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Italy’s Sexy Yacht and Auto Designs Meld in the Fiat 500 Riva

Riva and Fiat team up to create a car that’s a pleasure cruise to drive…

Italy’s mastery of both maritime and auto design find fusion in the Fiat 500 Riva, the nautically nuanced collaboration between the heralded marque and the specialists behind Riva speedboats. The diminutive dynamo benefits from the talents of Officina Italiana Design—the same spatial artists responsible for the aesthetics aboard Riva’s recent Rivamare and 76-foot Bahamas yachts.

The limited-edition Fiat, available as a hatchback or convertible, features the exclusive Sera Blue exterior color treatment common to Riva’s Aquariva Super pleasure craft. Reflecting seafaring refinement, a chrome finish is given to the mirror covers, door handles, and hood trim, while a blue soft top or panoramic glass cap the convertible and hatchback, respectively. Also borrowed from the boating world is the dual aquamarine piping that extends along the car’s belt line and the blue finish bolstering the 16-inch, 20-spoke alloy wheels. Anchoring the theme is Riva’s logo found on the side molding, wheel arch, and trunk lid.

Riva’s recognizable color palette is seen inside as well, along with a marriage of materials, both state-of-the-art and stately, that is standard in contemporary boatbuilding. The dashboard (inset with a 7-inch touchscreen), for example, is crafted from a carbon shell covered in hand-painted mahogany with maple inlays. The same wood carves out the door sills and gear knob. Enhancing the sumptuous cabin further are seats dressed in ivory leather from Poltrona Frau and, adding auditory ambience, a 440-watt BeatsAudio sound system (the latter available upon request).

Though life vests are not needed, the vehicle comes equipped with seven air bags in addition to safety measures that include the marque’s Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Anti Slip Regulation (ASR) performance systems, among others. 

And while its power may not compare to the turbocharged 550 Italia and its 730 horses, the Fiat 500 Riva is available with engine options (including diesel) that range from 69 hp to 105 hp. Depending on the selection, the power train can include either a 5-speed or 6-speed manual gearbox or the marque’s Dualogic transmission (offering the choice of automatic or manual modes).

Available this summer (with pricing yet to be announced), the first 500 examples of the car will carry a numbered badge bespoke to the owner’s preference. (fiat.com)

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