The timing is significant, in that it is the date that the original 500 city car was launched in 1957, and also the day when the modern version was unveiled in 2007. The 500 has been a massive success for the Italian manufacturer and is offered across the world, proving popular in Europe, Asia and the USA.
The current model, which shares a platform with the Ford Ka, launched eight years ago as a premium city car offering, with the emphasis on its distinctive looks rather than dynamic appeal. Combined with well-judged pricing, the 500 has broad appeal and some of the strongest residual values in its segment.
The 500 has spawned a family of products in addition to the original three-door model. The soft top 500C was first, followed by the more practical five-door 500L which offers space for a small family. A rugged Trekking version beefed up the looks a little to cash in on the trend for compact SUVs, although the recently introduced 500X does a far more convincing job. The compact seven-seat 500L MPW is the final model in the line-up, bringing the total number of 500 models to six.