What's the History of the FIAT 500?

History of the FIAT

You've probably heard of the FIAT 500, but have you ever heard of The Cinquecento? Well, these vehicles are one and the same! How exactly did The Cinquecento come to be known as the FIAT 500? Let's travel back in time to find out.

In July of 1957, FIAT launched The Cinquecento, designed by Dante Giacosa. The 500 was marketed as an affordable and functional little car that could scoot about easily in post-World War II Italy.

Originally, the 500 had a rear-mounted 479cc two-cylinder engine, which, by today's standards is "under-powered". But, back then, it was ideal for a city car. Despite its little engine and little body, The Cinquecento proved to be a hit, selling units in the millions by 1975. During that time, the "suicide doors" (doors that were dangerously hinged at the rear) were deleted and a larger engine was added.

However, by 1975, The Cinquecento was scrapped in favor of the FIAT 126. Unfortunately, the 126 never enjoyed the same degree of popularity as its predecessor. Realizing that they had made a mistake in deleting it from their line-up many years before, FIAT re-introduced the 500 in 2007, on its 50th birthday.

Of course, FIAT didn't include the old rear-mounted engine and gave the new 500 some of the FIAT Panda's most beloved features. They also made the new 500 into one of the most highly-customized vehicles on the market. Consumers could choose between over 500,000 personalized options for interior and exterior features. Impressive, right?

Well, in 2012, the millionth 500 was manufactured, marking a huge milestone for the company. Just three years after that, FIAT gave the 500 a massive overhaul, adding a new grille, LED daytime running lights, and even more customization options. Three new powerful and more fuel-efficient engines were also added into the mix. The 500X and 500L have also been adapted to fill the needs of the subcompact crossover SUV and compact car (respectively) segments.

Today, the FIAT 500 enjoys a good amount of popularity and has a lot of cool throwback features. It is also pretty densely packed with standard infotainment and safety features. (No rear door hinges, we promise!) That's why we encourage you to swing by our dealership and learn more about the FIAT 500. Whether you drove one of the original 500 models or are totally new to FIAT, we have an exciting inventory of these unique little vehicles that is sure to impress.

Categories: 500, 500 Abarth, 500c, 500L, 500X
; ;