Fiat + Riva: Could This Get Any Better?

Author: Gabe Beita Kiser
Source: carbuzz
Date: June 28, 2016

Will this finally make the Fiat 500 attractive? Here in the US, the Fiat 500 is more of a novelty item and a fashion statement than it is a popular commuter car. Meanwhile on the cramped roads of small Italian towns, the Fiat 500 is one of the only cars that buyers can actually utilize within the city, making it an attractive and highly desired option. For those European buyers who want a little more out of their little cars, yacht maker Riva has teamed up with Fiat to make what is likely the most opulent Fiat 500 on the market.

Riva?s luxury ocean cruisers inspire everything from the double aquamarine line that runs around the middle of the car to the Sera Blue paint job, making this one of Fiat's better custom jobs. Other references include new 16-inch alloy wheels that match the chrome-capped mirrors, door handles, and hood trim. Inside is where the Riva?s fluency with the language of luxury becomes apparent. Sera Blue accents extend to the ivory-colored seat belts and leather seats that look quite a bit plusher than the standard 500 equipment. Adding to the feeling of expense is the high-quality wood that takes up most of the dashboard real estate and is a shout out to the luxurious wood-laden interiors featured on Riva's own yachts.
Even the gear knob (yes, it?s a manual the way nature intended) is sculpted out of a single piece of smooth mahogany, which is sure to make gear shifts that much more satisfying. Behind the handbrake will be a numbered badge that?s customizable and available only to the first 500 European customers. Unfortunately, the customizations stopped at the aesthetic level since like other custom 500s, the Riva will carry the traditional Fiat power plant. This consists of a 1.4-liter four banger that makes only 101 horsepower, meaning that buyers will actually need a yacht if they want to travel long distances more quickly. Despite the emphasis on European buyers, the 500 Riva will be available in coupe or convertible variants in all markets where the 500 is sold.

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