The 1957 FIAT 500 was not only the cornerstone of a mobilised Italy, allowing millions of people to experience the personal freedom of car ownership, it also symbolised the rebirth of the nation, becoming inextricably linked to the Dolce Vita years during which the country rediscovered its sense of style, vitality and fun. During the same time, another Italian icon also rose to prominence - Aquarama, the Riva speedboat. Elegant and exquisitely executed, the Aquarama was an authentic status symbol which helped Riva on its way to becoming one of the world's most respected premium boat builders.
Almost 60 years later, the two symbols of Italian style and elegance finally converge in the form of the FIAT 500 Riva. Aimed at motorists seeking the same exclusivity of Aquariva Super yacht - the current Riva icon - but in an accessible, everyday package, the FIAT 500 Riva is finished in "Sera Blue", an exclusive colour for this limited edition model and one of the most popular for the Aquariva Super, successor to the legendary Aquarama.
The convertible version also gets a new blue soft top, created exclusively for this version, while the hatchback gets a panoramic glass roof as standard, but what really sets the FIAT 500 Riva apart is the detailing: Externally, in addition to the exclusive colour, the mirror caps have a chrome finish, as do the handles and the bonnet trim. A double aquamarine line runs along the belt line, enhancing the soft profile of the 500 and recalling the beautiful line of a yacht, while brand new 16-inch, 20-spoke alloy wheels, with a special blue finish, have been created especially for the FIAT 500 Riva. Finally, the logo of the nautical legend is placed on the boot lid, the wheel arch and the wooden insert of the side moulding.
Inside, the dashboard is finished in hand-painted mahogany with maple inlay work, offering the occupants the luxurious warmth of life on-board, as emphasised by the prominent Riva logo. An innovative engineering process was implemented to make the dashboard, merging state of the art materials technologies with natural wood and classic craftsmanship: The wood is applied onto an ultralight carbon shell to ensure stability, flexibility and perfect strength over the lifetime of the vehicle. The maple inlays are inserted by hand, making each creation truly unique.
The door sills and gear knob are also carved from a solid piece of mahogany, while the seats are trimmed in an exclusive ivory leather created by Poltrona Frau, in colours and materials reminiscent of the exclusive ambience of Aquariva Super. Even the floor mats are especially created with ivory hems and contrasting "Sera Blue" stitching, as is the boot mat that also features a wood insert with Riva lettering.
In terms of safety equipment, the FIAT 500 Riva is equipped with seven airbags, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) Hill Holder and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) that helps with emergency braking.
Luxury equipment includes automatic climate control, front fog lights, rear parking sensors, LED DRLs and a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster with aquamarine background and Riva logo. In addition, the dashboard incorporates as standard FIAT's latest seven-inch HD UconnectTM LIVE infotainment system, featuring a high-definition display and a wide range of functions including DAB digital radio, UconnectTM LIVE services, Bluetooth voice calls, music streaming and voice recognition. The system can be upgraded with 3D satellite navigation as an option.
The new FIAT 500 Riva will be available in the UK from the end of August with the 1.2 69hp, TwinAir 85hp and TwinAir 105hp engine options. The FIAT 500 range starts at £11,050 OTR while the UK pricing for FIAT 500 Riva range will be announced closer to its launch date later in the summer.