Fiat Seicento

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For the Fiat 600 old generation, see Fiat 600.
Fiat Seicento
2004 Fiat Seicento.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Fiat
Also called Fiat 600
Production 1998–2010 (1,328,839 units)
Assembly Tychy, Poland
Body and chassis
Class City car
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 0.9 L I4 (petrol)
1.1 L I4 (petrol)
30 kW/40 hp (electric)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,200 mm (86.6 in)
Length 3,337 mm (131.4 in)
Width 1,508 mm (59.4 in)
Height 1,420 mm (55.9 in)
Curb weight 730–750 kg (1,610–1,650 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Fiat Cinquecento
Successor Fiat Nuova 500
Fiat Nuova Panda

The Fiat Seicento (Type 187) was a city car produced by the Italian company Fiat, introduced in late 1997 as a replacement for the Fiat Cinquecento. It was based on the first generation Fiat Punto. The Seicento did not differ much from its predecessor, retaining the same engines, chassis and general dimensions, although it did gain a minor 9 cm in length (total length of 3.34 m). The design was similar too, in which the Seicento kept the same 3-door hatchback body, instead of the 5-door mini MPV look seen on many Korean and Japanese city cars, such as the Daewoo Matiz and Suzuki Wagon R. Like its predecessors, the Cinquecento and Polski Fiat 126, the Seicento was built in Fiat's factory in Tychy, Poland.[1] From 1998 to April 2004, 1.1 million examples of the Seicento had been produced.[2]

The Seicento name comes from the Italian word for 600, the Seicento is the spiritual successor to the Fiat 600. The car was rebadged as 600 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original model.

EuroNCAP performance[edit]

In EuroNCAP crash tests, the Fiat Seicento was only awarded a 1.5 star rating, and fractionally beat the worst contenders in the history of EuroNCAP, namely the Rover 100 and the original Chrysler Voyager MPV.[3] This is not so surprising, as the car has an extremely short front-end and keeps many components from its predecessor, originally conceived in 1991.

In comparison, another small car, the Smart Fortwo (which has a shorter front end), earned three stars in the crash test. These cars started production in 1998 and are not designed for 1997 started EuroNCAP tests.

Versions[edit]

Trims/Equipment[edit]

Fiat Seicento Sporting
Rear of Fiat Seicento

At launch, the Seicento was available with three trim levels; a basic 'S' with black bumpers and spartan equipment and initially the 899 cc engine; an 'SX' model, a slight upgrade over the 'S' with colour-coded bumpers, electric windows, central locking and a sunroof - which was also available as a 'Citymatic' with a clutchless manual gearchange - and a 'Sporting' with the larger FIRE 1,108 cc engine, 20 mm (0.8 in) lower suspension and anti-roll bars added. Cosmetically, this version gained 13" alloy wheels, sports seats. An Abarth styling kit was also available with a body kit with optional Abarth 14" wheels a close-ratio gearbox, sill kick plates, embroidered headrests, leather gear stick and steering wheel, blue highlighted trim in the bumpers, side skirts and a spoiler also available. Both the sporting and the Abarths were available with ABS, air-conditioning and Power steering but due to cost not very many owners took up the options.

In 1999, the FIRE engine was used in the special 'Suite' version, which came with air-conditioning. A special edition 'Soleil' model was available in some markets, which was based on the 'SX' model but came with a full-length electrically-folding fabric roof.

After the 2001 update, all cars were given clear indicator lenses, with the Sporting model getting a restyled bodykit. Cars built from this period also come with Power steering as standard. A 'Michael Schumacher' edition of the Sporting, with ABS and the Abarth styling kit, was also launched at this time to celebrate the Ferrari driver's Formula One success, This model was almost identical to the Abarth kit with the exception of chrome gear stick surrounds and Michaels signature on the boot lid and side skirt. A limited edition plate and number was also on the passenger door.

In 2004, the model was withdrawn from the United Kingdom market,[4] and production of RHD models ceased, following the launch of the arrival of the new, and more practical Panda. The LHD model was facelifted, gaining a new shape of wheel rims, and the introduction of the new Fiat logo in the rear.

Fiat 600[edit]

Fiat 600, model year 2008

In 2005 the name Seicento was replaced by 600 (in occasion of the 50 anniversary of the first edition, in 1955) together with some changes in the front and in versions dotations: now the name Fiat is written on the seats. The new versions now are named "Class" and "50 anniversary", thus reminding the strict relationship between this model and the previous one.

Engines[edit]

The Seicento is available with two engines: the old 899 cc OHV (29 kW / 40 hp) engine used in early base S and SX models (which was removed from West European markets due to emissions regulations), and the 1108 cc FIRE (40 kW / 54 hp and used in the Sporting version since launch), was fitted universally with multi-point fuel injection from 2001, replacing the old pushrod units. There was also a version with an electric engine (30 kW / 41 hp).

Elettra[edit]

Until 2005 Fiat also produced a battery-electric version of the Seicento called the Seicento Elettra. Originally produced in serial quantities in Italy from 1996 to 1998, production moved to Poland for the remaining years where it was built on order. The Seicento Elettra featured a 30 kW three-phase asynchronous electric motor powered by 18 12V lead-acid batteries in the engine bay and beneath the rear seats. The Seicento Elettra's top speed was 100 km/h (62 mph) and its range was 90 kilometres (56 mi).[5]

Tuning[edit]

Giannini Seicento

German tuner Novitec created a special edition of the Fiat Seicento, adding a turbocharger and six-speed gearbox to the little car. The German tuner is able to extract 101 hp (74 kW) from the 1,108 cc FIRE engine. Other tuners include the venerable Giannini company, who produced an aggressive bodykit and also considered installing a 1.6 litre engine.

Future replacement[edit]

The car ceased production in 2010. Although no direct replacement has been announced, much of the market territory it once occupied had already been filled by the new Fiat Panda (2003) and the 500 (2007), as well as the Fiat Palio budget model.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Main Fiat group automobile plants in the World". Fiat Group. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  2. ^ "New Fiat Seicento". Fiat. April 2004. Archived from the original on 28 March 2009. "One million one hundred thousand Fiat Seicento have rolled off the production line since 1998." 
  3. ^ "Fiat Seicento". euroncap.com. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  4. ^ "Fiat Seicento". Channel 4. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  5. ^ "Elektromobil FIAT Seicento Elettra". Retrieved 23 October 2011. (Czech)