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When Is A Diesel Not A Diesel? When It's A Fiat...

Like most small cars, the Fiat 500 is sold with an optional diesel engine in Europe. To date Australia has only had the choice of petrol-engined Fiat 500s, so when I heard that Fiat had announced the Fiat 500 Diesel for sale in Australia I was excited at the prospect of a new version of the funky Italian hatchback offering spectacular fuel efficiency while burning those long-chained hydrocarbons once reserved for trucks and tractors. Unfortunately, my hopes were soon dashed like a diesel-powered boat caught on a rocky coastline. Instead of being a diesel powered version of the miniature Italian, the Fiat 500 Diesel is a special edition of the regular petrol-powered 500 with trimmings designed by an Italian fashion house. 'Which Italian fashion house?' I hear you ask. That's right, you guessed it: Diesel.

The 500 Diesel is powered by the same 1.4 litre sixteen-vale four that powers all other variants of the 500 sold in Australia. Producing 74kW at 600rpm it is no rocket of an engine, but more than adequate for the vehicle's sub-1000kg weight. Unique to the Diesel edition are Diesel-logoed 16 inch alloys, satin-steel side mirrors and Diesel-branded side mouldings, as well as a denim upholstered interior, reminiscent of Diesel's jeans. The list of standard equipment includes a panoramic sunroof, climate control, Bluetooth hands free and satnav. Buyers can choose from a six speed manual version (yes please!) priced at $25,990 or with Fiat's Dualogic auto (Fiat prefers the description of 'self-shifting gearbox' as it's not a traditional slush-box) for $27,990.

[Source: Fiat via Car Advice]


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