The Evolution of the Fiat 500: Part 1

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For a little car, the Fiat 500 has come a long way. Founded more than a century ago as Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, the FIAT Group Automobiles is the largest automotive manufacturer in Italy and the sixth largest internationally. FIAT has done more than just create and market a popular car since the introduction of the Fiat 500 (Cinquecento). FIAT has made mobility accessible to millions of people, while providing Italianstyle and innovation. Today, in countries all over the world, the Cinquecento is known for its iconic design, performance, economy and technological advancement. Let’s take a look at how far we’ve come . . . The Cinquecento’s story starts with the launch of the Fiat “Nuova” 500 on July 4, 1957. Italy, like the rest of Europe, was continuing to heal after the Second World War, and Italians were eager for efficient and affordable mobility. Designed by the FIAT’s legendary designer Dante Giacosa, the historic Cinquecento offered an attainable, city-friendly automotive solution that met the needs of Italians and other Europeans.  Measuring just 116 inches long and 52 inches wide, the Fiat 500’s rounded, well-proportioned lines recalled an egg, while its spartan cabin kept weight to a minimum, while providing accommodations for two passengers and 154 pounds of luggage. The Cinquecento got off to a slow start, but its design and mission held the potential that would eventually make the 500 such an iconic vehicle. It set a standard after which millions of FIAT vehicles would be modeled. So, just a few months after its initial launch, the Fiat 500 received its first alterations. With these changes, the Fiat 500 added seating for four people and featured a more  powerful engine (15 vs. 13 horsepower).

To further strengthen and differentiate the 500 range, FIAT launched the “Nuova” 500 Sport in the summer of 1958. The Sport returned to the two-seat layout and initially had a fixed roof. It also had a more powerful engine (21.5 horsepower), boasting a top speed of 65 mph. In 1959, FIAT introduced an open-roofed version of the Sport. This is just the beginning of the story of the evolution of the Fiat 500. Check back soon to read Part Two and to learn how the 500 got to where it is today.
  • Rockeyshah91

    like this roshan shah

  • Rockeyshah91

      its me.

  • Norarosa

    Would love to have one, as it takes me back to my teenage years growing up in Italy, back then 7 teens could fit into a Fiat 500! Now fell in love for the Abarth just for Fun! Decapottabile naturalmente! Ha!

  • JCH4K

    My very first car was a 1964 Fiat 1500 convertible.  Dark blue.  The Pininfarina design.   I’ve never since had a car I liked more.   Even though I had a 1963 Maserati, as well.  Both immensely fun cars. 
    If there were a Fiat dealer anywhere near me, I’d get that little Cinquecento convertible in a heartbeat!

  • the Fiat 500 was my very first car boy I loved that car my 2nd  car was a Fiat 600 , just awesome cars 

  • Angeideb

    COMES Fiat

  • 1979 Fiat Spider 2000 second car owned and favorite of all time!

  • Smle

    “Here Comes Da Judge”

  • Yes, the new FIAT 500 is the car of the future not only in Italy but around the world.

  • love my fiat 🙂

  • Buzzny

    Over 12K and still Lovin’ it! Can’t wait for a second one!

  • Manuel Montoya


  • Sbouslaugh

    I love my fiat! I am getting 40+ mpg and it is the zippiest car I have ever driven. The on ramp I get on by my home is less than very short and there are always mucho semi truck traffic going 75+ and my little FIat gets up to 80 before I hit the #1 lane. The trucks are moving over for me and I am laughing at them as I leave them in the dust. I haven’t driven it in the snow and am hoping it handles it well. Oh yeah and it is roomy enough and very sturdy for a little car.

  • Cool Car!

  • Tichelaar, Suzanne

    BEST vehicle I have EVER owned!!! Can’t get enough of my Fiat 500 Lounge 🙂

  • Tom

    Great Auto!!

  • Gianfranco

    My son got a black one, my son in law got one grey. I am thinking to get the Abarth. I had one in 1969.

  • Mitchell Constantine

    I have a 131 FIAT & EVERYONE LOVES IT AND ASKS ME, “WHAT IT IS”  ! ! ! 
    HE IS MY FRIEND & KING OF KINGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vintauto

    I bought my first Fiat 600 in 1960 and loved it, my second was a 1965 1500 Spyder bought in Belgium when I worked there, I brought it back to the states and sure loved that one too.

    I’d have a new one if I could presently afford it !

  • Lgwright39

    As a young soldier I was assigned to the embassy in rome from 1960 to 1963.  I knew a family of five who drive one on a round trip from Rome to Taranto in the boot.  The Chinquecento was a blast then and even better now.  It was the most reliable little creature on the road.  The Alpha Romeo was the romeo but the Fiat was the dependable vehicle.  Cute, efficient, easy to park and stingy on gas!!

  • de Maio

    My wife and I owned one of the original Fiat 500s. We bought it used and drove it one summer to save money to get married. Since then, we have had a 1969 850 Spyder and a 124 Station wagon. The 850 Spyder was my wife’s and she drove it to Fredonia (USA) and back to Lakewood summers. Top down,Abarth exhaust roaring sweetly; she loved eery mile of it.

  • Henry

    I bought my first 500 when it was a ‘Topolino’ – I shaved the cylinder-head and drove it at ‘Made in Italy’ for many years. My next FIAT 500 was a 1957 Cinquecento which I turned into an Abarth 500 and drove for many years. It was only retired 10 years ago. The technology that went into these first two was great and I’m looking forward to owning a new 500 in the not too distant future.

  • Julie

    I have never owned a Fiat but a friend in high school, in the 1970’s, had one. It was the coolest!! Then, in 1982 I traveled around Italy for 5 months and Fiats were everywhere I wanted to be, including the Amalfi Coast!! I drove down the Amalfi Coast but on a rented Vespa. It was beyond beautiful and I really would love to go back some day very soon. (I hope I win the free trip!!) I’m eyeing the new Fiats because I’m planning on purchasing a new car in 2013 and I’ve decided on the new Fiat. I’ve always wanted one and when I get mine, I will travel in my new Fiat from Savannah, Georgia down to Key West, Florida!! I can hardly wait! And who knows where I’ll go after that?? I love traveling along the coast of anywhere, so look out because I might be coming your way soon! And I will love every smile of my travels!!

  • Debbie

    Love, love,love my 2012 Fiat Abarth!!!

  • When I was stationed in Italy in the 70’s I owned a 500 and a 850 spider both were good cars now that the 500 is sold in the US I will look at getting another

  • taif500

    who won this contest ????!!!!!!!!!

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© 2012 FCA US LLC, FIAT, FIAT 500 POP, and ABARTH are registered trademarks used under license by FCA US LLC.

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© 2012 Chrysler Group LLC, FIAT, FIAT 500 POP, and ABARTH are registered trademarks used under license by Chrysler Group LLC.