ITALIA 500!

The Fiat 500 — rather cosy for a whole heap of au­dio kit? Not at all... find out how this com­pact but per­fectly formed Ital­ian fits in the fun while still al­low­ing day-to-day driv­ing in this is­sue’s drive from the ar­chive...

InCar Entertainment  - - 2008 FIAT 500 - Story Ed Kramer Im­ages Jun Sawa

any which way you look at it, the Ital­ians have given us some thrilling cars. Fer­rari, Lam­borgh­ini, Maserati — hushed tones of ad­mi­ra­tion and glances of envy they in­spire. But also at the other end of the scale, where mere mor­tals live, there are in­ter­est­ing op­tions. Think Lan­cia, Alfa and the diminu­tive yet eye-catch­ing Fiat brand, with its colour­ful and note­wor­thy his­tory. Here we have Ju­lian Glig­orov’s Fiat 500 — Ju­lian ap­proached us ask­ing us whether his pride-and-joy was fea­ture­wor­thy. Our an­swer? A re­sound­ing si! So here we’re bring­ing it back for a sec­ond look-see.

BIG SOUND, SMALL SPA­CES

Con­sid­er­ing the size of the Fiat, the sys­tem Ju­lian spec­i­fied is fit for any car and fea­tures pow­er­ful subs and am­pli­fi­ca­tion. The story starts with the com­pe­tent-enough fac­tory head unit which ac­cepts MP3s and of­fers a USB in­put. From there things get a whole lot more se­ri­ous with am­pli­fi­ca­tion from Aud­i­son by way of its SR4 4-chan­nel am­pli­fier pow­er­ing the front and rear speak­ers. A fur­ther Aud­i­son am­pli­fier, this time the stereo SR 1DKJ han­dles the subwoofer du­ties.

Now the speak­ers are kept within the same fam­ily and are Aud­i­son’s AV X6.5 165mm splits in the front while the rear speak­ers are Aud­i­son AV K6 165mm com­po­nent num­bers. All the speak­ers have been placed in fac­tory po­si­tions in or­der to keep the Fiat’s in­te­rior look­ing nice and fac­to­ryclean while the am­pli­fiers have been set out of the way un­der­neath the seats. The sub­woofers are, of course, nicely in­stalled in cus­tom en­clo­sures in the Fiat’s hatch – or boot – which has been ex­ten­sively sound dead­ened. Here, Ju­lian used two Aud­i­son Voce AV 12 12-inch sub­woofers. The cus­tom en­clo­sures have been lined with red vinyl in or­der to match the rest of the colour scheme within the Fiat’s in­te­rior. All is hooked up via 0-gauge ca­ble and an Aud­i­son Bass Con­troller has been in­stalled to ad­just subwoofer level.

With the boot’s in­stall of the sub­woofers, Ju­lian’s man­date was that it would be a re­mov­able fea­ture in or­der to al­low the car to be prac­ti­cal in terms of ev­ery day us­age. This can be eas­ily done by Ju­lian in a mat­ter of min­utes while still al­low­ing good sound for his en­joy­ment via the ex­cel­lent Aud­i­son speak­ers in the cabin.

Oh, and by the way, Ju­lian wanted to build a sys­tem for sound qual­ity, which he has achieved, and al­though he hasn’t en­tered SQ com­pe­ti­tions as yet, he has achieved an SPL max­i­mum of 138dB. Well done!

Ex­ten­sive use of LEDs has been ap­plied to high­light the boot in­stall at shows and in the footwells for in­te­rior am­bi­ence. Over­all, the in­stal­la­tion is classy and the good peo­ple at Sound Ob­ses­sion are to be com­mended.

ITAL­IAN LEATHER

The Fiat’s in­te­rior is rather at­trac­tive too. Ju­lian spec­i­fied the full leather treat­ment from Fiat at the time of pur­chas­ing and this al­lowed a red and cream theme to be ap­plied through­out the in­te­rior. So the dash is Fiat cream which is car­ried across to the in­stru­ment clus­ter shade

and the leather steer­ing wheel while the seats are red leather – which is also used on the door trims – with cream leather head­rests for ac­cent. Red leather is also used on the gear stick cowl.

So by in­stalling the speak­ers the fac­tory locations, the in­te­rior has been kept beau­ti­fully sim­ple. The Ital­ians, even when de­sign­ing with sim­plic­ity in mind, can still cre­ate an eye­catch­ing in­te­rior style.

Sim­i­larly, the Fiat’s exterior is el­e­gantly sim­ple. So the cream colour scheme is car­ried to the out­side and the car is en­hanced via cus­tom Ital­ian stripes (Ital­ian flag red, green and white across the roof) and de­cals. The 500 sports a fac­tory moon­roof, a fully-op­tioned chrome kit, red cal­lipers and ‘Abarth’ (the per­for­mance and sporty branch of Fiat) rim cen­tre ca­pos on the fac­tory-op­tioned 16-inch al­loys. CON­CLU­SION Sim­ple el­e­gance and classy style; that’s what the Ital­ians are known for. Oh, and pretty freak­ing awe­some cars too. Here in Ju­lian’s neat Fiat 500 that Latin flavour is in plen­ti­ful sup­ply. This is an el­e­gantly-ap­pointed car with a fresh, airy and gor­geous in­te­rior and equal style in its exterior. And, of course, the choice of Aud­i­son au­dio hard­ware ties it all back to the Ital­ian roots. Bel­lis­simo!

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