Thought to be impossible to pull off by many skeptics, it seems that engineers at the Fiat Megafactory are now celebrating with a nice bottle of the champagne (we guess). Why the celebration, you ask? The factory rolled out a Lounge version of a funky white Fiat 500 that is powered by Fiat’s 1.2L 67bhp engine. And, apparently, this 500 happened to be the one millionth example that Fiat has built, since launch in 2007. Skeptics couldn’t believe the fact that an overtly costly, two door hatch pulled-off the feat in 5 years.
The Fiat 500, since launch, was surprisingly a success for the Italian giant. Thanks to the 500, Fiat managed to grab around 13.9% market share in the European market. The following year Fiat managed to sell a record breaking 186,000 units. This is an impressive feat considering the fact that the original Fiat 500, while selling 3.4 million units till end of production at ’75, managed to take four years to sell 180,000 units.
The key selling points of this little hot hatch is its ease of driving around and the plethora of customization by Fiat themselves that the customer can opt for, making each Fiat 500 a unique example.
Do you think the Fiat can sell even more of the 500, say 1.5 million or (we are stretching here) 2 million units? Let us know in the comments section
Last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show Fiat unveiled the American version of the Fiat 500 Abarth and this year the company made a comeback with the cabrio version. On the European market the model already enjoys a great success, and Fiat is now hopping it will do the same good impression on the U.S. market.
The model features the same design language as the coupe version, except of course its power-operated cloth top that can be operated at speeds up to 60 mph just be pressing a button.
"The new Fiat 500c Abarth delivers the wicked attitude and track-proven capabilities of the hatchback model, now with the rush of open-air Italian performance," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand for North America — Chrysler Group LLC. "And with the push of a button our new turbocharged cabrio can unleash that added sense of freedom, while offering one of the most respected soundtracks of all-time, the rasp from its signature Abarth-tuned dual exhausts."
The new Fiat 500C Abarth will go on sale in the first-quarter of 2013.
UPDATE 12/06/12: Hold on to you pants, gentlemen. Fiat recently released a new commercial promoting the Abarth 500 Cabriolet. Suffice to say, it features supermodel Catrinel Menghia, a naughty little scorpion, and the 500C. Oh, and did we mention that Menghia went "topless" in the ad? Yep, click on the photo above to check it out! Full story
European aftermarket companies rarely make the trip to Las Vegas to get into the mix at the SEMA Auto Show, opting for the geographically more convenient Essen, Germany to show their wares at the Essen Motor Show.
Yet every so often, an exception jumps into the fray. Italian aftermarket company Romeo Ferraris is taking the long distance approach by presenting Fiat 500 Abarth Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute model.
As the name suggests, the model is paying homage to the good ol’ Stars and Stripes and serves as the Italian tuner’s entry into the U.S. market. That’s quite a way to make a splash, if we do say so ourselves.
As far as the car itself, it certainly looks like Romeo Ferraris taken the American tribute pretty seriously. The 500 Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute was dressed in red, white, and blue accents, complete with a new widebody kit that includes a ventilated hood, modified bumpers, a refreshed side skirt, extended fenders, and a set of Romeo Ferraris alloy wheels with a Brembo brake system.
The interior was also treated to the full race regalia, including a roll bar, an extinguisher, a helmet storage compartment, a pair of Recaro monocoque sports front seats, four-point belts, leather and Alcantara with red stitching on the cover of the passenger compartment, and a carbon dash.
Under its hood, the 500 Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute packs quite a punch too, thanks to a 1.4-liter engine that drops 235 horsepower. There are a number of mechanical upgrades added into the mix, particularly a sports air filter, a sports mid-pipe, an empowered turbine, a front intercooler, a clutch kit, and a fuel pressure regulator.
That’s only the beginning. There are also new injectors, special pistons and camshafts, Romeo Ferraris synthetic engine oil for competition, an adjustable coilover kit,
It’s not the 300-horsepower capabilities of the Euro model, but with a car of its stature 235 is plenty enough for us.
To hear the term “Café Racer” placed on a four-wheeled vehicle may seem odd, as it is typically reserved for a stripped-down-for-speed motorcycle, but the Fiat 500 is so tiny that it almost fits. At the 2012 SEMA show, Fiat unveiled yet another concept version of its 500 model, and it bears that exact name: Café Racer.
The details are still incomplete yet, but Fiat has released a video on the Interwebz laying out what to expect. The Fiat 500 Café Racer will have all of its attention turned toward weight savings and aerodynamics. Adding to the aerodynamics of the 500’s body includes installing a set of lowering springs and chopping about 4 inches off of the 500’s overall height, giving airflow a much shorter path to the back end.
In terms of weight savings, Fiat installed aftermarket lightweight rims, shaved the door handles, installed Lexan glass, and even trimmed the exhaust system down to a side-exit setup. On the inside, Fiat stripped the 500 down to basically only the things you need to drive the car, leaving only a pair of very small, bomber-style seats up front.
In-tow behind the 500 will be a Café Racer motorcycle that dons the same silver paint job as its Fiat 500 tow vehicle. Hm, a Fiat 500 towing something; that’s a novel and almost funny concept in itself…
We are certain that there are plenty more modifications that will be announced at SEMA, so keep an eye out.
The 2012 Paris Auto Show is still two weeks away, but we have already got information on almost every model that will be displayed at the show. For example, Abarth has announced the launch of a new customization program that will offer clients the opportunity to customize their car down to the smallest detail. The new "Fuori Serie" was inspired by the cars that have written the brand’s history, going from the Fiat 750 Record and 124 Sanremo all the way up to the X19 prototype. All of these cars have one thing in common: they are all record-breaking cars.
The 695 "Fuori Serie" to be displayed in Paris features a very cool "Olio Fiat" livery which appeared first on the Fiat 124 Abarth Rally at the 1976 Montecarlo Rally. Under the hood, Fiat has placed the 1.4 16v Turbo T-Jet which will deliver an impressive 180 HP. Each customer will have the possibility to choose between a range of colors and materials that are not offered in the standard product range. These will range from carbon fiber to sports fabrics, from leather to Alcantara, and from glossy to matte liveries.
You know an automaker is having fun with the success of a model when they can’t seem to have too many special edition models in its fold. This is exactly the case of Fiat and the lovable 500 hatchback.
The Italian automaker has a new special edition version of the 500 called the "Street." It will be available in the UK and comes with a choice of five different colors, including Bossanova White, Pasodoble Red, Crossover Black, Electroclash Grey, and Matte Black. In addition, the 500 Street also has satin chrome finished moldings, handles, and door mirrors, as well as dark tinted windows and alloy wheels.
Fiat will be making the 500 Street available in three different powertrain trims, including a 0.9-liter TwinAir engine, the 1.2-liter petrol engine, and the 1.3-liter MultiJet 2 diesel engine. We’re not too impressed with the car’s performance credibility, but with plenty of aesthetic additions, there’s still a measure of fresh and sporty appeal attached to the 500 Street.
Added options can also be had, including air conditioning, sports seats, a new set of 16" alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel with radio controls, and a Blue&Me infotainment system.
Interested in the Fiat 500 Street? Well, be prepared to shell out £11,360, or about $18,000 based on current exchange rates.
When Fiat went about and revived the 500 line, we didn’t know they had so many trims planned for the little-hatchback-that-could.
Earlier this week, reports of a 500XL were making the rounds. That was even preceded by the 500C, the 500L, and the 500X.
Now, it’s the 500 Turbo’s turn.
The Fiat 500 Turbo is, for all intents and purposes, a rebadged Abarth 500 with a few notable changes to the look and performance make-up of the car. Nevertheless, whatever you’re getting for the Abarth 500, the 500 Turbo is offering it in about 80% dosage.
Not surprisingly, the 500 Turbo costs more than you would expect for a hatchback. The $19,000 price tag, whatever shape or form they come in, is still a tad too pricey for a car like the 500. Even if it’s been prepared as a ’turbo’ model.
Find out more about the Fiat 500 Turbo after the jump. Full story
Ever since Fiat brought back the 500 some years back, there seems to have been a renewed approach in bringing their iconic model to a new generation of consumers. In keeping with what’s become a trend in the industry these days - hey there, MINI! - Fiat has gone the route of introducing an extraordinary amount of different models under the 500 line.
The first one that was released was the 500L, a five-passenger model that expands the brand’s style and efficiency in the growing B-segment. From there, Fiat unveiled the 500X, a crossover that’s being touted as a direct rival to the MINI Countryman.
Not content with their expanded line-up, Fiat decided to take it to a whole new level with a minivan that’s being touted as the Fiat 500 XL. We’re tempted to assume that ’XL’ means "extra large," which wouldn’t be too far off considering that the ’L’ in 500L stands for "large."
Recent patent drawings compiled by Carscoop have provided us with the first look of what could very well be the seven-seater 500XL. In order to accommodate the third row of seats, the 500XL is rumored to measure a full six inches longer in the rear overhang than the 500L model, which already had a length of 13.6."
Fiat hasn’t made any formal announcements on the future of the 500XL, although a fair estimate points to the Paris Motor Show as the venue of the 500XL’s debut.
With all of the iterations of the current 500 galloping around the streets, Fiat wanted to remind us what an amazing car the 500 was back in the 1970s with the launch of a very cool Color Therapy Edition. The new 500 Color Therapy Edition was created in cooperation with top fashion and beauty photographer Elisabeth Hoff and will be offered in both hatchback and convertible versions. Prices will range from £10,760 (about $16,800 at the current exchange rates) to £14,510 ($22,700 at the current rates).
The new 500 Color Therapy edition will be offered in a choice of five special paint colors: New Age Cream, Countrypolitan Yellow, Pasodoble Red, Volare Blue, and Tech House Grey. The list of standard equipment includes air conditioning, special paint, white mirror covers, white wheel covers, a ‘poolball’ design gear knob, and specific key cover. Customers can choose between a 0.9-liter TwinAir or a 1.2-liter petrol engine.
"The special colors and stylish new touches will make the Fiat 500 an even more attractive proposition for our customers," says Elena Bernardelli, marketing director, Fiat Group Automobiles UK. "Tasteful features such as the white door mirror covers and ‘poolball’ design gear knob in matching colour, take the popular 500 to a new level, showing just how timeless this classic city car really is."
Chrysler has had only one mass-produced electrified vehicle in its history and that was the now-discontinued Durango hybrid. According to a report from Bloomberg, Chrysler is once again kicking around the thought of electrified vehicles, be it by 100 percent electricity or some sort of hybrid system.
Bob Lee, the head of Chrysler’s engine and electrified propulsion engineering department was quoted as saying “We do believe in electrification, sparingly and for the right kinds of targeted applications.” This basically means that Chrysler is taking its dive into electric propulsion very carefully until it knows that there is a market among Chrysler buyers.
That’s not a huge shock, considering that Chrysler was pulled from the financial flames twice in the last decade, or so – once by Daimler and once by Fiat. Chrysler is finally pulling in a profit and now it’s actually carrying its parent company, Fiat, on its shoulders to keep it from drowning in debt.
Speaking of Fiat, Lee also confirmed in the same report that Fiat is moving into production of the anticipated 500EV, the electric-powered Fiat 500. The 500EV will go into production later on this year and be ready for release sometime in the 2013 model year.
The 500EV will likely be the testing grounds for Chrysler to see if it is a profitable venture or not. We are willing to bet that buyers gobble up the 500EV and that Chrysler soon follows suit with a small EV of their own. Down the road, with fuel prices going how they are, we may even see the Viper utilizing a hybrid system, much like Ferrari is planing to install on its upcoming Enzo/F70.
We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know once there is some confirmation on a Chrysler with electric propulsion.