Style now has added hi-tech

FACTFILE

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Summer Fun -

Fiat has re­leased the re­freshed ver­sion of its pop­u­lar 500 su­per­mini. The car boasts style, com­fort and tech­no­log­i­cal en­hance­ments for 2014.

A key new fea­ture is the mar­ket-first seven-inch dig­i­tal in­stru­ment dis­play, which is said to com­bine cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy with­out dis­rupt­ing the aes­thet­ics of the cabin.

Stan­dard on 500S and Cult mod­els, the lay­out of the speedome­ter, rev counter and trip com­puter will be fa­mil­iar to ex­ist­ing 500 fans, but the cen­tre of the dis­play – which con­tains a dig­i­tal image of the car – can be con­fig­ured to show var­i­ous trip com­puter read­outs, in­clud­ing dis­tance trav­elled, in­stant fuel con­sump­tion and range, among other ex­am­ples.

Along with more tech­nol­ogy, the lat­est 500 boasts a new 105 horse­power TwinAir turbo petrol en­gine. This mo­tor heads a line-up that in­cludes reg­u­lar four-cylin­der petrol and diesel units car­ried over from the pre­vi­ous 500.

Pric­ing for the re­vised 500 starts at £10,160 for the 1.2 Pop vari­ant, while the top of the range Cult spec­i­fi­ca­tion starts at £13,060. New colours, more tech­nol­ogy and a host of other changes fea­ture in the lat­est range of Abarth 500 cars for 2014.

The new range has just been launched as part of a tie-in with the in­fa­mous Gum­ball 3000 su­per­car event, which vis­ited Edinburgh and Lon­don re­cently as part of an in­ter­na­tional tour.

While the en­durance road trip fea­tured some of the world’s most ex­otic su­per­cars, many of the loud­est cheers were re­served for the fleet of Abarths – in­clud­ing the new 695 bi­posto, a 595 Com­pe­tizione and 595 Turismo.

It was the first time Bri­tish crowds had seen the 190hp bi­posto on the road. The “most ex­treme” Abarth has a top speed of 143mph and ac­cel­er­ates from 0-62mph in 5.9 sec­onds. It fea­tures a spe­cial “Grey Per­for­mance” paint colour, front, rear and roof spoil­ers and can be spec­i­fied with op­tions such as a light­weight alu­minium bon­net, car­bon fi­bre de­tail­ing and rac­ing seat­belts.

The 595 Turismo is pow­ered by a 160hp ver­sion of Abarth’s 1.4-litre tur­bocharged T-Jet en­gine and gets leather sports seats, 17-inch 10-spoke di­a­mond cut al­loy wheels. A sim­i­lar en­gine pow­ers the 595 Com­peti­tizione.

The en­tire range re­ceives a new in­stru­ment panel with seven-inch dig­i­tal dis­play. The dis­play has two modes: ‘nor­mal’ for in­for­ma­tion such as fuel con­sump­tion and ‘sport’ which shows data such as lon­gi­tu­di­nal/lat­eral ac­cel­er­a­tion.

The Abarth 500 range starts at £14,560 for the 1.4 T-Jet 135hp, ris­ing to £32,990 (OTR) for the 695 bi­posto 1.4 T-Jet 190hp. The Fiat 500 Cult is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the range, over and above what’s al­ready there.

More kit, a higher-power en­gine op­tion and more lux­ury than a car of this size has any right to in­dulge it­self in are all on the menu.

The Cult is named af­ter what the car it­self has cre­ated over the years since its reprisal from the deeps of his­tory.

In the words of its Ital­ian mak­ers it’s the 500 for those peo­ple who want the best of ev­ery­thing about the 500, and don’t mind pay­ing for it.

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