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Pattaya Daily News

20 June 2011 :: 11:06:54 am 55156

WARNING: This Is Not Just Another Small Car!

Fiat or F.I.A.T was born in 1899 in Turin, Italy “ Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino” F-I-A-T translated to English “ The Italian Automobile Factory of Turin” a legendary European marque. Today Fiat Group Automobiles produces and sells cars world-wide under theAlfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and the luxury super car Maserati and Ferrari brands with showrooms in 80 countries. The car is a shrewd and timelyreincarnation of the petite, deadly cute Fiat 500, the cheap-and-cheerful Cinquecento (say “cheen-kay-CHENtoh”)
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Fiat 500 is the car that that put Italy on wheels after World War II. FIAT has been through big changes ON/OFF & up and down. But today, Fiat is once again a major player on the world automotive stage and financially healthier than it’s been in years. So with the retro revival of the iconic and British Morris Mini and Volkswagen VW Beetle came the all new revolutionary new FIAT 500 in March 2007.

The new FIAT 500 isn’t a copy of a beloved original (sold from 1957-75)but a completely modern small car with premium engineering and unique retrochic design. This design driven well built new Fiat became a sales success from day one. Since the launch three years ago half-million ‘500’s have been sold. Also praised by the international motoring media including BBC’s Top Gear’s chief Jeremy Clarkson. Last year FIAT 500 received the “Best Car of the Year 2009” award.

The design is compact, eye catching.From any angle. Our demo came in in bianco (beige). The top-of-the line Lounge Premium Edition model. With 14 exterior colors colors to choose from. All together half a million ways to individualize or accessorize your vehicle. Step inside. The crimson red premium leather upholstery is overwhelming. Matching the cream color retro dash board. This is a good place to be in. Comfy, stylish and functional. My co-driver checks in-carentertainment system: MP3, USB,CD and AM/FM wired to a premium sound system. Thumbs up. Including Euro NCAP, safety rating. ***** maximum five stars.

And the engine. 1.4 liter state-of-the-art power plant. FF (front engine and front wheel drive) design and engineering. Start the engine. Even the voice, the engine note is Italian. “Bellissima!”

Now, the test drive. First the huge, red chunky ignition key studded with Swarowski looking bling. I have never seen a car key like this. Fire up the engine. Immediate response. I can feel the heritage of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati here. Thorough blood sports cars engineered for the racing circuits. Piloting this baby Fiat is pure and delicious fun. I feel close to the car. Everything fits. It’s all in place. The slightly chunky steering wheel with perfect grip. The controls;buttons, dials, switches in perfect harmony and reach. Zipping around Bangkok was fun. The’500′ handles well Italian. European suspension and brakes. Once out of Bangkok and on the on elevated tollway we hit 160 kph. A piece of cake. The 94-horsepower 1.4-liter engine tied to a 6-speed manual transmission. Really delivers. For additional fun.

There is a sport mode. Push the red button. “SPORT” and power booster is activated. And button in the ceiling for the sunroof or moon roof as prefer to say in Thailand. Cool. Just like the red, round badge in and back with with uppercase letters: F I A T.

This is the real Italian job. Head turning retro-cute, fun-to-drive, compact and stingy with gas. The best FIAT in 50 years. FIAT 500

Fiat 500 Limited Edition Premium

Price: 1,850,000 THB

Tel: 02 930-1490-5

Written by : John K Lindgren

Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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