Besting its two rival finalists, the Citroen C5 sedan
/tourer and the Jaguar XF
, the petite but endearing Fiat 500
rolled off with top overall honors as the 2009 World Car Design of the Year. In a statement on the selection of this modern-day reincarnation of an Italian auto classic, the World Car juror panel noted that, "Icon is an overused word in the automotive world, but the Fiat 500 dating from 1957 genuinely deserves the sobriquet. Revived by Fiat last year, the new Cinquecento is larger than its predecessor but still smaller than a Mini. Cheerful and cheeky, it does a brilliant job of capturing the visual appeal of the original version while meeting modern design and engineering standards." In accepting the award, Roberto Giolito, Head of Style Fiat commented: "Italian design has often anticipated the future trends of motoring and our latest models, as the Fiat 500 shows, stand out for that "concrete beauty" that the whole world has come to expect from an Italian car. A total of 38 vehicles qualified for consideration in the 2009 World Car Design of the Year competition. Previous winners of the WCDotY award were the Audi R8
in 2008, the Audi TT
in 2007 and the Citroen C4 in 2006.