Following in the tyre tracks of the new Beetle and the revamped Mini, Fiat has unveiled a 21st Century version of the iconic 500. With styling that clearly echoes the original, the cars – which are built at a factory in Poland – will go on sale in Europe at the start of July. Unlike the original the new version has the engine in the front rather than the back.
The launch date is exactly 50 years after the first model was released in 1957. It was a major hit with nearly four million cars sold during the almost two decades it was in production. Fiat’s Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has said he expects the 500 to help the company increase its share of the European car market to above ten per cent. For all of last year the carmaker had 7.6% of the market, but by February, its share had risen to 9.8%.