Fiat 500 Wins Prestigious Car of the Year Award
As we are shopping for the perfect gift how about the Car of the Year. The newly introduced Fiat 500 has been named Car of the Year by a group of 58 automotive journalists from 22 countries. The 500 was reported to have been a hands-down winner over its six rivals thanks to its look, safety features, the quality of its interior and variety of its models and engines.
Competing against the 500 were the Ford Mondeo, the Kia Cee'd, the Mazda 2, the Mercedes Class C, the Nissan Qashqai and the Peugeot 308. The 500, a re-edition of the classic car, produced from 1957 to 1977, made its official debut in Turin on July 4.
The car has a retro-look to recall the classic 500, named after its original engine size, following the example of the new Volkswagen 'Beetle' and the BMW 'Mini'.
Between the end of the Nineties and the start of 2000, Fiat design put the emphasis on the product’s high degree of practicality, with particular attention to the car’s interior space. Today, the brand has evolved in a new direction for Italian design, where details are carefully amalgamated with harmonious forms and homogeneous styling: a combination of traditional values in a bubbly, innovative setting.
The theme of stressing the brand’s Italian quality is expressed by the rediscovery of influences from Italian cars of the Sixties and Seventies and expressions of Italian culture, particularly fashion; also contributing to the Fiat brand’s new personality are major design companies in the Turin area, such as Pininfarina, Bertone or Italdesign, who represent a cultural heritage envied throughout the world.
Unfortunately, Fiat does not have a US commercial presence. The entrance of the Smart car by Mercedes gives me hope that sometime in the near future this little jewel will find its way onto US streets. Fiat developed the platform for the 500 with Ford Motor Company of the United States, which will use it for its revamped 'Ka' model. Perhaps this collaboration can be the foot in the door for Fiat while giving Ford a hot car for the US market.