Fiat 500 hits milestone moment
ONE IN A MILLION: The youthful Fiat 500 has reached the one million unit production mark as the first-generation model continues to win hearts.
The one millionth Fiat 500 – marketed in over 100 countries – has rolled off the production line at Fiat Auto Poland.
The special 500 was a Lounge version finished in Funk White and fitted with Fiat’s 51kW 1.2-litre engine.
The award-winning minicar has, since its launch in 2007, won more than 40 awards, including the coveted international engine of the year award for its TwinAir engine. Since 2011, Fiat’s Mexican plant in Toluca has also been producing 500s.
The 500 also introduced a number of innovative features, Fiat said, including: it was the first to offer seven airbags as standard, the first car measuring only 3.55m long to receive a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, and the first Fiat Group car to be powered by the two-cylinder TwinAir.
The 500 platform has also spawned a number of derivatives including the sportier Abarth, 500C convertible, Diesel and Gucci collaborations, and Pink and Matt Black editions.
In South Africa, the Fiat 500 and 500C are offered with 51kW 1.2-litre and 74kW 1.4-litre in Pop, Lounge and Matt Black trim levels. Five- and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available.
Meanwhile, in the UK, a 1971 Fiat 500 L once owned by prime minister David Cameron was recently sold for more than twice its guide price at an auction.
The car, bought by Cameron in 1998 as a surprise birthday present for his wife Samantha was sold for the Rand equivalent of R260 000. The pre-auction estimate was R112 720.
Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auction, said: “Of course, David Cameron’s old car was always going to generate a great deal of interest because of its fascinating history but it was almost out performed by another 1971 Fiat 500 L, rebuilt to concours standard, which made £17 000 (R239 500). It surely proves that these stylish little cars are very desirable in their own right.”