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Fiat at the Paris motor show 2008

Fri, 03 Oct 2008

By Ben Barry

Motor Shows

03 October 2008 09:29

No new cars for Fiat at Paris, so the spotlight fell on environmental initiatives. A five-times life-size white Fiat 500 presided over a stand occupied entirely by pearl white 500s, Bravos, Sedicis, Cromas and Qubos. These cars were set on a Simpsons sky-like floor of blue and white over which the usual high quality of Fiat ladies strolled. If Fiat did heaven, it could look a lot like this.

EcoDrive is a software application that plugs into Fiat’s so-called Blue&Me USB port and records all your environmental missteps – or otherwise. Then you simply unplug it and connect it to your laptop. An ecoIndex lets you analyse each journey while tutorials encourage more eco-responsible driving. There’s even an ecoVille where – yuuuuuk – ‘everyone can share interests and their commitment to an eco-responsible way of driving by accessing the site’. Fiat 500 and Grande Punto models are the first to use the software, while 2009 sees it extended to all cars equipped with Blue&Me.

But that leaves the initiative with the user and so will never work. The stuff that does the planet-saving for us – and therefore will work – is PUR-02, essentially Fiat jumping on the Bluetech/Bluemotion/Blue Lion bandwagon with start/stop, lower rolling-resistance tyres, low-viscosity fluids, aero packs and taller gear ratios. You’ll see the PUR-O2 badge on 500s, Bravos and Cromas from November 2007.

It’s all outlined above, but it’s also well worth looking at the Abarth stand next door. There you’ll find an Abarth-fettled 500 and a full-on 500 racer complete with roll-cage, bucket seats and front splitter. Nice.

Not a must-see, but well worth a visit.

Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports

Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars


By Ben Barry