FIAT 500: CAR OF THE YEAR 2008

Fiat 500 picture

Fiat 500 is the Car of the Year 2008

26 November, 2007

BY OUR AUTOMOBILE CORRESPONDENT

An international jury comprising as many as 58 specialist journalists from 22 European countries has picked the Fiat 500 for the Car of the Year 2008 award.

Fiatís compact car bagged the award raking in as many as 385 votes, more than Mazda 2ís 325 votes and the Ford Mondeoís 202 votes. An auto industry report said that this was the second time that an A-segment model has won the most prestigious award in the world car industry.

Pointing out that the first such laurel went to the Fiat Pandain in 2004, it added that the record has pushed up the total Fiat Group wins to 12. While the Fiat 124 won in 1967, Fiat 128 won in 1970, Fiat 127 in 1972, Lancia Delta in 1980, Fiat Uno in 1984, Fiat Tipo in 1989, Fiat Punto in 1995, Fiat Bravo/Brava in 1996, Alfa 156 in 1998, Alfa 147 in 2001, Fiat Panda in 2004 and now the Fiat 500 for 2008. The award ceremony for Car of the Year 2008, organised by the German magazine Stern, will take place in Berlin on 28 January 2008.

The Fiat 500 model was unveiled at the start of July 2007. Customers poured into the showrooms and more than 105,000 orders were taken in just four months in Italy and France. The report added that the rest of Europe is also all for it with a total of 6,300 orders already placed in Germany after the car went on sale just a few weeks ago.

Auto analysts certify that this is the first time that a car barely 3.55 metres long has been awarded a 5-star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP and also the first time a car in this segment has seven airbags fitted as standard, with the advanced ESP available on all models. Another first is the fact that a model has been launched with the entire range of power units, i.e., 1.2 69 bhp, 1.3 MultiJet 75 bhp with DPF and 1.4 16v 100 bhp, Euro 5 emission standards.

A broad range has also brought to Fiat 500 brownie points. Customers can also choose from 15 interiors including the prestigious Cordura and Frau Leather, nine types of road wheel, and 19 sticker treatments, for a total of more than 500,000 variations.

 

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