Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is back in a new shape. The car industry seems to like relaunches of beloved and classic models. This time it is the iconic Fiat 500 that has been on the operation table of the car designers. I’m not sure I like what I see. Just compare the new one to the original Fiat 500 below:

Fiat 500

Fiat was participating at the Milan furniture fair in April where they made a preview (only on drawings) of the car and it made me confused. I love the old Fiat 500. It is one of the cutest cars ever. Simply adorable. So, my first impression was – wow, the Fiat 500 is coming back to the streets! But the new version is not iconic at all like the original Fiat 500. Not in my eyes at least. I see a kind of standardized small car design. Actually nothing more. What happened during the transformation? Compare to the relaunch of the Mini a few years ago. The designers almost made it into a better car (even if the original Mini is great as well). Look at the pictures below and judge for yourself:

mini-cooper

mini-cooper

Even if the new Beetle isn’t my favourite car it is still a much better example of an interesting development of an original concept. Once again some “proof” below:

vw beetle

vw beetle

So, what happened with Fiat 500? I’m not craving for the new car and that is a problem, not for me but for the Fiat folks. Because unfortunately I’m probably not the only one. Quite a few of my friends feel the same. Fiat is trying to build a community around the new Fiat 500 which is smart, but it gets a little hollow when the product itself is pale. Italian car design has a proud history but this time they misses the target. I think they were just not bold enough. That’s a dangerous mistake because boldness is one of the most important qualities when it comes to product development. What do you think?

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