The ‘Nuova’ 500, introduced in 1957 as a successor to the beloved ‘Topolino’ by FIAT, marked a significant departure from its predecessor’s pre-war design. This new model showcased innovative features such as unitary construction, an opening fabric roof, and all-independent suspension, with the engine positioned at the rear. Powered by a 479cc air-cooled overhead-valve twin engine and equipped with a four-speed gearbox, the initial ‘Economica’ version faced criticism for its austerity.
In response to the feedback, FIAT swiftly unveiled an upgraded model towards the end of 1957 at the Turin Show. This refined ‘Nuova’ version addressed concerns by introducing enhancements like wind-down windows, an upholstered rear seat, column-mounted switchgear stalks, and stylish hubcaps. This revision proved highly successful for FIAT, ensuring the continued popularity of the 500, which endures to this day. Notably, the car earned the title of ‘Sexiest Car’ from the readers of Top Gear magazine, underscoring its timeless appeal.