Fiat 500

Fiat 500

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 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.

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.

Source: Carscoop

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."

Fiat 500 BEV

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.

Source: Bloomberg

Over the past few months, we’ve learned that the Fiat 500 Abarth has become more than just a token cute little car. If you put it in the hands of an aftermarket company that knows what its doing, impressive things can come out of it.

We learned it from Lazzarini Design , and now German tuner G-Tech is proving that they can make a rocket out of the Abarth 500 too. Armed with a host of aesthetic and mechanical improvements, the Abarth 500 Sportster - as it has come to be known - is far from a standard 500. Far, far from it.

For starters, the car’s roof has been lowered by 14cm. The front fascia’s also been revised and a new set of alloy wheels have been added. Inside, there’s the addition of a pair of a carbon fiber trim and the addition of sports seats. While these enhancements do look good on paper, the highlight of G-Tech’s program are three different engine modifications that include two road-ready versions and one that’s ready for some race track action.

The first two involve base 230CV variant upgrades on the car’s 1.4-liter engine, resulting in an output of 230 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. Impressive, right? Not as much when you add an adjustable rear wing, bigger wheel arches, and a G-Tech INOX Le Mans exhaust system with electronically-operated exhaust valves into the mix. With these in tow, that’s an output of 260 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque.

Then there’s the track version, which has been dubbed the Sportster GT/R. With a completely new 2.0-liter engine, the 500 Sportster is now capable of producing a stout 350 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque.

Not too shabby for an Abarth 500.

Abarth is celebrating the launch of the new high-performance 500 and 595 ranges on the UK market with the launch of a special 595 Turismo edition. The model is priced at £17,725 ($21,798 at current rates) when based on the 500 version and at £19,625 ($24,125 at the current rates) when based on the 500C version.

The new 595 Turismo will be distinguished by Titanium Grey front and rear sports grilles, upgraded front and rear dampers, and dark tinted rear windows. For the interior, the model gets a "Turismo" pack that includes Alutex pedals, footrest and door kick-plates, bespoke floor mats, and machined aluminum fuel and oil filler caps. Leather upholstery and automatic climate control will also be offered as standard equipment, while, as an option, Abarth will provide a very cool set of 17-inch 10-spoke Diamond finish alloy wheels combined with red brake calipers.

The Fiat 595 Abarth Turismo is powered by a turbocharged 1.4 T-Jet engine that delivers a total of 160 HP and mated to either a manual gearbox or with Abarth’s MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) semi-automatic gearbox.

Say what you will about his pop-culture shows, but when it comes to reviewing cars, Jay Leno knows what’s going on. In his series, “Jay Leno’s Garage ,” we have seen numerous cars come in and out, but the Fiat 500 Abarth is one of the few cars to come into his garage that Jay hasn’t had the chance to drive yet.

Jay finally caught up with Fiat and snagged up a 500 Abarth, despite their very short supply, to test drive. Jay did what we all would do the second he got behind the wheel of this high-performance compact hatchback... He pushed it as hard as it would go.

You know what, the 500 Abarth took everything Jay threw at it and it just kept asking for more. We are quick to rag on the 500 lineup, mostly because Fiat has consistently added new models based on the exact same car, but this Abarth Abarth model is not one that is deserving of the taunting we give the lineup. It truly is a sports car in a compact car’s body.

At one point, Jay decides it’s time to pull a U-turn. Instead of coming to a complete stop, then slowly turning around, Jay quickly yanks up the E-brake, whips the car around, then smolders the tires as he takes off in the other direction. That was quite simply the marque moment in this video.

Man, it sure is good to be Jay Leno! Check out the video to see for yourself.


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