Small and cute proves a winning combination for European Car of the Year Award

After the Smart Car and the Mini Cooper, it's now time for the "500."

For those of you who like the trend towards small, fun-to-get-around-town, easy-to-park vehicles, there's a new reason to celebrate. Fiat's cool redesign of its classic post-war "500" model has won the prestigious 2008 European Car of the Year Award.

It was introduced in July by Fiat's Italian-Canadian CEO Sergio Marchionne. In five months, it has already become the second best-selling car in Europe, just behind another Fiat model, the Panda.

The car is the first small vehicle to receive a full five-star safety rating in crash testing. It comes equipped with seven airbags. Consumers have a combination of many thousands of options to choose from.

For more information, see Fiat's English-language web site, here.

If you'd like to check out a fun "500 club" site, try this.

For background info on the Fiat's popular model through the years, see Wikipedia's page.

Photo of the Fiat 500 in Torino, Italy, courtesy sos.andre on Wikipedia, under creative commons attribution.

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