A CAR with just two cylinders and less than 900ccs under the bonnet doesn’t sound as if it’s going to be too exhilarating to drive.
But with the Fiat 500 TwinAir nothing could be further from the truth.
This feisty little Italian may be small on dimensions but it’s a giant when it comes to pure driving pleasure.
It’s quick, sharp, wonderfully responsive and has an engine note that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the revs build.
I had already driven a four-cylinder version of the Fiat 500 and enjoyed it as a good fun city car. But the TwinAir is a different animal altogether. It’s a 500 with horns, the performance of which is difficult to get your head around considering it has 50 per cent less cylinders. The whole thing defies logic - but it works brilliantly.
In fact the TwinAir is a real bundle of fun which makes you look forward to getting back behind the wheel. The 0-62 miles per hour time of 11 seconds may not be to hot hatch standards but in the TwinAir it certainly feels like it is.
The fact that it’s so economical to run with almost 70 miles per gallon and no road tax to pay is just the icing on the cake.
And despite its size the Fiat 500 is a comfortable car to drive. There is plenty of forward/backward movement in the driver’s seat so it’s easy to get the right setting.
The slick five-speed gearshift is mounted high on the dashboard so changes are quick and clean and the size of the car means parking and three point turns couldn’t be easier.
My TwinAir was equipped with an eco setting to make driving even more economical but, to be honest, most of the time I left it switched off.