Fiat brings the luxury and elegance of the Aquariva Super yacht to the 500 with this unique special edition model

Fiat gives the 500 credit as being a “strong contributor to motorizing Italy,” and since it’s introduction n 1957 it has earned a cult-like following with over four million units sold. It became known as a model that made mobility accessible and “expressed a deep-seated zest for life.” At the same time, back in the late 50s and early 60s, the same feeling was said to be expressed by the Riva speedboat – a boat that was meticulously executed with premium quality materials and was often looked to as a symbol of perfection. Since the Riva and the 500 both shared a similar cult-like following, Fiat decided to throw both into a blender and created the car you see here, the Fiat 500 Riva special edition.

As a model that was built in partnership with Riva, the car is said to “stand out for its unique appearance and refined details” and is “Synonymous with elegance and Italian taste.” The model itself is offered as a coupe or a convertible and takes on more interior design changes than anything, with the exterior limited to minor additions like chrome mirror caps, pin striping, and some extra trim inserts. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise you that Fiat would drop a special-edition model that isn’t all that modified – it seems to be the name of the game these days, as manufacturers get even better at tooting their own horns and placing the “special edition” name on anything with a few extra options.

With that said, the 500 Riva does have some interesting interior characteristics that do set it apart from the standard 500, while at the same time paying tribute to the Aquariva Super yacht, which is the current Riva icon. So, let’s take a look at this special model and see what all the hype is about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500 Riva.

What makes the Fiat 500 Riva special

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Exterior
- image 680813

To start off, Fiat finished the exterior of the 500 Riva in a “Sera Blue,” which is exclusive to this model only and is borrowed from the palette offered for the Aquariva Super. On convertible models, the Riva gets a blue drop top while the coupe gets a panoramic roof. Chrome trim can be found on the door handles, mirror covers, and the trim on the bonnet – similar to that found on the Aquariva Super. While it is a little hard to see under certain lighting, there is an aquamarine pinstripe that runs from the front headlights all the way back to the rear, a feature Fiat says is there to recall the “beautiful line of a yacht.” To round out the exterior package, the car comes equipped with 16-inch, 20-spoke light alloy rims that have an exclusive blue finish and are designed specifically for this special edition.

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Interior
- image 680821

On the inside, The most notable feature is the hand-painted mahogany with maple wooden inlay. It features a central stripe and prominently displays the “Riva” logo on the passenger side, near the right-most HVAC vent. The wood itself is actually built onto an ultralight carbon shell to make it stronger without adding unnecessary weight. You can also find the same wood prominently displayed as part of the steering wheel, and there is a mahogany shift knob, two features that also harken to the Aquariva Super. The door sills, like the shifter knob, are carved from a solid piece of wood.

Moving over to the comfortable aspects of the interior, the seats have been wrapped in exclusive ivory leather that was created by Poltrona Frau. To make the seating design even more bespoke, the ivory stitching carries a contrasting tone on the seat piping. The side seat strips are done up in Sera Blue, just like the exterior, as are the edges of the seat belts. You’ll find a “Riva” logo embroidered on both front seats as well. The floor mats have ivory hems with Sera Blue stitching, as does the mat in the rear that features a wood insert with the “Riva” logo. All told, the black and ivory interior seems like it would offset the interior a little too much, but with the extra hints of Sera Blue and the few wooden inlays, the interior comes together quite nicely. Not bad, Fiat; not bad.

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Exterior
- image 680809

Before we move on to what is offered under the hood, I want to point out that the 500 Riva comes equipped with a Uconnect seven-inch HD live touchscreen display and standard equipment. The system includes Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, a 3.5-mm auxiliary input, and music streaming. A digital radio or 3D TomTom navigation can be specified as an add-on. Another great option is the BeatsAudio system that was developed in conjunction with Beats by Dr. Dre. It boasts a total system output of 440 watts, all of which is sent to two dome tweeters, two midwoofers in the front doors, two full-range units in the rear side panels, and a larger subwoofer in the spare wheel compartment in the rear.

The 500 Riva is offered with a number of engines, including a 1.2-liter Fire unit that delivers 68 horsepower and has an Eco function. There are also a TwinAir 0.9-liter two-cylinder that offers up either 85 horsepower or 105 horsepower. On the diesel front, you’ll find a 1.3-liter Multijet on the list that delivers 95 horsepower. According to Fiat, the Fiat 500 is the only car in its segment to offer a turbodiesel so, you know, there’s that. Fiat didn’t release performance figures for all of the engines, but the 95-horsepower diesel can push the 500 Riva to 62 mph in 10.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 111 mph – enough to give the Toyota Prius a fair race. Depending on the engine of choice, there is a five- or six-speed manual available or the “robotic” Duralogic automatic transmission.

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Exterior
- image 680810

Fiat has yet to release pricing on the 500 Riva, but you can be sure it will pull a nice premium over the entry-level Pop model at $16,995. It may even pull closer to the $25,000 mark as, here in the U.S., the range-topping 1957 edition only goes for $21,295. As a special edition, I expect Fiat to treat it as a model that is worthy of making you dig deeper into your pockets if you want to take one home.

Fiat 500S

2017 Fiat 500S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 667887

The Fiat 500 was originally produced between 1957 and 1975, at which point the model was discontinued. The 500 was practically forgotten about until 2004 when Roberto Giolito designed the 2004 Fiat Trepiuno 3+1 concept. It didn’t become a production model again until 2007 when Fiat decided it was done licking its wounds and would fight back against the amazing success of the Smart Fortwo, which at the time was thriving in Italy. While the new Fiat 500 is larger than the original 500, it is actually quite similar in appearance, with circular headlights and driving lights, a pretty chrome strip on the front fascia, and the overall small but bubbly look. At the time of this writing, the Fiat 500 is available in six different trims here in the U.S. that range in price from $16,995 up to $21,295 for the range-topping 1957 Edition trim level. It is also marketed under various other trim levels in more than 100 countries around the globe.
Read our full review on the Fiat 500S here.

Press Release

The Fiat 500, launched in 1957, strongly contributed to motorising Italy and quickly become a cult model of which over four million would be sold. Those were the years of the Dolce Vita, during which the country was rapidly evolving and restarting with dynamic vigour and enthusiasm. The legendary 500 went beyond meeting the growing need to make mobility accessible and expressed the deep-seated zest for life of an entire generation. The same expression of vitality was projected in the same period by Aquarama, the Riva speedboat synonymous with elegance and perfection. An authentic status symbol, made of premium quality materials, meticulously executed detailing and maximum craft expertise.

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Exterior
- image 680814

As of today, the new 500 Riva can be ordered at all Fiat dealerships (for specific details and prices, visit the local press sites). The exclusive limited series stands out for its unique appearance and refined details, having been created with the partnership of Riva, a legendary brand in the nautical world, synonymous with elegance and Italian taste. Style is expressed by the dashboard, for instance: the gear knob is carved from solid mahogany and the dashboard, also made of mahogany, has maple inlays. These superior woods used to make the Riva yachts and the privilege of premium cars are re-interpreted on 500 through the combination of sophisticated technology and expert crafting.

The iconic Fiat blends with the timeless allure of Riva, to produce a car that combines the style and design features of both brands.
Two absolute legends in the world of cars and of boats meet to create a new desirable object, which symbolises outstanding Italian beauty.

Fiat 500 Riva is also convertible: this version expresses an unmistakable style made of precious wood and dedication to details to turn any trip into an exclusive cruise.

A car born at sea to seduce the city

The target of the new 500 Riva are motorists seeking on dry land the same exclusivity of Aquariva Super yacht - the current Riva icon - and the accessibility that has made the 500 an icon: quality materials and a unique style to experience the emotions of a cruise on everyday city streets.
The "Sera Blue" bodywork, an exclusive colour for this limited special series, is one of the most appreciated of the palette offered for Aquariva Super, the Italian shipyard’s emblematic yacht and successor to the legendary Aquarama.
The convertible version boasts a new blue top, created exclusively for this version, while the black of the sedan’s panoramic roof makes it particularly elegant.

Unique details embellish the livery: the mirror caps are chrome-plated, as are the handles and the bonnet trim which emphasises the streamline style of the bonnet, in perfect harmony with Riva boats. Furthermore, a double aquamarine line running along the belt line enhances the soft profile of the 500 and recalls the beautiful line of a yacht. Lastly, the car feature brand new and exclusive 16" 20-spoke light alloy rims with a dedicated blue finish, designed particularly for this series. Not by chance, the special series really carries the Riva name: it is the only 500 to give way on the bonnet to the logo of the nautical legend and the name is spelt out on the wheel arch, on the wooden insert on the side panel and on the dashboard.

Emotions and comfort on-board

Inside, the central dashboard, in hand-painted mahogany with maple inlay work, offers the occupants the luxurious warmth of life on-board, as emphasised by the Riva logo. An innovative engineering process was implemented to make the dashboard: the wood is applied onto an ultralight carbon shell to ensure stability, flexibility and perfect strength over time. The maple inlays are inserted by hand making each creation truly unique. Wood - the most natural of materials - meets state-of-the-art technology for a result of absolute excellence, just like on Riva yachts: the perfect combination of ultimate technology and expert craftsmanship.

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Exterior
- image 680815

The door sills and gear lever knob carved from a solid piece of wood also made of mahogany, while for the seats an exclusive ivory leather created by Poltrona Frau® has been selected, with ivory stitching in a different tone on the seat piping. The seat side strips are Sera blue, like the profiles of the seatbelts, also ivory. The colours and materials recall the exclusive ambience of Aquariva Super, ensuring thrills and comfort.
The attention to detail can be seen everywhere, in a coherent and elegant colour palate. The mats are especially created with ivory hems and contrasting "Sera Blue" stitching, as is the boot mat that also features a wood insert with Riva lettering.

A complete range of engines

The new 500 Riva offers a wide range of high-performance engines, contained in terms of consumption and respecting the environment as demonstrated by their Euro6 type-approval.
Such as the tried-and-tested champion of thrift 1.2 Fire with 69 CV, also available with ECO function. This engine fits a smart alternator, a specific aerodynamic pack and new tyres which guarantee low rolling resistance and high resistance to wear. These developments as a whole translate into real savings on running costs and a sustainable environment impact. One number for all: the CO2 emissions total only 99 grams per kilometre. Also petrol are the TwinAir 0.9 cm3 with 85 HP and 105 HP two-cylinder engines which are a real, accessible solution to maximising benefits for the environment and for your pocket.

The 1.3 Multijet 95 HP diesel engine could not be missing from the line-up. Once again, Fiat 500 is the only car in its segment to offer a turbo diesel. The 1.3 Multijet is the pride and joy of FCA motor engineering and ensures great autonomy and low running costs without sacrificing comfort or pleasure to drive. With a power output of 95 HP delivered at 3750 rpm, it is able to reach a maximum speed of 180 km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds. In addition, the use of a turbocharger with variable geometry enables the engine to deliver high torque at low revs: 170 Nm at 1,250 rpm and a maximum torque of 200 Nm at 1,500 rpm, all to the benefit of flexible running and pleasant driving.
Depending on the engine, there is 5 or 6 speed mechanical transmission or the robotic Dualogic.

Comfort, safety and infotainment

The new special series offers the public an extensive range of equipment. As well as the aesthetic details that make it unique, the Fiat 500 Riva ensures safety thanks to seven airbags, ABS complete with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) Hill Holder, which assists the driver during hill starts, and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) that helps with emergency braking. Also included as standard are automatic air-conditioning, fog lights, LED day-time lights and a personalised TFT screen with aquamarine background and Riva logo.
In addition, the dashboard incorporates a UconnectTM 7" HD LIVE touchscreen with tablet effect and HD display, the next frontier of infotainment, as standard equipment. This system implements a wide range of functions, including UconnectTM LIVE services as standard, Bluetooth hands-free system, voice recognition and plenty of music options, in addition to FM/AM radio. The driver can connect their multimedia devices via USB or using the 3.5mm auxiliary jack, or stream music from a compatible smartphone using Bluetooth. On request, a digital radio (DAB) and built-in 3D TomTom navigator can also be provided.

BeatsAudioTM system

2016 Fiat 500 Riva High Resolution Exterior
- image 680816

The new Fiat 500 Riva offers the latest audio experience from Beats by Dr. Dre, the system designed to revolutionise the way in which music can be heard inside the vehicle. On request, the customer can also equip their car with the exclusive BeatsAudioTM system developed in conjunction with Beats by Dr Dre. Specifically, the BeatsAudioTM system boasts a total output of 440 watts and features a digital 8-channel amplifier integrating an advanced equalisation algorithm, which can recreate the entire sound spectrum that an artist experiences during studio recording.
The Beats AudioTM sound system consists of an 8-channel amplifier with 440 watts of power; two dome tweeters installed in the front pillars; two 165 mm midwoofers in the front doors; two full-range 165 mm speakers in the rear side panels; and one 200 mm subwoofer in the spare wheel compartment in the centre of the luggage compartment.
With the TFT screen for the speedometer and driving instruments, the car’s dashboard delivers a fully-digital driving experience that nevertheless retains the classic 500 instrument layout, complete with circular cluster and round buttons.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: