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The Fiat 500 is a two-door coupe manufactured by the FIAT Company between 1950 and 1975. The car was also known as the Fiat Nuova 500 and the Fiat Cinquecento, with the word “cinquecento” derived from the Italian word for “500”. This small car was introduced as only 2.97 m (9 ft 9 in) in length and was launched as the Nuova 500. It was equipped with a tiny 479cc 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine, and was one of the first city cars. The Fiat 500 resembled the Volkswagen beetle with a rear-engine layout. Car manufacturers like Neckar of Germany and Steyr-Puch of Austria manufactured cars based on the Fiat 500.
The first version of the Fiat 500, Nuova, was produced between 1957 and 1960. It went on sale originally equipped with a small engine of 479cc, producing 13bph. In 1963, the attractive Fiat 500 abarth was made available, featuring a more powerful version of the 594cc twin cylinder engine and sports wheel with a unique body styling. Later on, other versions of the Fiat 500 model were produced between 1960 and 1975. Every year, small modifications were made to every model. However, production of the Fiat 500 abarth ended in 1975; it was replaced by the Fiat 126.
Fiat made a comeback with a new version of the Fiat 500. The 3-door hatchback new fiat 500 was announced on May 5, 2006, and is expected to be launched on July 4, 2007, with a projected starting price as low as £6000. The new fiat 500 is designed on the Fiat Panda platform, with three-engine options: a 1.2 4-cylinder petrol, a 1.4 Starjet 4-cylinder petrol and a 1.3 Multijet 4-cylinder diesel, which produce 69 bhp, 99 bhp and 75 bhp, respectively.