It looks as though Fiat’s retro-revival will continue with reports out of Europe that a new city car to be positioned beneath the 500 is under development and will revive the Topolino nameplate last seen in 1955.
Thanks to the 500’s success as a fashion accessory in markets like the US the next generation is likely to follow in the footsteps of the 500X and take itself upmarket, leaving space beneath it for a more ‘down to earth’ city car.
That car, based upon the mechanical package of the Panda hatch, will be aimed at Euro competitors like the smart ForTwo, Volkswagen Up! and Toyota Aygo offering a low entry price and seating for four, wrapped in a compact two-door body.
The original 500 Topolino (which means small mouse in Italian) made its debut in 1936 with a 569cc four-cylinder engine and two-door, two-seat body. The new Topolino will instead most likely be fitted with Fiat’s 875cc Twinair two-cylinder petrol engine.
The next 500 range will focus on its retro-fashionista status, going head to head with the style-focussed MINI range, offering plenty of personalisation options and adding in extra premium technology.
The Topolino, while still wrapped in a retro-inspired body (although unlikely to draw inspiration from the 1936 original), will enter as a low cost model to sit beneath the 500 range, filling the role currently occupied by base versions of the Panda.
Right now Fiat is playing its cards close to its chest, and while a debut at a European motor show during 2017 has been mooted, there’s a long way to go before the rumoured Topolino materialises into a fully-fledged production model.
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