Backtrack many multiples of minutes to ouch o’clock and the bonny bubble of fun that sits doused in dew on my driveway. Its familiar form tells you that the numerical nuance in the previous para was no accident for the bulbous baby that adorns my frontage is none other than the latest iteration of Fiat’s sub-B smash, the legendary 500, now plumped and preened for MY15. The rigourous retro style isn’t in question but more important issues must be sifted on this somnambulant Sunday. Specifically, is this micro machine mere stylist’s whim or can it go bowling with the big boys when it’s turned up to helm factor five?
First impressions were of a crisp quality to all controls and the thoughtful thrum of the brace of bangers within the titchy two-pot turbocharged tugger, now packing ponies over a ton in number. The sport-mode steering gave toothsome turn-in and bitey brakes proved rapid raptors of velocity as the speeds got serious. Add in a boisterous yet buoyant bottom line to the decorous damping and a shifter as slick as an eel in an olive oil outlet and all signs seemed to point to a win for wheelmanship.
Now, however, we close in on The Bend. As tests go, this is sterner than a stentorian sergeant major steering squaddies around a square. Can the Torinese tearaway act like a man when it sits the blacktop exam?
Firing in hard to the bold and burnished surface of The Bend reveals grip like an UHU octopus and the perfect poise of Darcey Bussell on a diving board, shocks soaking up sinews like sponges on the sidelines of a sportsfield. As the apex catches a clip round the ear, I slip sole from the shiny surface of the business pedal and await with interest the outcome. All at once the pert posterior joins the party, stepping smartly sideways in a show of smirksome sympathy. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.
The Fiat 500 0.9 Twinair 105 Cult is a bitch. And I spanked it.
Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine