Fiat’s new 500 will be making a big impact when it hits the streets, rewriting the rules for the low-cost minicar segment by offering distinctive styling and innovativeness in a package that’ll only set you back around €10,000. No wonder Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne commented that he wants the 500 to be the auto industry’s version of the popular Apple iPod, a music player that has trumped former industry heavyweights in the portable audio segment.

"I want Fiat to become the Apple of cars," he told reporters from Italy’s La Stampa, adding that the 500 “will be our iPod." The new 500 will build on the iconic status of the original ‘Cinquecento’ model of the 1970’s, which became popular for its efficiency and low price tag.

The new model that will be formally unveiled later today has been in development for just 18 months, which is around half the time that competitors take. Most carmakers will be launching their own minicars in coming years, including the likes of Volkswagen and General Motors. They'll be competing with the Fiat 500, BMW's Mini Cooper, and the new Renault Twingo.