Monday, November 28, 2011
Fiat 500 Gucci: Putting the Cute in Couture
There's a wonderful old tale of Queen Mary's visit to the Ocean liner that bore her name. She spent a full afternoon poking around Cunard's Art Deco flagship and then, upon returning home to Windsor, wrote in her diary "Toured the new Queen Mary today. Not as bad as I expected."
Now I'm not going to pick on Fiat, the Marketplace has done that for me. Projecting sales of 50-60,000 units and actually retailing 12,000 is a problem. Enough of a problem to get leader Laura Soave unceremoniously sacked. Actually I liked Laura, but from our first interview didn't think her plan- promising customization without the production capabilities to match- would work. And when I first heard of the upcoming Gucci edition, which made no reference to interior upgrades, I was skeptical.
But since it was this little car that caused the nice folks at Automobile to make me globally famous and put my cell phone number on the speed dial lists of designer car crazed supermodels, it occurred to me that I should at least take a look at the damn thing. And just like the Queen Mary, it's not bad.
The exterior comes in black or white (shades of the 1979 Gucci Seville) with two different stripe configurations, interlocking G wheel centers and a decklid badge. The interior has contrasting seat panels with the legendary seat stripe. Hardly earth shattering, but nicely tailored. And then the whimsical touch- Red and green Gucci seat belts. Take my gold card, I MUST HAVE IT! Well, no, but I smiled (and I never actually do that.) Clever and charming- I approve. Besides, my car chick friend Rockit dug the Gucci accessories. Now I'm ready to tour the Queen Mary. We'll see what I think of that.