Instead of sitting behind his desk and talking about the 2015 Fiat 500 1957 Edition, Terry Hines, the sales manager at Fiat of Olathe, explained the car while taking a drive from the dealership at 15500 W. 117th St., Olathe to I-35 and back.
The 1957 Edition, which debuted in 2014, pays homage to the iconic Fiat 500 Nuova.
“It is huge for a brand like ours where everything is all about rich heritage,” Hines said. “Bringing back the 1957 Nuova in a new 2015 rendition definitely speaks to the heritage of the Fiat in so many ways. Consumers who come to Fiat buy into it because of the rich heritage behind it.”
The 16-inch wheels match the automobile’s exterior color and feature the retro Fiat brand logo. Together, these details complete the authentic look of the Fiat 500 1957 Edition.
The Fiat 500 1957 Edition also features an available six-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick shifter. Taking advantage of the new final-drive gear ratio, the standard five-speed manual transmission helps deliver more driving fun and greater fuel efficiency.
“The functionality is the biggest thing, especially in the Kansas City metropolitan area, just because of its overall size, its versatility,” Hines said. “The gas mileage as well, makes it very affordable. It gets 31 miles in the city and 40 on the highway.”
Now that the weather has warmed up, it is the perfect time to put the Fiat 500 on the road.
“It is definitely a fun car to drive,” Hines said.
The fun should increase later this summer when the new 2015 Fiat 1957 Cabrio hits the market. It will allow open-air driving.
With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500c 1957 Edition’s power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler at speeds up to a best-in-class 60 mph. A midway stopping point may be chosen by pressing the button any time between. Press the roof button again, and the roof will neatly fold all the way open and tuck neatly behind the rear head restraints at up to 50 mph.
The power cloth top offers even more technology. When the liftgate is opened for trunk access, the power-operated cloth top automatically retracts back to the rear-spoiler position to avoid any obstruction.
“We continue to expand the Fiat lineup,” said Jason Stoicevich, head of Fiat brand for North America, in a press release. “The Fiat 500 1957 Edition celebrates the spirit of the original 1957 Nuova 500, and with the arrival of a Cabrio version, we are adding open-air fun to the iconic Italian-designed Fiat 500 1957 Edition.”
Whether it is 1957 Edition or a Fiat 500c Pop or a Fiat 500 Sport, Hines said this is a great vehicle for all demographics.
“Doing our original research, we thought it would be 18 to 40 to 50 year olds,” Hines said. “To our surprise, it has actually been quite a bit more widespread. We have customers in their late 70s, early 80s, all the way down to your first time drivers, 15 to 16.”
The reason, he said, is because of the size of the vehicle. Another factor is the cost. The Fiat 500 1957 Edition ranges from $23,500 to $25,500. But a 2015 Fiat 500 Sport starts at $13,995.
As for the 1957 Edition, Hines said customers love it.
“One thing about Fiats is it is more of a nostalgia type of vehicle,” Hines said. “Because of that, when nicer weather comes around and fun times, they will definitely come out.”
If you have a story you would like to see in On the Move, email David Boyce at Drive@kcstar.com.