‘Out with the old, in with the new’ is mantra many car manufacturers appear to be completely ignoring these days, in fact it seems to be in vogue to adopt completely the opposite approach in the auto design world in 2010. VW arguably kick started this trend in 1998 with the release of the ‘new Beetle’ this iteration was a take on the classic curves and bug eyed-charm of its predecessor which made its debut exactly fifty years before.
The new Beetle was a massive success; the archaic design cues incorporated in a modern, spacious, safe body were lapped up by motorists, keen to be a part of the iconic Beetle legacy without having to pootle down the motorway at 40mph and call the breakdown service ever couple of weeks!
Since the Beetle, other manufacturers have jumped on the back of this deep rooted desire amongst consumers for new cars that look like relics. Citroen emulated its famous C2, a French institution with the imaginatively named C3 which echoed the lines of its great granddad but offered none of the quaint, innocent appeal.
The new Mini is of course another prime example, the reincarnation of the adorable British city runabout was released in 2001, it was a good enough car but has received criticism for being too big and, well… Un-Mini-like! These claims are validated by the fact that Mini has now started churning out estate and mini SUV cars like the Clubman and Countryman.
The latest Marque to offer up a reinterpretation of a classic design is Fiat, the new 500 is also the successor to the affordable yet much maligned Cinquencto. It perhaps evokes the most nostalgia of any of these retro reinterpretations because it is consistent with the original’s dimensions. You could just imagine this scooting around the narrow, cobbled streets of Milan past pizzerias and coffee houses, though it is just as capable on the South circular!
In order to bring some variety to the range, Fiat have recently debuted a 500 Blackjack edition, this sports an uber-cool, stealthy matt black finish that is guaranteed to set you apart from the crowd. The moody, mysterious bodywork is set in contrast against the fiery red brake calipers giving the capable city cruiser a distinct look. If you are tempted by the 500 but find the standard colour schemes are a little to cute or quirky, the blackjack edition is the perfect compromise.