back to article Fiat 500 TwinAir

As a rule, I loathe retro car design. The people responsible for VW’s re-imagining of the Beetle, and BMW’s not-that-mini Mini should have passed water on the graves of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and Sir Alec Issigonis, and had done with it. Such is the intellectual perfidy of this despicable and lazy philosophy of car design. Fiat …

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IT Angle

IT Angle ???

Is there one ?

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The windows logo on the steering wheel

Ugh... That is one vehicle that is definitely NEVER going to make my shopping list. Windows logo on the steering wheel? No thanks...

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Yes, but you need to read the article.

Fiat's eco:drive is a internet based application. It pulls in data from the vehicle, data on fuel prices and combines them along with other users data on fuel efficiency.

This immediatly makes the article more IT relevent than the next 'a different colour i-product is rumoured to be in development'.

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Silver badge

If it has a Windows logo...

Then the car will only steer left. This will be cited as a design feature.

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Happy

check on the right-hand side...

of the 'Hard Facts' section (page 5) - says you can buy it from Amazon.

If AMAZON isn't IT enough i just don't know what is..

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Jobs Horns

Could be worse

It could have an Apple logo, then it would cost twice as much and would only run on fuel approved by Apple and priced well above market rates. And you'd probably need a rubber bumper over the steering wheel as you're surely holding it wrong :-)

But worst of all it will only come in one color and if you don't upgrade yearly you'll be ridiculed for driving such an obsolete vehicle.

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Linux

Could be even worse

It could have a penguin logo - then it would be really cheap, but you'd need to use a command line interface to steer or brake, and you'd need to modify the engine yourself if you wanted to use a new brand of oil.

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Well...

I guess it's only a matter of time until The Register gets a Stig-a-like

Cars are boring

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Happy

Or maybe ...

... a Stig-a-trix??

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Anonymous Coward

@DarkNerd

If you think cars are boring, you are driving the wrong one. Get a 7 or similar. Then you might get a girlfriend too.

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wow, that's quite aggressive and personal

compensating much?

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Badgers

Cars are boring

but useful for taking big junk to the tip, going glamping, or buying the year's supply of big rolls and washing powder from a hypermarket.

A "7or similar" is a car for people who can't cope with a motorbike test.

Ok, I can't see that the "500" fills either of those roles.

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@AC

Cars *are* boring. As are most girlfriends after a while...

Cars are for moving from A to B. If you want excitement - get yourself a plane.

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Stop

eh?

"As are most girlfriends after a while"

Cant agree with you there sorry.

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W4 NKR

>>> If you think cars are boring, you are driving the wrong one. Get a 7 or similar. Then you might get a girlfriend too.

Beamer drivers are all wankers.

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Happy

Mmm. Motorbike.

"A "7or similar" is a car for people who can't cope with a motorbike test."

Or who want a road legal go kart...

I fancy a 7, and an R1, and a leggy old diesel merc for motorway schleps.

Shame I don't have the money to buy, insure, or fuel any of them. Bah.

Steven R

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Girlfriends aren't boring....

....Until you marry them.

Married, hence AC in case she's reading (looks over shoulder)...

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Happy

RE: Cars are boring

"....A "7or similar" is a car for people who can't cope with a motorbike test....." Nah, it's for those that want to be able to survive a 30mph shunt without extensive surgery. Unlike bikers. I can also offer from experience the fact that most girls will get into a Se7en, even in a cocktail dress, but won't be happy to put on leathers or mess their hair up with an helmet, and then perch on a pillion. Bikes are great for solo thrills, if that's how you like your thrills....

Now, Se7ens with bike engines are fun, so why don't Fiat make a small, mid-engined sportster with this turbo twin? They could call it the new X-19.

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FAIL

re: Beamer drivers are all wankers

You don't know what a "7" is, then?

Anyway, didn't you know Audi drivers are the new BMW drivers?

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IT Angle

The IT angle is..

The IT angle is.. that the car runs Windows (Windows Automotive) which handles various control functions and the media player. (And El Reg has covered low emission cars for a while!)

We bought one of the first new 500s in the UK early in 2008 - apart from the weird random flashing odometer thing and some issues with external trim, it has been a reliable little thing and it really is fun to drive. It's pretty high-tech underneath the retro exterior, and there are zillions of different options which means that no two are exactly the same.

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British Leyland - Before Its Time

"...which means that no two are exactly the same."

The same could be said of every car British Leyland ever churned out.

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Happy

IT angle

Well it does have a USB port...

I was also excited by the "Buy from Amazon" link, thinking the online behemoth had made the move into the automotive industry. Clicking on the link was something of a disappointment as I'm not sure "The 2011 Electric Car Guide: Discover the Truth About Owning and Using Electric Cars" will serve my motoring needs too well. Although I imagine it has very low running costs.

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Happy

Retro cars.

I have to say that I agree with everything said on that subject.

I also reckon that FIAT have nailed it here. I must get my paws on one of these.

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Coat

Ah, but....

Can 6 people carry it up 2 flights of stairs and leave it on the landing?

Mine's the one with the photo of the Fiat500 that got parked outside the 5th floor lab.

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Sun Roof

There was always the sun roof which could be opened up to allow extra passengers who could sit on the laps of those in the seats (no, not like that, not with nine people in the thing). Just something I heard about, a mate of mine etc.

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Happy

Re: Sun roof

The orginal also came in a roofless version with wicker seats called a Jolly, see here:

http://microcarmuseum.com/tour/fiat500jolly.html

I remember once reading an article about this beastie in a Classic car mag, which closed with something like; "There. I managed to write the whole article without once mentioning Noddy..........damn.".

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FAIL

Is that price right?

11 grand? You could buy a car for that sort of money!

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'lazy philosophy of car design'

This is a glibb comment that misses the work required to bring a car to market, designers are offering the public what they want ... right?

Or perhaps we are all lazy for not designing a better wheel?

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WTF?

engine weight - how much?

This sort of thing is definitely the near future of motoring: it has to be. Much better suited to short town journeys than any diesel, too... (My wife has a golf TDI with a DPF, and it needs an occasional longer drive at motorway speed to empty the crud from the dpf)

definitely worth checking out.

Saying that, how come a 2 cylinder, 875cc engine weighs 85kg? What's it made out of? The BMW N52 3 litre 6 cylinder engine weighs 161kg... Three times the size, three times the number of cylinders, three times the power - but under twice the weight & co2 emissions. If they'd taken the same approach it could have been down to just over 50kg? I guess there's a turbo, multiair cleverness etc but I'm surprised a 2 cylinder engine would weigh that much: it doesn't strike me as particularly light.

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re: weight

It's not really my area of expertise, but a modern engine is a complex thing - surely there are many parts that simply don't scale with size.

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Coat

Extra cylinders?

The extra cylinders are actually just empty space and as such don't weigh any more

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IT Angle

Free car anyone?

My spidey senses detect a backhander from Fiat. Not that I object, the reg has to pay for it's costs somehow I guess..

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You did see it costs eleven grand?

That's a hell of a lot of money to spend on a laudatory article in a newspaper which, frankly, nobody is reading for its automotive coverage. If this were the Car & Driver comments section, I might think you could have a point, but here?

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Oooh, nice

The 500 series is based on the 2003 Panda chassis, iirc. I like my Panda, it handles well for a low-end non-sports car, but it's not quite as fun as it could be. It's comparable to a Pug 205 in terms of driving experience, which is good, but it's no Mini (and by Mini, I mean an actual Mini, not the fat ugly crap BMW make)

If this compares well to a Mini, I might be interested. Does better mpg than my current Panda diesel too. I agree on the styling, I think the 500 is one of the few reimagined classics which actually works. The Panda is too, thinking about it. Fiat are doing a lot right these days.

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Panda

The Panda is also jolly good, but usually overlooked in favour of the 500. I remember a year or so ago that James May raised the idea of a "Save the Panda" campaign..

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Anonymous Coward

Looking forward to having a go in one of these

I've driven a bunch of 500s and so far never failed to have an enormous amount of fun. One note: that bit of painted metal across the dash: it's actually plastic.

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Joke

Windows on the steering wheel?

Certainly brings a new meaning to the 'Blue Screen Of Death' if it 'crashes'...

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Retro

At least Fiat have refrained from making a 500 4x4 SUV in the style of the "Countryman".

That is the type of bloat that would make Microsoft proud.

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Erm

http://www.gmotors.co.uk/news/fiat-500-awd-prototype-spotted-testing-in-sweden/2012-fiat-500-awd-prototype-7/

OK, it's not a Cuntryman, just a 500 with a similar AWD system to the Panda, which is reportedly very simple and rather effective.

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Company car

This is ace as a company car - I have one, pretty well spec'd with hi-fi, ESP, glass roof, blue&me and it's incredibly cheap, even for a higher rate tax payer.

I get nowhere near the claimed 67mpg though :(

@johnny It is based on the panda chassis, yes.

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Gold badge
Happy

Re: Company car

Company cars never get anywhere near the mpg that other drivers of the same vehicle get, let alone the manufacturer's claimed mpg.

Something to do with the accompanying company fuel card positively encouraging hefty use of the "lead welly" to get yer money's worth on the associated tax liability.

One of my colleagues reports that by attaching a roofrack, a huge roof box and two surfboards, loading the car+box to the gunwales and thrashing the living goolies off it all the way to the south of France, you can get a Prius to do under 40mpg on a run. I was impressed.

My all time fave scheme was that of a mate whose car policy said that you could take the cash alternative and still get the fuel card. He did so and bought a 4 litre V8 Land Rover Discovery. It's amazing how much you can get one of those to drink when you're *really* trying......

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Go

Ahh that would be the reverse fuel consumption figure

Of Gallons per mile rather than MPG

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Wow

I think I've found my next car. I love the design of the new 500 (it reminds me of a space age toaster) and I found the old cinquecento to be a hoot when driven hard.

I also love the whole concept of fuel economy dropping into the 40 mpg range if driven hard. That's good for a lot of cars if driven cautiously./

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Heart

well-said

i congratulate you about the sentiment regarding the "new Beetle" and "new Mini", the latter also known as the "Twatmobile"

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Anonymous Coward

Comparethesheertwat.com

Only for ignoramuses who have never driven one for any length of time.

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FAIL

Blue and Me

Speeaking as someone who's had a hire car with the predecessor, Microsoft Sync...

HELL NO!

I always thought needing to pull over, stop and restart the car was from the 'what if microsoft made cars' joke. But when it got stuck in a loop 'Please say command...please say command...' barrelling down Highway 1 at midnight I didnt find it THAT funny.

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Stop

rule 1. Never judge a car on a hire car

My previous car was a 2007 Fiat Bravo with blue&me.

Brilliant system. If there was too much noise for the voice detection to work (you would need to be driving through a roadworks with the windows open) you simply use the menu/enter, up/down and back/esc buttons on the steering wheel. Of course if it was that noisey the person you called couldn't hear you.

The mp3 playing and eco drive worked very well too. The only problem was DRM.

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Nev
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Blue and Me

I've been using it for 5 years. No issues.

Voice commands for phone dialling etc. blow every other system out of the water.

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Badgers

MPG

I've heard various claims that the >60mpg is very difficult to achieve and that lots of TwinAir owners aren't getting anywhere near that. Of course the manufacturer's claimed figure is always pie in the sky, but it seems for some reason that FIAT's seems to be well off for this model

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Absolutely

Interesting read here: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/green-motoring/2011-02/500-twinair-economy/

Apparently the manufacturer's quoted MPG values were likely derived in Eco mode, which is a bit naughty without clarifying that next to the figures.

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