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...
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.
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!