Fiat has unveiled its updated 500 hatch for 2015, bringing refreshed styling and new interior tech to the popular city car.
The Italian carmaker chose July 4 to officially pull the covers from its latest 500 model, being the anniversary date of the ‘original 500’ in 1957 and the modern-day version in 2007 - the latter about to enter its eight year of production.
Among the “1800 changes”, according to Fiat, is a longer chrome strip across the nose which straddles a new, second grille opening.
A new bumper means the front end is more pronounced, and Fiat has applied light updates to both the headlights and the fog lights beneath with the addition of LED daytime running lights.
The tail-lights are unmistakably new, adopting a rectangular design which is similar but not identical to the 500X.
Engine options will likely include the 51kW/102Nm 1.2 litre and 74kW/131Nm 1.4 litre four-cylinder petrol engines from the outgoing model, along with the TwinAir 63kW/145Nm 0.9 litre and powered-up Abarth units.
The standout change for the 500’s interior is a new five-inch infotainment screen, which sits centrally at the top of the redesigned central console flanked by audio control knobs and shortcut buttons.
The screen controls Fiat’s Uconnect infotainment system, which includes integrated satellite navigation in some variants to replace the TomTom unit from the outgoing model.
New central air vents have been introduced to facilitate the touchscreen and Fiat fans will be relieved to see a ‘proper’ glovebox has been added. While the glovebox is a certainty for top-shelf models, lower-spec siblings may retain the simpler storage shelf from the previous 500.
The steering wheel also gets a styling update, but the 500’s seat styling, ventilation controls and circular instrument display are largely unchanged.
Fiat says the seats are now constructed from improved materials, and the new model also gets tweaked suspension for better ride and handling along with additional soundproofing.
Updated alloy wheels have hit the options or standard features lists for European markets, along with a long line of new paint finishes including Opera Burgundy, Corallo Red, Glam Coral and Avantgarde Bordeaux.
Expect the updated Fiat 500 to arrive in Australia early next year, with pricing and specifications still to be confirmed.
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