Top Gear’s guilty pleasures: the Fiat 500C

It’s knowingly flawed as either a Fiat or Abarth, but all the more lovable for it

The term ‘guilty enjoyment’ isn’t one that rests totally flush with me. I really feel sense of guilt for extremely few of the things that make me delighted. As well as the lack of sorrow has probably been most concrete throughout the miles I’ve tootled joyously around in an open-top Fiat 500.

It’s tough to feel anything approaching negative feelings inside among these; be that sense of guilt, shame or perhaps the mildest strain of toxic masculinity. Every one of that distributes out into the air with the merest mean the electrically folding canvas roofing sneaking open.

I like exactly how the 500C doesn’t try to be anything other than sweet. It’s a honeycomb cappucino of a cars and truck, utterly proud to use its own skin. And also I love how Fiat knows you have actually obtained naff-all back presence when the material top– which agonizes in reverse like you’re gradually opening up a tin of mackerel– has shimmied right to its stopper. There’s quite literally no looking back once you’ve climbed into one of these.

You can quit the roofing at almost any type of point you wish, mind you, enabling yourself a weeny couple of inches of sunroof, going fully al fresco, or keeping it somewhere between to appropriately tan the top of your head while maintaining the glass rear display in place. All of this can be done on the move– convenient for if the rain all of a sudden comes or you’re unexpectedly bordered by the fug of double decker buses– and due to the fact that the automobile retains its B- as well as C-pillars, it’s all relatively gale-free inside.

Which is more than can be claimed for a fairly a great deal of little, complete convertibles. It might resemble a half-arsed cabrio however the 500C’s roofing is as fit for warm urban travelling as a Giulia GTA’s roll cage is for pumping your adrenaline into a trackday. If I lived in Milan or Rome, I would certainly long for no other car than an ickle soft-top Fiat in the confines of the city. Cheerfully jinking via voids and reversing into tight rooms as my forehead absorbed vitamin D would certainly be an utter pleasure.

I obviously must acknowledge the Abarth versions, which are notably more flawed. Get rid of architectural rigidness from a cars and truck which appears to have concrete breezeblocks in place of dampers and you end up with the automobile equivalent of running a potter’s wheel in a small quake.

But then a couple of years ago I discovered myself driving an Abarth 695C Rivale, 3 fellow automobile journalists pressed into the other seats, pogoing along an Italian hillside to capture a flight. Roof covering fully folded, certainly. Right here was a shaky convertible hot hatch claiming to pay tribute to Riva speedboats, and also doing so with characteristics even more wood than its dashboard trim.

I’m not sure any of us quit giggling the whole journey. I remember that drive as vividly as my ten-minute slot around Dunsfold in an SF90 throughout Rate Week. The 695C had not been huge or creative, yet it was an absolute riot. No regret affixed.