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Love It Or Hate It - There's An Interesting Story Behind How the Fiat 500 Came to Be

Love It Or Hate It - There’s An Interesting Story Behind How the Fiat 500 Came to Be

Car designer Frank Stephenson explains how he penned the Fiat 500

The current Fiat 500 dates back to 2007 when it was introduced as a modern incarnation of an iconic and very successful city car that the Italian firm produced from 1957 to 1975. Developed in an era when Fiat was struggling, the 500 managed to put the Italian firm back on track and eventually in a successful partnership with Chrysler. Frank Stephenson, the man who designed the production version of the 500, recently posted a video in which he discusses how he designed the city car that’s now considered one of the most successful classic car revivals.

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The Only Two Surviving Fiat 600 Multipla Mirafioris Drop By Jay Leno's Garage

The Only Two Surviving Fiat 600 Multipla Mirafioris Drop By Jay Leno’s Garage

Stylish MPVs from the late 1950s

Jay Leno’s classic car collection is one of the biggest and most impressive out there. And it includes an amazing amount of rare vehicles. However, Leno is missing the weird and somewhat anonymous Fiat 600 Multipla Mirafiori, an MPV-style hauler built in just five units in 1958. Only two survived and they’re owned by the same enthusiast and he paid Leno a visit to showcase them.

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The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here’s What You Need to Know About It

A cute urban EV from Fiat that will rival the Honda e and the Mini Cooper SE electric

EV technology is still not foolproof and people still have range anxiety. That is one of the reasons why buyers are steering clear from EVs until the range issue becomes as minuscule as it is in internal combustion cars. Perhaps that is why automakers are focusing on building urban EV commuters where the range anxiety is not the biggest issue.

Fiat is the latest automaker to dive into the urban EV market with its offering, the 500. Although it seems to be the electric version of the 500 hatch, the 500 is actually built new from the ground up.

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2021 Fiat Mobi Pickup

2021 Fiat Mobi Pickup

Fiat prepares a truck smaller than the Toro, but it’s not coming to the U.S.

The 2021 Fiat Mobi Pickup is an upcoming utility vehicle based on the Mobi, a city car that the Italian firm produces exclusively for the South American market. Just like the Mobi, this small pickup truck will be produced in Brasil and sold in South America only. Heavily related to the Fiat Fiorino, it will replace the Strada, a small pickup related to the Fiat Palio. The Strada is sold in Mexico as the Ram 700. The Mobi Pickup, which might have a different name when it arrives, will be Fiat’s second truck in showrooms after the Toro. Spotted testing in early 2020, the Mobi Pickup will probably break cover later in 2020, most likely at the Sao Paulo Motor Show in November.

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2021 Fiat 500

2021 Fiat 500

The iconic city car drives into a new (electric?) era

The 2021 Fiat 500 is the second-generation version of the modern 500. The 2021 model will replace a car that has been around since 2007, so it’s already 13 years old as of 2020. With the 500 discontinued in the United States and on its way out in Europe, a new-generation models will arrive in 2020.

Fiat has already confirmed that a new 500 is underway, but details remain scarce. We also know that on top of the usual hatchback and convertible models, Fiat will launch a five-door wagon that will revive the Giardiniera name. Let’s find out more about the upcoming 2021 Fiat 500 in the speculative review below.

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2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Driven

2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Driven

One last go in Fiat’s fun and spirited city car

The reborn, retro-chic, Fiat 500 first graced North American shores back in 2011 and now, eight years down the line, we got behind the wheel of the peppy Abarth version to get one final sting from the scorpion as the entire 500 range is being discontinued by Fiat-Chrysler. Prepare for some top-down driving as we assess whether we’ll miss the 500 for what it is or for its vibe akin to an endless summer holiday in the rolling hills of Tuscany.

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2019 Fiat 500 L - Driven

2019 Fiat 500 L - Driven

The Fiat 500 L is classified as a Compact MPV – Minivan, as we know the term here in the United States – but it’s really more of a compact SUV or large hatchback. It’s been on the global market since 2012, but Fiat didn’t bring it to the states until the 2014 model year. It’s been on the market ever since, and was updated in 2018, but the truth of the matter is that the 500 L is still nearly eight years old. With this in mind, we’re kind of curious if the city car on steroids – remember, it’s based on the 500 city car – is still a viable choice in today’s market.

So, we spoke with our press fleet coordinator and managed to get our hands on a 2019 Fiat 500 L. A couple of weeks later, a 2019 Fiat 500 L Trekking showed up at Top Speed headquarters. This trim level sits above the entry-level Pop trim, but below the upper-class Urbana and Lounge trim levels with a starting price of $23,575. It is certainly positioned right in the middle of the affordable price bracket, but how does it drive? Is the aging 500 L comfortable and up to par with the competition? Does it provide the same thrills and entertaining experience as the smaller 500 that it’s based on? Well, after spending a week with the 2019 Fiat 500 L, we have answers to these questions and more – this is our story.

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A New EV-Only Fiat 500 Is on the Way, But What Will It Look Like?

A New EV-Only Fiat 500 Is on the Way, But What Will It Look Like?

Next Fiat 500 will be all-electric and the spearhead of a new five-vehicle European offensive

Fiat has been selling the current 500 city runabout for over ten years, mostly unchanged, and it will have to replace it with an all-new model fairly soon. Back in 2007, when it was first revealed, it was a response to the success that BMW was having with the MINI Cooper and VW with its revived Beetle, both of which were unashamedly retro-inspired.

Times are changing now, and the focus is more on how green cars are these days, as well as their level of perceived quality - how “premium” they feel. Fiat is reportedly working on the next-gen 500 and it is apparently not only going to be slightly bigger than the current car, but also fully-electric and considerably more luxurious.

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2019 Fiat Centoventi Concept

2019 Fiat Centoventi Concept

A design-your-own-vehicle for the new age

For its 120th birthday, Fiat went to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show to present a concept car, except it’s really not a concept car. It’s called the Centoventi Concept, which literally translates to “one hundred and twenty” in our language. It’s not the most creative concept name in the world, but it’ll do, especially when you begin to understand what it’s really all about. Fiat’s press release calls the Centoventi Concept a vehicle that “perfectly expresses the Italian brand’s idea of electric mass mobility in the near future.” What that phrase doesn’t tell you is that the Centoventi Concept is a lot more than just a representation of Fiat’s vision for its future electric. The concept is also a blank canvas that invites user customization. It’s a design-your-own ride that lets you personalize the car’s design from the ground up. Future urban mobility? Sure, the concept is that, too. But it’s really a modular platform for creativity. The Centoventi Concept doesn’t really have a “look,” in large part because that “look” will depend on how you design it.

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2019 Abarth 595 Esseesse

2019 Abarth 595 Esseesse

Fiat revives the Esseesse nameplate for its 500

Fiat will launch a new performance flagship model for the 500 range in the form of the new, 2019 Abarth 595 esseesse that’s set to debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show. The Italian brand is also not only celebrating its 120th anniversary this year but the 70th anniversary of Abarth too, hence why it’s bringing this 500 and a limited series version of the Abarth 124 roadster to the auto show.

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2019 Fiat 500e

2019 Fiat 500e

Fiat didn’t really want to make the 500e, but it was forced by emissions regulations to add a full EV to its lineup, which it reluctantly did back in 2013. The vehicle itself wasn’t received particularly well at the time, being criticized for its limited range and availability, as well as its high price - it can only be ordered in the states of California and Oregon, although there are plenty you can now buy second hand wherever you live, even in Europe where it was never intended to be sold.

Believe it or not, the 500e is still on sale and has gone essentially unchanged for the last six years, but it’s never really been that popular, an issue with which it hasn’t been helped by the constant introduction of new and better EVs. But, the 500e is not all bad, thanks to its instantly recognizable styling, peppy performance, and decent usability if you’re buying it exclusively for short journeys not too far away from a charging point.

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2019 Fiat 500X

2019 Fiat 500X

The high-riding 500 gets a mild update for 2019

Fiat has revealed its revised 500X crossover which has been nipped and tucked for the first time since its 2014 European debut (in the US for the 2016 model year it was launched). It comes with a refreshed exterior with new front and rear light clusters, more tech, and improved engines.

Update 12/12/2018: We’ve updated this review with images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in our gallery below!

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