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by Matt Campbell

The tiny Fiat 500 city car that will be updated in just a few weeks’ time in Australia will bring with it a huge price hike for the Pop base model.

When the Italian brand was handed over from its previous distributor to an in-house arrangement in June 2013, Fiat Chrysler Australia announced sharp pricing for the entry-level Fiat 500 Pop of just $14,000 driveaway. The 2014 update, however, will see that price jump to $17,000 driveaway – a huge 21.4 per cent price jump in only 14 months.

It isn’t the first price hike over that period for the Pop, either. After just a few months, Fiat upped the ask to $15,000 driveaway. Then the company further increased prices as part of a realignment earlier this year, with the Pop rising to $16,500. Now, with the entry point at $17,000, the little Italian city car is coming perilously close to where it was positioned under its previous overseers ($18,300).

500_Cult_00

The car will be launched to the media in early August, and CarAdvice understands the new model has been revealed on the internet prior to the official pricing and specifications being made public because the company has simply run out of stock of the existing version.

The updated 500 range will see an adjustment to the model line-up offered in Australia, with the 1.2-litre four-cylinder Pop remaining the starting point (with 51kW and 102Nm), sitting below the 1.4-litre four-cylinder 500S (previously Sport), and the 0.9-litre two-cylinder turbocharged Lounge variant. A special edition Gucci model will remain as the top-end version, and there’s been no indication yet that the Cult model (pictured above) will arrive in Australia at this point in time.

The updated model bears little recognisable change from the outside aside from a number of new colour options including a retro light green shade known as Mint Milkshake (as seen on the car above).

Provisional documents seen by CarAdvice suggest the 500 Pop retains its 14-inch steel wheels, chrome trimmings on the grille, door handles and boot, with new daytime running lights added. The interior is available in ivory or black, and features a leather-wrapped steering wheel along with the new 7.0-inch colour dash screen with digital speedometer seen below. A stereo system with USB input and Bluetooth phone connectivity with voice control is standard, but no audio streaming is available. Pop is standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while an optional five-speed Dualogic automated manual can also be had.

Fiat interior1

The Sport version gains a body kit, rear spoiler, 15-inch alloys, dark chrome exterior trimming, fog-lights, tinted glass, a matt silver dash panel, sports seats with red stitching, a flat-bottomed steering wheel with red stitching, and a Sport button for the 1.4-litre engine. It has outputs of 74kW and 131Nm, and is available with a six-speed manual gearbox or the option of a Dualogic semi-automatic.

The Lounge has the aforementioned TwinAir two-cylinder engine with 62kW and 145Nm, with no manual option available (Dualogic semi-automatic only). It gains 15-inch multi-spoke alloys, different interior trim, single-zone climate control air-conditioning and engine stop-start.

The Gucci – which was a limited edition version in its previous iteration – gets the same 1.4-litre as the Sport with a Dualogic auto. Along with Gucci colour treatment inside and out, the Gucci gets xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, tinted windows, a twin-tone leather steering wheel and an Interscope stereo system.

Stay tuned for full pricing and specifications for the new Fiat 500 as the details come to hand.




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