Fiat Nuova 500

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fiat 500 F.
Fiat 500 F.
Production period: 1957-1977
Class : Small car
Body versions : Limousine , station wagon
Engines: Otto engines :
0.5-0.6 liters
(10-16 kW)
Length: 2970 mm
Width: 1320 mm
Height: 1325 mm
Wheelbase : 1840 mm
Empty weight : 470-525 kg
successor 126
Fiat 500 N from 1957 with the long folding roof
Fiat 500 L

The Fiat 500 from 1957 to 1975 was a small car from the automobile manufacturer Fiat . In contrast to the Topolino , it was called Nuova 500 ; the new and the Topolino had nothing in common technically. From 1957 to 1977, including the station wagon version “Giardiniera” and some special models, 3,702,078 Fiat 500s were built.


The "Cinquecento" ("Five Hundred") had independent suspension, a self-supporting body and an air-cooled rear engine . The twin-bearing two-cylinder in-line engine, a " parallel twin " with hanging valves and a displacement of 479 cm³, developed 10 kW (13.5 hp). The rear wheels were driven via an unsynchronized four-speed gearbox with a dog clutch that was interlocked with the differential. The car reached a maximum of 85 km / h.

The front wheels were suspended from upper wishbones and a lower transverse leaf spring, which guided the wheel as a handlebar and served as a spring and stabilizer. In the steering gear, a worm acted on a tooth segment; the tie rod was divided into three parts. The rear trailing arm axle had coil springs.


Sales of the first version of the Nuova 500 fell short of expectations, which is why a more powerful engine with an output of 11 kW (15 hp) was presented at the Turin Motor Show in autumn 1957. The little Fiat 500 was now 90 km / h fast. Only Abarth versions achieved higher performances. After just a few months, the sales price was also lowered in order to differentiate the new 500 from the Fiat 600 more clearly . Buyers from the very beginning were even compensated. In 1958, the smallest Fiat (without the extra heating) in Germany cost 2,990 DM. Adjusted for inflation, this corresponds to 7,100 euros in today's currency.

The Fiat 500 was initially spartan. The windows in the doors could not be rolled down, fresh air only came through the vent windows in the doors and air slots in the front sheet metal, from which hoses led to flaps under the dashboard. In return, the early versions had a long folding roof that could be opened up to the cooling air slots above the bonnet. This long folding roof is often a typical feature of the first models designated as "N", as are the air vents in the front panel. In fact, as early as 1958, Fiat provided this variant with a version with a shorter folding roof, as is commonly known from the 500, including the later models. The rear tin roof with a glass rear window was bolted to the body. With a few moldings and crank windows, the “luxury” variant was born. On request, you could also get the long folding roof. Many 500s of the first years of construction (N and D, until 1965) were and are being converted to the long folding roof in order to enjoy the "convertible feeling". In the past, the fixed roof was seen as an expression of high standards, today the large roof opening is chic. It had a modern 12 V lighting system and a lockable hand throttle. As with all later Fiat 500 models, the starter was operated mechanically via a Bowden cable.

The last models in the N series anticipated the look of the D model (1960–1965): the air slots in the front panel had given way to indicators , and the large, teardrop-shaped indicators on the fenders of the N model were replaced by small, round indicators. The taillights were overall larger and more angular, with more voluminous aluminum bases and two-tone glasses. Furthermore, from the D model onwards, the dashboard now had an ashtray. The doors were still hinged at the back, so-called suicide doors . The engine now developed 13 kW (17.5 hp), so that the 100 km / h limit could be reached as the top speed. The only difference between the last N and D models is based on the chassis number. The type code “110” is followed by an up to six-digit number for the “N”; for the “D”, the “110” is separated from the number by the “D”. The confusion becomes complete with N models with and D models without ashtrays, which are actually built that way. Changes were incorporated into ongoing production, in some cases old stocks were apparently built in or new features were tried out in small numbers in advance.

In 1960 a station wagon version with the engine inclined 90 ° to the right was presented under the name "Giardiniera" (gardener). The horizontal engine and the flatly arranged ancillaries enabled a very spacious rear trunk for this vehicle category, which could be enlarged by folding down the rear seats. This was the first time that an underfloor engine was implemented in passenger car construction, and the combination version was made possible in conjunction with a rear engine. Although the "tilting" of the engine sounds quite simple at first, almost no parts are the same as the sedan engine apart from the crank drive. The body of this version was extended by 210 mm to 3182 mm. Not only was the rear overhang of the station wagon version lengthened, the wheelbase was also enlarged by 100 mm to 1940 mm, so that the "Giardiniera" became the four-seater of the 500 family. Brakes and rims were taken over from the Fiat 600. The estate variant had rear-hinged doors until the end of production (around a year after production of the 500 R was discontinued). Therefore, they were no longer available on the German market from around 1965, because these doors were no longer permitted in Germany before that. A corresponding exemption is therefore noted in the vehicle registration documents for the last D models and station wagons. Autobianchi produced the station wagon version until 1977.

In 1965 the type D was replaced by the F model with 13 kW (18 hp). The most noticeable thing about the revised body is that the doors of the Type F were hinged at the front. Initially, each door was fastened with eight, later with four screws. The now recessed door hinges and door latches make the A and B pillars wider. For this, the door sills in the interior were slimmed down by a few centimeters. The roof pillars were designed as open hollow profiles in the rear area, and the hardtop was replaced by a sheet metal roof, i.e. a closed body. The folding roof that was still supplied was just as big as the D. In 1968, a luxury version 500 L was presented, externally recognizable by additional chrome bars and decorative strips as well as a wide speedometer. Other changes in the course of the construction of the F-model also affect the differently screwed air grille above the bonnet. After a few attempts on the N and D models, a durable construction was finally found for the connection between drive shafts and wheel hubs, which can still be found in the Fiat 126 in the same dimension. These rubber star couplings, commonly referred to as shock absorbers, are always the cause of numerous repairs.

In 1972, the last to be presented was the R series with 594 cm³ and 13 kW (18 hp). However, the chassis number does not have an “R” after the type designation “110”, but rather an “F”. Some components of the successor 126, which was presented at the same time, were already found in the 500 R. The engine was structurally identical except for the carburettor . Instead of the Weber type “28 IMB”, the type “24 IMB” was installed, which throttled the engine by 5 HP. The motor mount has been greatly simplified to reduce manufacturing costs. Associated with this is the introduction of a gearbox bracket that connects the bracket to the vehicle floor. Some changes have also been made to the body of the R. The sill trims fell away. The trunk floor was redesigned to create space for the modified pedals, because the hydraulic brake light switch on the master brake cylinder had given way to a mechanical variant on which the pedal acted directly.

Nowadays Fiat 500s without a folding roof are rare, mostly a Francis Lombardi “My Car” or a Steyr-Puch 500.

The Fiat 500 was the basis of the NSU-Fiat Neckar Weinsberg 500 Coupé and the Vignale Gamine, both two-seater vehicles, of which only a few were made in the 1960s .

Production at Steyr-Daimler-Puch

The Austrian vehicle manufacturer Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG produced the Fiat 500 under license from 1957 to 1973. and marketed the models under the sub-brand Steyr-Puch. The Steyr-Puch models always had a self-developed boxer engine and a pendulum axle with its own gearbox. Only at the end of the construction period did Steyr-Daimler-Puch take over the 500 gearbox including the rear axle swing arm. Numerous other details also differed from the Italian original. In the beginning, the engine performance of the Steyr-Puchs was on a similar level as the 500, but had more potential because the engine was more revving. Cross-flow cylinder heads also improved gas exchange.

Technical specifications

Fiat 500 Nuova 500
500 Sports
500 D
500 F, L
500 R
Engine:  Two cylinder in-line engine in the rear ( four-stroke - Otto engine )
the cylinder of cast iron , crankcase and head made of light metal
Displacement:  479 cc 499.5 cc 594 cc
Bore × stroke:  66 × 70 mm 67.4 x 70 mm 73.5 × 70 mm
Power:  10 kW (13.5 PS) 16 kW (21.5 PS) 13 kW (18 hp)
at 1 / min:  4600 4800 4000 4600 4000
Max. Torque at 1 / min:  27.5 Nm at 2500 41 SAE-Nm at 3500 35.3 Nm at 3500 31.0 Nm at 2200 36 Nm at 2500
Compression:  6.55: 1 8.6: 1 7.1: 1 7.5: 1
Valve control:  Lateral camshaft (chain drive), overhead valves
Cooling:  Air cooling (fan)
Transmission:  4-speed gearbox with center shift, not synchronized
rear-wheel drive
Front suspension:  Transverse leaf spring (below) and wishbone, telescopic shock absorber
Rear suspension:  Trailing arm axle with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers
Body:  Self-supporting all-steel body
Track width front / rear:  1121/1135 mm
Wheelbase:  1840 mm
Tires:  125-12
Dimensions L × W × H:  2970 × 1320 × 1325 mm 2970 × 1320 × 1350 mm 2970 × 1320 × 1335 mm 2970 × 1320 × 1350 mm
Empty weight:  470 kg 492 kg 510 kg 520 kg 525 kg
Top speed:  approx. 85 km / h 105+ km / h 100 km / h

Variants of the Fiat 500

Successor to the Fiat 500

As the successor to the Fiat 500, the Fiat 126 was built in Poland from 1972 to 2000 , although it was not as successful as the 500 in the Federal Republic of Germany - and in Italy, too.

On July 5, 2007, a new model called "500" was presented on the Panda platform . See main article Fiat 500 (2007)

The Duesen Bayern Ritz has been built in Japan since June 2002 . The model was developed on the basis of the Nissan March , the front was modeled on that of the Fiat Nuova 500.

The Fiat 500 in pop culture

Individual evidence

  1. This figure was determined automatically , has been rounded to a full 100 euros and relates to last January.
  2. Combined small car with underfloor engine . In: Motor Vehicle Technology 8/1960, pp. 321–322.



  • The Fiat 500 Documentary, France, 2010, 26 min., Written and directed by: Danielle Schirman, Production: Steamboat Films, ARTE France, Le Center Pompidou , Lobster Films, Series: Design, German first broadcast: March 18, 2012 on arte, Film -Information and video excerpt from arte.

Web links

Commons : Fiat 500 (1957-1975)  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files