Fiat 500 facelift (2016) to be unveiled on 4 July

Published: 11 June 2015

► 2016 model year Fiat 500 outed
► New spyshots of top-selling mini
► See it for real on 4 July 2015 

Fiat is preparing a thorough overhaul for its evergreen 500 range, and not before time. The Cinquecento has been on sale little changed for eight years years and it’s testament to the original design that it’s lasted for so long with only minor engineering changes to date.

The Fiat Group has now confirmed that it’ll show the new 500 on 4 July 2015; Turin says both the original 1957 model and today’s 2007 era city car were unveiled four days into July. Nothing else is being said until then – but our latest scoop photographs suggest that this is due to be a modest evolution of the current model, rather than an all-new launch.

Spied ahead of 4 July: the new Fiat 500

Our spies caught the Italian city car on test in Europe and the heavy disguise covers most of the detail changes, which are reputedly designed to introduce some of the style from the recently launched 500X crossover. The upgrades apply to both 500 hatchback and 500C soft-top with rollback canvas roof, visible in our shots.

But despite the psychedelic camouflage adorning this Fiat 500 prototype, we can make out a few changes lined up for the 2016 model year facelift, including:

  • New headlamp graphics
  • Enlarged auxiliary light position
  • Likely new grille treatment
  • Fresh design for latticework alloy wheels
  • Redesigned rear lamp graphic
  • New low-set rear reflectors set in bumper

What’s new inside the 2016 Fiat 500 cabin?

One of our spyshots grabs a quick look inside the interior, revealing a barely changed cabin. Body-matching colour panels carry over, with a pastel baby blue in this prototype, lending a dash of bold colour.

Expect some new colours and trims to pep things up; this car sports a light check tartan-style trim with red piping and a leather-stitched steering wheel.

Inside new 2016 model year Fiat 500's cabin

But more change comes in the electronic architecture lavished upon the new 2016 Fiat 500. Although the dashboard is shrouded in disguise, we can see a new on-off button mounted high centrally on the centre console and we believe this is the U-connect infotainment system you’ll find on an Alfa Romeo Giulietta and elsewhere in the Fiat group.

With the keyless ignition visible in this test car and a proper, up-to-date satellite-navigation and multimedia system, the hordes of young fashionista who still buy the 500 in their tens of thousands will soon have a digital system to integrate their lifestyles, music and media consumption.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet