6 Inches (3,546.7 MM)
Overall Width 64.1 Inches (1,627.0 MM)
Overall Height 59.8 Inches (1,519 MM)

Interior

2015 Fiat 500 Interior
- image 613438

Note: Fiat 500 Edition 1957 automatic transmission interior pictured.

On the inside, the Fiat’s good looks continue. This car may be small, but it doesn’t feel like an entry-level vehicle by any stretch. Body-color trim on the dash and doors brings the outside inside, and the instrument panel’s cream-colored backing offers some added visual flair. Can you get four passengers inside? Why, yes, you can. Can you blast your eardrums out with a 276-watt premium sound system? Of course! The 1957 Edition sports elegantly styled brown-and-ivory leather upholstery and interior appointments.

Drivetrain

Motivation for the Fiat 500 comes from the 1.4 liter MultiAir four-cylinder that sees duty in the standard Fiat 500. It’s producing just 101 horsepower. I try not to get hung up on horsepower numbers; what matters is how the car feels on the road, and the flyweight 500 accelerates like it should. It’s enthusiastic and responsive in the way that a good lightweight economy car should be, but it’s also obviously not a sports car.

It’s enthusiastic and responsive in the way that a good lightweight economy car should be, but it's also obviously not a sports car.

The best adjective I can find for this car’s performance is “cheerful,” and that is definitely influenced by the 1957 Edition’s funky style. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic available. The manual has a crunchy feel, as if it’s trying to remind drivers that this is an economy car at heart. The 31/40 fuel economy is unaffected by the 1957 Edition, so you can have your stylish Italian subcompact and save gas too.

It’s hard not to be nimble with barely 2,500 pounds to toss around. The suspension uses MacPherson struts up front and a twist beam at the rear and is responsive and communicative, but really Fiat probably could have stuffed the crude rear trailing arms from the original car under there and it would still be a good time. Of course, you wouldn’t get the stability control or anti-lock brakes, so I’m not complaining, just observing that the bar is comfortably low when your competition includes cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage and Toyota Yaris.

Actually, though neither company likes to admit it, the Mini Cooper is also a competitor to the Fiat, and it absolutely blows the 500 away in terms of handling, but that’s a different matter entirely. The 1957 Edition has a tweaked suspension for a slightly sportier ride, and the wheels are 16-inchers. The suspension change is minimal, and for the most part the 1957 Edition drives just like the regular model.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type and Description Inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement 83.48 cu. in. (1,368 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 2.83 x 3.31 (72.0 x 84.0)
Valve System Belt-driven, MultiAir, SOHC, 16 valves, hydraulic end-pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Cast iron block with aluminum-alloy heads and aluminum-alloy bedplate
Compression Ratio 10.8:1
Power (SAE net) 101 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque (SAE net) 97 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed 6,900 rpm (electronically limited)

Prices

The Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio starts at $24,700, a premium of $1900 over the 500c Lounge model.

Competition

Mini Cooper

2014 Mini Cooper High Resolution Exterior
- image 532669

As the other stylish and retro European premium subcompact on the market, the Mini gets compared to the Fiat 500 quite frequently. The box-like styling hides a serious sporty car, even in base form. Mini’s got a special flavor of lightheartedness, with go-kart handling and a number of performance hop-ups available from the factory. A massive color palette and customizable roof and mirror-cap coloration ensures that almost no Mini looks quite the same as another.

Read our full review here.

Smart fortwo

2015 Smart Fortwo High Resolution Exterior
- image 560227

The fortwo appeals to a much narrower market than the Fiat 500, but makes no less of a fashion statement. And yes, it can keep up with traffic on the freeway just fine, thank you. It’s got a polarizing, bug-like design, an equally polarizing dual-clutch transmission and lacks a back seat, but this car is committed to shouting your personal style as loudly as possible. A number of special editions and personalization features make the fortwo a decent fashion accessory as well.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 626557

Cars have always been about style, but the Fiat 500 has succeeded in making them just as much about your personal fashion. The 1957 Edition takes the car’s retro styling to the next level. This is already a distinctive ride, and with classic-accented styling it’s positively irresistible.

  • Leave it
    • Limited usefulness due to size
    • Surprisingly crude manual transmission

Press Release

Just in time for the spring and summer top-down driving season, the FIAT brand today introduced the new Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio.

2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio High Resolution Exterior
- image 626554

The FIAT brand continues to celebrate the storied past of the historic Nuova 500 with the addition of a cabrio version of the popular Fiat 500 1957 Edition, which was introduced in 2014. The Fiat 500c 1957 Edition features a premium dual-layer power-operated cloth top – a contemporary solution to the famous canvas roof on the original Cinquecento – designed to deliver all-season driving pleasure with the top up or down.

“We continue to expand the FIAT lineup,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America. "The Fiat 500 1957 Edition celebrates the spirit of the original 1957 Nuova 500, and with the arrival of a cabrio version, we are adding open-air fun to the iconic Italian-designed Fiat 500 1957 Edition.”

Pricing for the well-equipped limited-production model starts at $24,700 U.S. MSRP, just $1,900 more than a base Fiat 500c Lounge. The Fiat 500c 1957 Edition is available for orders now and will arrive at studios this spring.

With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500c 1957 Edition’s power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to a best-in-class 60 mph (a midway point may be chosen by pressing the button anytime between). Press the roof button again, and the roof will neatly fold all the way open and tuck neatly behind the rear head restraints (up to 50 mph).

The power cloth top offers even more technology. When the liftgate is opened for trunk access, the power-operated cloth top automatically retracts back to the rear-spoiler position to avoid any obstruction.

Now available as either a hatchback or a cabrio, the 2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition includes a sport-tuned suspension for improved handling, 16-inch forged aluminum wheels with a retro body-color design, throwback “FIAT” badging and a premium Marrone (brown) and Avorio (ivory) leather interior. The model is available in three classic exterior colors: Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (light green) and exclusive Celeste (celestial blue).

2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio Exterior
- image 626555

About the Fiat 500 1957 Edition
There’s a romance about Italian cars, brands, fashion and design that make goods from this artisan nation among the most coveted around the globe. Since 1957, the Fiat 500 has embodied all four, empowering the Cinquecento to become one of the most iconic automobiles of all time. Nearly 60 years later, and with sales in more than 100 countries, the Fiat 500 1957 Edition commemorates its roots in uniquely crafted detail.

Based on the Fiat 500 Lounge model, the 1957 Edition enhances its iconic silhouette with a vintage look, thanks to classic exterior colors for this limited-edition Cinquecento, including Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (light green) or Celeste (celestial blue). Inspired by the 1957 Fiat "Nuova" Cinquecento, an exclusive 16-inch retro wheel design features a wide chromed lip, body-color accent and large center cap with historic "FIAT" emblem. For improved handling, a sport-tuned suspension and all-season performance tires are standard. Completing the look are throwback "FIAT" badges on the front fascia and rear liftgate.

Continuing the 1957 Edition’s vintage look is an Avorio (ivory) interior environment contrasted by premium Marrone (brown) leather seats. Avorio accent stitching vertically crosses the seatbacks and seat cushions, while detailed stitching at the perimeter adds to the Cinquecento’s craftsmanship. For added contrast, Grigio (grey) door panels feature a unique Avorio inner panel, while Marrone door armrests and shift boot (with manual transmission) are color-keyed to the leather seats for a harmonious look. An exclusive Avorio leather-wrapped steering wheel is hand-stitched with Marrone leather on the "inner ring," and features a retro "FIAT" badge, illustrating how the FIAT brand takes craftsmanship to heart. Adding to the historic theme is a uniquely styled key fob with Marrone casing and Avorio-painted "1957" graphic. For driving enjoyment, the six-speaker and 276-watt FIAT premium audio system with SiriusXM Radio is also included.

2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Cabrio High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 626557

The Fiat 500 1957 Edition features the innovative 1.4-liter MultiAir engine and C514 five-speed manual transmission, delivering an EPA estimated 31 miles per gallon (mpg) city and 40 mpg highway. With all FIAT products, engaging dynamics are essential, and the 1957 Edition includes a driver-selectable "Sport" mode on the instrument panel to unleash a more aggressive throttle map. Additionally, an optional six-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable gear changes is also available. In Sport mode, the automatic transmission offers a more aggressive shift schedule and throttle map for improved engine responsiveness.

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