Clever of Fiat to associate its new 500 with every Euro-fashionable item under the sun, from cellphones to package-gripping swimming trunks for men (we hope not). Now it's incorporated its 500 signage into a new MotoGP livery for the Fiat Yamaha team. They'll debut the new kaleidoscope bait at the Assen Grand Prix in the Netherlands on June 30th. Fiat says the flashy graphix — work product of MotoGP designer Drudi — is a study of record sleeves popular in the 1950s when the original 500 was introduced. No word on a matching jumpsuit for Valentino, á la Little Richard.

Press Release:

The Fiat 500 races at Assen with the Fiat Yamaha Team
At the Assen Grand Prix (30 June 2007), the Fiat Yamaha Team will be proposing new bike liveries inspired by the Fiat 500, the car that will be presented on 4 July in Turin at an extraordinary international event. This is the first change of livery made by Fiat Automobiles Spa, the Team's title sponsor, within its sponsorship contract.


The new livery is the work of Drudi, a highly regarded MotoGP sector designer, and derives from research into the discography of the Fifties (the first Fiat 500 came out in 1957), starting from an in-depth study of the record sleeves of the period. These were the years of the economic boom, the twist, rock'n'roll, the first electric guitars, Elvis and Italy's Rita Pavone with her "Geghegè". It was an exhilarating period that saw the Fiat 500 right in the front line, a veritable icon of the times presented in Turin on 4 July 1957. It also marked the culmination of Fiat's post-war renaissance. On 4 July 2007, exactly 50 years on, again in Turin, the icon's heir will take its bow before being marketed immediately afterwards. At the Assen GP, Fiat Yamaha Team bikes will be "dressed" in a livery designed on purpose to celebrate this event.

"We kept team and drivers in the picture as the project developed", says Drudi. "The final result with all those cheerful, sunnily entertaining pastel colours has excited everybody". And colours like blue, light blue and pink, so typical of the record sleeves of the period, mixed with the three colours of the Italian flag, will feature on Fiat Yamaha Team bikes. In addition, certain details are inspired directly by the Fiat 500: for example, the "500" logo will appear on the sides of the two bikes, while the fuel tank will carry an exact reproduction of the mileometer fitted on the new Fiat. Finally, the fairing will display the famous "logo and moustache" group which the new car has inherited from its forebear.

The bikes of Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards will only differ in a number of intriguing details: the "heart" which appeared on the Pesaro rider's helmet in the Mugello GP will be present just under the saddle, while an image of Edwards in rockabilly version will appear on the Texan's bike. The track suits and helmets of the two riders will evoke the spirit and themes of the new liveries which will be used by both riders of the Fiat Yamaha Team right from the first practice sessions on Thursday 28 June.

Underlying this original initiative organised by the Fiat Yamaha Team is the fact that Fiat Automobiles wishes to get closer to bike fans through projects related to creativity and design, communicating above all with the younger enthusiasts who follow the Moto Gp championship with the most passionate attention.

More on the Fiat 500 [internal]