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New 500 wins Car-of-the-Year 2008 award
Giving Fiat its 9th brand and 12th group title

Fiat 500, winner of the Car of the Year 2008 award.

The Fiat 500 gets the title again for Fiat and for its Panda sister.

APN,
19 November 2007.

Car-of-the-Year "specialist" winner, Fiat, captured today its ninth title in the European award which started in 1963 (for the car of the year 1964), confirming the Italian brand lead ahead of the second and third most titled brands, Renault with six titles (1966, 1982, 1991, 1997, 2003 and 2006) and Ford (five).

For this year, the European crown went to the retro-looking new Fiat 500, with 385 points earned from 58 specialist journalists from 22 European countries, ahead of the Japanese runner-up Mazda2 (325 points), which happens to be also the sister model of the Ford Fiesta B-segment supermini, while another Ford model, the Mondeo took the third position with 202 points.

Fiat 500: fifteen interiors are available.

Fiat 500 is available with 15 interiors.

Ford, the 3rd most titled brand in the European award, won the 2007 car of the year title with its S-Max minivan (235 points, ahead of the Opel Corsa and CitroŽn Picasso). The other Ford titles were won in 1981 (Ford Escort), 1986 (Ford Scorpio), 1994 (Ford Mondeo), 1999 (Ford Focus).

While the title is the 9th for Fiat as a brand, it is also the 12th for the Fiat Group Automobiles, with one title for the Lancia Delta (1980), and two for Alfa Romeo: Alfa 156 (1998) and Alfa 147 (2001).

Car of the Year
Winners from 1964 to 2008

1964

Rover 2000

1965

Austin 1800

1966

Renault 16

1967

Fiat 124

1968

NSU Ro

1969

Peugeot 504

1970

Fiat 128

1971

CitroŽn GS

1972

Fiat 127

1973

Audi 80

1974

Mercedes 450S

1975

CitroŽn CX

1976

Simca 1307-1308

1977

Rover 3500

1978

Porsche 928

1979

Simca-Chrysler Horizon

1980

Lancia Delta

1981

Ford Escort

1982

Renault 9

1983

Audi 100

1984

Fiat Uno

1985

Opel Kadett

1986

Ford Scorpio

1987

Opel

1988

Peugeot 405

1989

Fiat Tipo

1990

CitroŽn XM

1991

Renault Clio

1992

Volkswagen Golf

1993

Nissan Micra

1994

Ford Mondeo

1995

Fiat Punto

1996

Fiat Bravo/Brava

1997

Renault Mťgane Scťnic

1998

Alfa Romeo 156

1999

Ford Focus

2000

Toyota Yaris

2001

Alfa Romeo 147

2002

Peugeot 307

2003

Renault Mťgane

2004

Fiat Panda

2005

Toyota Prius

2006

Renault Clio

2007

Ford S-Max

2008

Fiat 500

In addition to its title, the A-segment Fiat 500 (you can read more about the new Fiat 500) seduced also most members of the jury: 57 out of 58 included it in their short-list. It received top points from 34 of the 58 Jury members plus 17 second places.

Launched last July, the new Fiat 500 is the second A-segment model - after its sister, the Fiat Panda in 2004 - to win the European award. It captured more than 105,000 orders in just four months in only two countries (Italy and France). Fiat says 6,300 orders have already been placed in Germany where the car went on sale just a few weeks ago. As of today, in Europe, the Fiat 500 stands second in the A-segment with a share of 14.1%, behind its platform sister, the Fiat Panda with a 21.2% share.

Fiat describes its new 500 as the manifesto of 'new Fiat', which should demonstrate the company's new approach, the renewed strategies of the brand and a different way of interpreting the car.

As a safety demonstration, Fiat points out that it is the first time that a car barely 3.55 metres long has been awarded a 5 star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP, and this is the first time that a car in this segment has seven airbags fitted as standard. The Italian carmaker claims that it is also the only A-segment car to fit a knee-bag, while the advanced ESP is available on all models (standard on the 1.4 16v 100 bhp, optional on the others).

On the environmental side, The Fiat 500 has been launched with the entire range of power units (1.2 69 bhp, 1.3 MultiJet 75 bhp with diesel particulates filter (DPF) and 1.4 16v 100 bhp), built to respect emissions limits set by Euro 5, more than two years ahead of the legal deadline.

The Fiat 500 offer also a very broad range made of four trim levels, three engines and 12 colours.

Inside, fifteen interiors are available, including the Cordura and Frau Leather, in addition to nine types of road wheel, and 19 sticker treatments. In addition, 100 original accessories have been designed for the Fiat 500 - among which the electric aroma diffuser and colour-coded key fobs - along with the most advanced infotelematic systems: for example a multifunctional portable navigator from the Blue&MeTM platform.

The Car of the Year award started for the model-year 1964. To participate, new cars must go on sale in at least five different European markets in the course of the year. Judgments are expressed on the following parameters: design, comfort, safety, economic operation, driveability, performance, practicality, respect for the environment, price and value for money.

A first selection is made from all the new models marketed in the course of the year (this year 33 cars were involved) and seven are short-listed. Each member of the jury has 25 points to distribute among the seven cars, with a maximum of 10 points going to their first choice.

The seven short listed models were this year, besides the 500, Mazda2 and Mondeo, the Kia Cee'd (166 points), Nissan Qashqai (147 points), the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (128 points) and Peugeot 308 (97 points), all ahead of the remaining 26 models.

The other candidates for this year were the Audi A5 and S5, BMW X5, Chrysler Sebring, Mitsubishi Outlander / CitroŽn C-Crosser / Peugeot 4007 (the C-Crosser and 4007 are based on the Outlander), the Daihatsu Materia, Dodge Nitro, Fiat Bravo, Honda CR-V, Hyundai i30, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Freelander 2, Lexus LS460 / 600h, Mazda CX7, Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Tiida / Versa, Opel / Vauxhall Antara, Renault Laguna 3, Renault Twingo, SsangYong Actyon, Skoda Fabia, Smart Fortwo, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Auris / Corolla, VW Tiguan, Volvo V70 and Volvo XC70.

The award ceremony for Car of the Year 2008, organised by the German magazine Stern, will take place in Berlin on 28 January 2008. The winning car manufacturer is entitled to use the title and the Car of the Year logo for the year of the award.

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