Riva decks out Fiat 500

NAUTICAL nous is coming aboard the Fiat 500 as the car maker teams up with another Italian style icon in the shape of luxury boat builder Riva.

The car company is launching a Fiat 500 Riva which is fitted out in similar fashion to the famous speed boats which have graced riviera around the world for more than 60 years.

The limited edition 500 Riva comes with a special Sera Blue paint job similar to that used on Riva's current Aquariva Super speed boat which can sell for as much as half a million pounds.

There are special touches inside the car as well with the dash trimmed in a finish akin to that of the fine veneer of the Riva boats and an aquamarine display on the instrument panel.

The convertible Fiat 500 Riva also gets a new blue soft top while the hatchback has a panoramic glass roof as standard.

In addition to the exclusive colour, the mirror caps on the 500 Riva have a chrome finish, as do the handles and the bonnet trim.

Riva logos abound inside and out, while the dashboard is finished in hand-painted mahogany with a maple inlay.

That in itself required an innovative engineering process which involved the wood being applied on to an ultralight carbon shell to ensure stability, flexibility and strength. The maple inlays were inserted by hand, making each creation a one-off.

The door sills and gear knob are also carved from a solid piece of mahogany, while the seats are trimmed in exclusive ivory leather created by Italian high class furniture designers Poltrona Frau.

Even the floor mats have been specially created with ivory hems and contrasting Sera Blue stitching - as is the boot mat that also features a wood insert with Riva lettering.

Fiat says the 500 Riva will be available in the UK at the end of August with 1.2-litre 69hp, TwinAir 85hp and TwinAir 105hp engine options.

And while the current 500 range is priced from £11,050 the company has yet to give an indication of what the luxurious Riva special will cost - but to add a little more exclusivity, the first 500 cars will have a numbered limited edition badge which can be personalised by the buyer.

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