The Italian answer to BMW’s Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500 Cinquecento, is also retro-chic, a blast to drive, doesn’t guzzle petrol like a lush, and is very environmentally-friendly. Launched only last July 2007, the Fiat 500 has been ordered by a quarter-million gobblers—about 60,000 more than projected, which means there is a waiting list in Europe.
The flagship Super Mini from Fiat will now be available with stop-start technology that will further improve fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. With the Bosch-designed stop-start system, fuel economy for the 1.2-litre petrol Fiat 500 rises from 55.4mpg to 58.9mpg, while CO2 emissions drop from 119g/km to 113g/km.
The Bosch-made stop-start tech will cost a £200 premium over the stock 500. Stock specs include three options of 4-cylinder engines, from a base 59-horsepower 1.2-litre petrol to a 1.3-litre intercooled turbodiesel with 68 horse. The top-of-the-line engine is a 94-horsepower 1.4-litre powertrain, managed by a 6-speed manual transmission.
Other neat stuff that are standard on the Fiat 500 are electric power steering, ABS, curtain side airbags, and MP3 docking port.
The Fiat 500 is up against a range of small cars that also offer outstanding fuel economy and environmentally friendly emissions—the Nissan Versa, Suzuki SX4, Mazda 3, Honda Fit, and the Ford Fiesta. The range of choices for small cars has never been better.