The Fiat 500 is a great little car for anyone who is going on a solo mission, but anyone with a couple of kids in tow may need to look elsewhere. Fiat, well aware of the gap in their lineup, will be addressing this issue at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March with the 500L- an all-new model that expands the appeal of the brand’s iconic Fiat 500.
The new 500L (L stands for "Large") is a five-passenger model that expands the brand’s style and efficiency in the growing B-segment. It will be 163.0 inches long, 70.1 inches wide, and 65.4 inches tall. Under the hood, Fiat will place a choice of two petrol engines - the 101 HP 1.4 liter in-line four-cylinder engine from the standard 500 and a TwinAir version - as well as one diesel turbocharged 1.3 MultiJet II engine.
The Fiat 500L will be produced at the FIAT plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, and will arrive in the United States in 2013.
UPDATE 04/27/2012: Ford has unveiled three new videos for their brand new 500L. The three videos were produced during the "500L: a Fiat design approach" event and include interviews with the Fiat designers: Giolito, Guasco, and Wuppinger.
UPDATE 07/10/12: A fresh new batch of photos of the Fiat 500L has been released by the Italian automaker. Head on over to the gallery to check them all out!
UPDATE 12/18/12: Arguably the funniest music video/car promo now belongs to Fiat and the 500L. The video, called, "The Motherhood ft. the Fiat 500L", stars a young mother with her three infant children, telling us the reality of being in the toughest hood of them all: the motherhood. It’s a ball of laughter through and through, so check it out after the jump!
Fiat is at it yet again. Just a few weeks ago, we complained about the fact that Fiat keeps on reusing the “500” name in the U.S., and once again we are apparently in for more 500s. Just like government documents spoiled the surprise that Fiat’s subsidiary company, Chrysler, was planning a revival of the Barracuda nameplate, government documents are now spoiling the fun for Fiat itself.
Documents leaked from the NHTSA and CARB are showing two models under the 500 umbrella that currently do not exist. One of those vehicles is the 500T, and “T” in this instance obviously means turbocharged. The other, and less newsworthy, is a 500 Abarth Convertible.
For those that know Fiats, you are likely wondering what’s going on, as there is already a turbocharged 500, it’s the 500 Abarth, which has a 160-horsepower Multi-Air 1.4-liter engine. What all of us experts – or so we like to call ourselves – agree upon is that this new 500T will likely feature a slightly detuned version of the Abarth’s 1.4-liter engine, ranging somewhere in the 130 to 140 horsepower range.
What Fiat would be doing with this is trying to target buyers that want a higher performance 500, but don’t want to fork out the $22,000 that it costs to get into an Abarth. If the 500T hits 130 horsepower, that would be 29 horsepower greater than the standard engine and likely enough to satisfy the hunger for a little more performance.
Using reasonable estimations, we would assume that the Fiat 500T would have an MSRP in the $20,000 range, as to keep it less than the Abarth, but slightly more than the 500 Lounge (the top trim level before the Abarth). That would position it just under the base MINI Cooper ($20,200) and well below the MINI Cooper S ($23,800).
Given these two models pan out, and the 500X that Fiat teased us with earlier comes to be, this would put the 500 at a whopping seven models. It’s starting to get a little ridiculous, Fiat.
Italian automaker Fiat is tapping into its Chrysler ties by having the latter’s in-house aftermarket division, Mopar, partner with Italian parts supplier Magneti Marelli to develop and produce a line-up of Fiat 500 Abarth models.
The first of these special edition vehicles made its debut in Las Vegas and has been christened as the 500 Abarth Venom. A host of modifications were added to the 500 Abarth to give it that special edition feel, including carbon fiber components on the hood and side mirror housings and a large matte-black Scorpion graphic on the roof. The inclusion of the former also allows the little compact car to cut its weight by 200 lbs, which would serve it well when combined with a performance modification.
On that note, Mopar reprogrammed the car’s ECU unit while also adding a sport exhaust system that allows the 500 Abarth Venom to increase the output on the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine from the standard 160 horsepower to 200 horsepower.
The ironic thing about this model and where it made its debut in Las Vegas - by the way, supermodel Catrinel Menghia was on-hand for its unveiling - is that the car won’t be available in the US.
UPDATE 04/10/2012: The Fiat 500 Abarth by Mopar was on hand at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Check out our live images in the gallery provided!
If there was ever a point when milking a car for all its worth becomes a tad too much, Fiat may have just crossed that line with the 500 hatchback. Now, it’s completely understandable to produce special variations of certain cars; everyone is doing it and will continue to do it in the future.
Unfortunately, we have a car like the Geneva-bound Fiat 500 America, which is a cutesy 500 with some unique details, including a metallic shade America Blue exterior paint finish, a dedicated beltline, mirror covers with the "Stars & Stripes" graphic, a red cap edge, badges on the door pillar, and a new set of 16" alloy wheels.
All these details sound cool, except that we’ve actually seen something like it in the Fiat 500 Nation Limited Edition, right down to the "Stars & Stripes" graphic. Seems like this Fiat is a renamed model of a pretty similar special edition model. Confused already?
In any case, the Italian automaker will be building 500 three-door versions of this model to go with 500 cabriolet versions.
Fiat is promoting their new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth with a scorpion hunt/giveaway. Find eight Scorpion (symbol of Abarth) scattered around the web and you will enter to win one for yourself!
To show your investigative skills, you need to go to the Abarth Facebook giveaway page, and you will be provided with clues to find your lethal friends. The clues are tough to crack, but if you read this, you are in luck because TopSpeed is giving away one of the 8 scorpions. Check out our homepage and you should be able to grab that one easily. Be fast or they will be gone by March 4th 2012.
Happy scorpion hunting !
Update: Some of you asked us why they could not see the scorpion on our homepage. The Abarth scorpions are only showing their menacing logo if you are connected to internet from the USA.
If you are using ad blocker, you will need to disable those to see the scorpion. Here is a link to how it should look like
According to Abarth, the 695 Tributo Maserati is the confluence of the things we love about Abarth and Maserati, particularly the combination of "the highest level of elegance combined with the comforts of a car, but with the handling that’s suitable for everyday driving. "
In terms of its design, the Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati comes with a "Pontevecchio Bordeaux" paint finish and matched with upholstery dressed in Poltrona Frau leather beige sand. True to its name as an elegant iteration of the popular Italian hatch, the 695 Tributo Maserati also comes with carbon inserts, as well as a matte finish and trim on the dashboard, a black tricolor leather steering wheel, door panels and rear panels that have been given a gray track treatment by UV-LUX, and a new set of 17" alloy wheels.
As far as powertrain is concerned, the Abarth 695 Tributo Maserati will be powered by a 1.4-liter Turbo T-Jet engine that produces 180 horsepower and mated to an electro-mechanical Abarth Competition transmission with steering wheel controls.
UPDATE 05/20/2012: Fiat has heard your pleas, people. When the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari was first introduced at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, it was pegged as a prototype model. The Italian automaker didn’t say anything about the car’s production future, but now, they’ve finally come out and said that a production future - a limited one at that - for the Abarth 695 Maserati has been officially announced.
Fiat is adding a new special edition to its 500 line-up. Called 500 ID the new version will only be offered to the German customers and will be limited to only 500 units. Prices will start at €13,500 (or about $17,600 at the current change rates).
The new 500 ID will be offered in two-tone exterior color theme combined with matching interior items. For the exterior customers can choose between three exterior combinations: white and red exterior with ivory and red interior, white and light blue exterior with ivory and blue interior, and light grey and gunmetal grey exterior with ivory and grey interior.
The model will be offered with a 1.2-liter petrol engine that delivers a total of 69 HP and sits on a new set of 15" alloy wheels. The list of standard equipment will include: air conditioning, leather steering wheel, a chrome kit, and Bluetooth-controlled hands-free Blue & Me with USB port.
There doesn’t appear to be a sports compact car that’s been the subject of more tuning programs than the lovable Fiat 500. Now, Chrysler’s in-house tuning arm, Mopar, is joining in the fun with the 500 "Stinger."
Built as one of Mopar’s 75th anniversary models, the Fiat 500 Stinger comes to the party packed with a two-stage Mopar program that combines a unique styling upheaval with a bold, high-performance engine modification.
The Stage 1 program deals with plenty of exterior and interior enhancements. For the former, Mopar gave the 500 Stinger a more aggressive appearance, highlighted by a special "Giallo" exterior paint with a matching "whiskers and logo" face and circular Black Chrome projector headlamps. In addition, the head and tail lamps have been tinted while the bodyside was wrapped in vinyl with complimenting black checker roof graphics. Finishing off the exterior details are a new set of 17" Abarth Hyper Black aluminum wheels wrapped in wider 205/40 R 17 performance tires.
As for the latter, the interior of the 500 Stinger continues the Giallo-and-black two-tone treatment of the exterior with Katzkin leather seats. Speaking of the seats, Mopar also added Alcantara seat centers with Giallo black leather bolsters and Giallo accent stitching. A carbon-fiber instrument panel decal has also been added, as was a Mopar shifter ball finished in Gloss Black, completing an interior look that’s a far departure from the usually mild-mannered 500.
While no specific numbers were given on the 500 Stinger’s performance boost, we know that Mopar’s Stage 2 kit ensures all that and more. Included in this program kit are a cold-air intake and free-flowing cat-back exhaust and performance brakes with cross-drilled rotors, allowing the 500 Stinger to deliver even more power and torque, as well as serious track-ready brake performance.
Just like the rest of Mopar’s 75th Anniversary models, the 500 Stinger will be proudly displayed at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show this coming February.
Following the 500 (Cinquecento) and the 500 Cabrio, Fiat has also brought the 500 Abarth - otherwise known as the most powerful 500 currently available - to the American market. The American 500 Abarth made its debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. It brings world-class performance and precision, purposeful and aggressive styling, and high power-to-weight ratio. The model will be offered in a limited edition.
The new Fiat 500 Abarth still maintains all of the elements from its European version, designed for track-day enthusiasts and driving-purists who want the ultimate high-performance small car with the pedigree of an exclusive Italian exotic. It is powered by a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine that delivers a total of 135 HP and a peak torque of 152 lb-ft of torque. The list of standard equipment includes an Abarth-tuned suspension and brake system, a race-inspired design, and technology features not traditionally included on a small car.
"Bringing the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth to the U.S. enables us to reach out to driving enthusiasts who want Italian performance at an attainable price," said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand and Chief Marketing Officer — Chrysler Group LLC. "With its lightweight, track-tuned handling and purpose-built design, the Fiat 500 Abarth brings to life the legendary racing heritage of the brand and becomes the Italian high-performance car for everyday driving."
UPDATE 12/06/2011: Before its official market launch, the new 500 Abarth made its first stop at Jay Leno’s Garage. Find out what he thinks about the car by watching the video after the jump!
UPDATE 01/12/2012: Chrysler has announced prices for the American version of the Fiat 500 Abarth. The model will go on sale at a starting price of $22,000 (not including destination).
UPDATE 05/02/12: Romanian model Catrinel Menghia is back, only this time, it’s three times bigger, better, and hotter than before. Fresh off of the success of their Super Bowl collaboration, Menghia and Fiat have returned with three new commercials featuring the smoking hot super model and the equally lovely Italian hatch. Check out the ads and enjoy them!
We don’t usually associate Playboy with cars, unless scantily clad women were somehow involved, but the American men’s magazine has just unveiled the top 11 hottest models people should buy in 2012. Now guys can really say they are picking up Playboy’s latest issue for the articles!