The words ‘style’ and ‘Italy’ are synonymous, with some positively stunning automotive works of art having been produced over many years. There’s a lot more pizzazz in their lines than you will find in the conservative machines from most other European nations.
Fiat has produced some excellent shapes, none more admired than that of the cute Fiat 500 Nuova ‘Bambino’ in 1957, a car that was so badly missed that it made a retro-car return in 2007. The shape was obviously inspired by the original, though mechanically it’s completely different, with the engine in the front not the back. And it is substantially larger these days.
From time to time Fiat makes its cars even more desirable by importing a strictly limited number of special editions. The latest of these is the Fiat 500 Tricolore – ‘three colours’ in Italian – that have the red-white-green stripes of the Italian national flag.
Based on the cute little Fiat 500 Lounge the Tricolore sells for the same price as the standard Lounge, $20,300 in five-speed manual form, but is fitted with $1500 worth of extras for no change.
The Fiat 500 Tricolore’s key even has an Italian flag design.
Even the standard Fiat 500 Lounge has a fixed glass roof with a sun blind, 15-inch alloy wheels, chromed bumper accents, and climate-control air-conditioning, so is far from being stripped-down base model.
Power comes from Fiat’s 875cc TwinAir two-cylinder engine, an engine that’s full of personality and which just loves to be hunted along in high revs.
Just 150 Fiat 500 Tricolores are being imported to Australia. The Fiat 500 by Gucci was a much more expensive car, yet its limited run of 101 cars sold out in just seven months. So we can see the 500 Tricolore disappearing from the showrooms pretty quickly.
All the more so when you consider the Tricolore is likely to appeal to male as well as female buyers. Naturally, the Gucci edition was just the thing for stylish ladies.
I’m not sure I think of the Fiat Freemont people mover, which shares a lot of American Chrysler components, as being a stylish Italian vehicle, but Fiat is having a go at giving it the Tricolore treatment too. Side stripes in red-white-green certainly make it stand out.
The Fiat Freemont Urban model on which the Tricolore is based gains has a large-screen (8.4-inch) Fiat Uconnect infotainment system with a DVD player; there’s dual-zone automatic temperature control; six-way power adjustment for the drivers’ seat; a leather-wrapped gear-lever; and Sunscreen glass.
The special Fiat Freemont is controlled by a boxed Tricolore key-ring.
Power comes from either a 2.4-litre petrol engine or a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel. Again there’s more than $1500 worth of extras with no increase in price. Freemont is priced at $28,330 for the petrol and $32,600 for the diesel.
Only 90 Fiat Freemont Tricolores are being brought downunder.