Fiat 500 Gets a Facelift, but Is it for the States?
Over the weekend, while America celebrated its birthday, Fiat celebrated an important date of its own. Saturday marked the 58th birthday of the Fiat 500. The diminutive Italian icon debuted on July 4, 1957, and has been darting up narrow European streets ever since.
So on July 4, 2015, Fiat took the wraps off an updated version of its current 500 compact car. The changes are a move towards more sophistication–visually and technologically. RELATED: Happy 58th Birthday to the Fiat 500!
Fiat calls the 2015 500 a completely new car, but let’s call it what it is: a mid-life refresh. But the changes are significant and numerous–of which Fiat says there are as many as 1800. First, buyers will notice the small tweaks to the exterior. The visual updates include a larger, trapezoidal grille with chrome accents, revised headlights (the middle LEDs are in the shape of the zeros in the “500” logo”), and reworked taillight clusters. There are also new alloy wheel designs, and two new colors–Corallo Red and Opera Burgundy. PHOTOS: See images of the 2015 Fiat 500 Vintage 57 Inside, the biggest change is the inclusion of FCA’s terrific Uconnect infotainment system. This makes the 500 far more compelling for younger buyers, whose smartphone-addled buying habits place a high value on features like Bluetooth streaming audio. This feature is available on Lounge trims and above.
According to our sources at FCA, this 500 is not coming to the U.S. market “at this present time.” There was no confirmation of an American rollout, however the changes play so perfectly into a mid-cycle refresh of the American-market 500, which debuted in 2011. Given the nature and timing of the changes to the European market car, we would be very surprised if this new-look 500 did not make its way to the States in the next year or two. PHOTOS: See images of the quirky Fiat 500 Jolly