THE hottest day of the year so far fortunately coincided with me driving one of the cutest convertibles in the motoring world which enabled me to enjoy both the spring sunshine and the joy of Fiat’s 500C with the distinctive two cylinder engine writes Bryan Longworth.
By pressing a button above the windscreen the soft top rolled back like taking the top off a tin of sardines and the interior of the car was covered with spring sunshine providing very enjoyable motoring after the long hard winter.
My test car was the 500c Twin Air Pop with the new 875cc two cylinder engine which Fiat describe as being “technologically advanced low consumption” and the cleanest quantity production petrol engine in the world which has Start and Stop to improve fuel consumption.
Weighing just 85kg and with figures of 95g/km of CO2 the engine has the lowest emissions of any volume production engine.
Top speed is 108mph, the sprint to 62mph takes 11 seconds and the combined fuel consumption with the five speed manual gearbox is claimed to be 68.9mpg.
The test car cost £13,865 (500C prices start at £12,665 for the model with the 1.2-litre engine) and it was fitted with options such as 15ins alloy wheels at £315, special red paint at £265 and a leather steering wheel with audio controls costing £105.
There is a retro look about the smart interior with two comfortable front seats and a two seater rear seat where leg room is rather restricted.
At the rear is a fairly roomy boot for such a small car and it easily accommodated my weekly supermarket shopping where the 500C attracted plenty of attention in the car park.
The first thing you notice about this particular 500C is the distinctive note of the two cylinder engine which I quite liked but a passenger thought it rather noisy.
However, it provided me with fun motoring for a week and the open top was a bonus for the sunshine motoring in the Peak District.
There was just one thing that I found puzzling - the fuel consuption. For while the combined figure is listed as nearly 70mpg the trip computer showed my consumption to be only just over 38mpg and I drove quite steadily over the test period and frequently used the economy mode.
The 500C provided really fun motoring with its excellent handling in the nice spring sunshine and showed why it has become a classic in its own lifetime.
My Verdict: Funky and fun.
Model: Fiat 500C TwinAir Pop
Engine: 875cc two cylinder petrol
Output: 85bhp at 5500rpm
Transmission: Five speed manual
Top speed: 108mph
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 11 seconds.
CO2 emissions: 95g/km
Fuel consumption: Combined 68.9mpg.