Fiat unveiled a specially-designed, limited-edition Fiat 500 “First Edition” in China earlier this week.
Based on the 500 Lounge, the “First Edition” has a pearlescent white body colour, red leather interior and a unique badge on the door pillar. Under the bonnet is a 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
In a sign of the importance of the Asia Pacific region to car manufacturers the “First Edition” was made exclusively for the Chinese market and embellished by the creative graphics of five young Chinese designers in Shanghai.
The first designer is Leilei, an award-winning avant-garde artist who uses elements from national popular culture in his works. The second is designer is Mee Wong, an illustrator and teacher at the Guangzhou Art Institute whose work typically incorporates the panda, the animal which symbolises Chinese culture.
Asian tradition is also the inspiration for the third artist, Benny Luk, another award-winning designer, who combines graphics and web design. Nod Young, the fourth, is a visual artist whose artwork has been exhibited in many countries, including the UK, Germany, USA, Italy, South Africa and China. The final artist is Yan Wei who employs traditional Chinese patterns and has had her works displayed in Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Tokyo.
Lorenzo Sistino, Fiat Group Automobiles Executive Vice President International Operations, explained: “The ‘First Edition’ is a special offer exclusively created for Chinese customers and represents a symbol that joins our two cultures. Not by chance, we asked five young Chinese artists to interpret the relationship between our two countries in a creative, original manner, and to fashion a tribute for the launch of the 500 in China.
The limited-edition Fiat will be featuring in an innovative initiative ahead of the official Chinese launch of the 500 range on the 15 September 2011. Everyone who places an order for a Fiat 500 from the 12 July to 15 September will take part in a draw entitling them to replace the car they ordered with a Fiat 500 “First Edition”.
Made in Toluca, Mexico, the Fiat 500 marketed in China has an entry-level price of 190,000 RMB. The range includes three trim levels (Pop, Sport and Lounge), one engine version (1.4 MultiAir 101bhp), an automatic six-speed transmission, 12 body colours (metallic, non-metallic and three-coat pearlescent), nine colour-material combinations for upholstery and two interior environments (black or ivory).