The madness of this particular Biposta is that it’s a car that doesn’t quite know what it is.
On the one hand, it’s £37,000 of uncompromising, full-fat rally car, minus proper door handles, sat nav, air con – or even a radio.
On the other, our test car doesn’t come with the bonkers dog ring gearbox – you have to pay extra for that pleasure.
So instead, our test car features a fairly conventional, dash stick like a normal Fiat 500. Surely you’d expect that for this sort of money?
Just who is going to buy a Biposta remains to be seen. I think the enthusiast will want ALL the extra lightweight, slick gearchange kit included in the price.
Seems a bit rich charging £37k then asking for more for the fun bits!
It’s one thing knowing that your car doesn’t qualify for the London Congestion Charge but quite another to actually enjoy driving around the capital without paying a penny!
I’ve spent most of the day in the city and you can’t help but notice how many TwinAir 500s are on the street. At Fulham Broadway car park I counted 11, plus one high performance Abarth. There were more Fiat’s than Minis – what does that tell you?
I suppose it is just a result of the zero Congestion Charge but the TwinAir is also a great car for city driving. Official figures claim 60+mpg around town – expect a more realistic 47mpg in reality.
The 500 is brilliant for squeezing into small parking space and it skips through narrows gaps in traffic that other supermini drivers just envy. It’s less enjoyable at high speed on motorways, jittery and susceptible to cross winds. That said, it more than keeps up with the big boys.
The fact that I’m already looking for reasons to drive the 500 and it’s only Friday speaks volumes. A 875cc car with modest performance and a wacky paint job might not sound that exciting. However, the appeal of this tiny Fiat – based on the same running gear as the Panda – is much greater than the sum of its parts.
You don’t need to be a fashionista to be seduced by the retro curves and gorgeous interior either. Just look at the huge number of 500s there are out there. Fiat has taken a healthy slice of Mini sales from BMW and is now copying the German manufacturer with a stretched version and the racy Abarth too.
True, the 500 lacks macho appeal but it does put a smile on your face every time to climb inside. It’s not just ‘a girls car’ either, although you can sort of understand why hairy-armed blokes wouldn’t be seen dead driving one.
I’ve got an open mind on the supermini. I want to know if it’s a practical alternative to the lower-priced Panda and whether it’s worth the £12,000 price tag too.
Today Jessica and I will head down to the Pembroke Arms in Wilton, Wiltshire, with a large Hungarian Viszla on the back seat. Not sure many dog owners would choose a 500 for transport but nothing ventured!