TEST DRIVE: Fiat 500 Colour Therapy

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WANT to make an entrance? LES OLIVER couldn’t help get noticed in this colourful little Fiat.

“CAN’T see many macho men going for that!” was a neighbour’s wry comment as I pulled up in Fiat’s latest bright yellow “chicmobile”.

The Fiat 500 Colour Therapy is a new range of cars designed to bring back the spirit of the ‘70s with a collection of vibrant colours.

You virtually need sunglasses for the dazzling model they let me try out (I didn’t mind the shades - I was happy to keep a low profile!)

The little Cinquecento is already recognised as one of the most stylish city cars around the world.

This new Colour Therapy range is positioned between the 500 Pop and Lounge specifications.

The idea, apparently, is that the colour combinations that made the 500 famous in Italy and around the world during the 1960s and 1970s will strike a new note in the second decade of the 21st century.

Available in both hatchback and convertible versions, and with either 0.9-litre TwinAir or Fiat’s 1.2-litre petrol engines, the cars come in five special paint colours: New Age Cream, Countrypolitan Yellow, Pasodoble Red, Volare Blue, and Tech House Grey.

The colours may be bright but at least there’s no sickly green or ‘orrible orange that you occasionally see on the roads.

But it’s not just the exterior colour that gets special treatment. It’s replicated inside too and distinguishing white details give the car’s interior a unique personality.

Even without the paint job, the litle car has a huge appeal, especially to women – well over 100,000 have been sold since the Fiat 500’s launch in the UK in 2008.

Standard on the mid-range Colour Therapy are air conditioning, white mirror covers, white wheel covers, a ‘poolball’ design gear knob and specific key cover.

It costs £800 more than the entry-level Pop, but adds more than £1,000 worth of extra equipment.

Apart from the colour, the main thing you notice with this car though is the engine sound. It’s very noisy by today’s standards of refinement.

The 875cc TwinAir Turbo two-cylinder petrol engine sounds like motor-bike, or as if the exhaust has blown.

It’s very noticeable at first, but you just get used to it.

On the plus side, the little motor has low emissions (92g/km) and very good fuel economy - 70,6mpg so it should be cheap to run , and it’s in insurance group 10 from a range that goes up to 50.

It does 0-62mph in 11 seconds and top speed is 107mph.

The Colour Therapy range starts at £10,760 (OTR) for the 1.2, rising to £14,510 (OTR) for the 500C 0.9-litre TwinAir.

If you are a bit of an extrovert this will certainly help get you noticed.


Fiat 500 Colour Therapy

Engine: 2-cyl. 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol

Power: 85bhp

0-60: 11 secs

Top speed: 107mph

Economy: 70.6mpg

CO2: 92g/km

Price: £11,960