New Fiat 500 2016 facelift spied before July reveal

Fiat‘s stylish 500 is set to get an imminent refresh, and these first spyshots show the updated look for the Italian city car. The firm has announced that the 2016 model year Fiat 500 facelift will be unveiled in full on July 4th for autumn release, which is 58 years to the day after the original ‘Cinquecento’ 500 was unveiled to the public.

The unveil is also eight years to the day since the modern-day reincarnation of the 500 was launched. Today’s car remains almost completely unchanged in terms of design, and this latest facelift is an effort at a final rejuvenation before an all-new model, due in the next couple of years.

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Although you’re unlikely to spot them at first, these mildly camouflaged images show new front and rear-end designs, with revised halogen spotlight headlamps, a tweaked bumper and air intake design and a new dual-bar top grille . The changes also mirror the new 500X crossover. At the back, there’s new LED lamps with a ring design around a bodywork insert, while the chrome bumper accent has been moved down.

We are yet to see the updated 500’s cabin, but we can expect the eight-year old design will get a raft of trim and tech upgrades to bring it into line with Fiat’s latest models, such as the 500X. The current MINI-rivalling city car is based on the platform of the old Panda, so there’s little Fiat can do in terms of improving passenger space.

The engines will be updated to meet Euro 6 emission requirements, with both petrol and diesel units receiving efficiency improvements. The trademark ‘TwinAir’ two-cylinder turbo petrol engine will likely be the focus of this, with the firm looking to improve performance, driveability and fuel consumption.

Fiat will hope to continue the success of the current car, which has sold more than one million units to date. The Italian firm claims there are over 500,000 different personalisation configurations – a feature that is only likely to grow with this update and even further with the next-generation car.

Do you think Fiat has done enough to keep the 500 competitive with cars like the MINI and Vauxhall Adam? Let us know in the comments below.

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