Fiat

Fiat cars

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 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 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!

Abarth Scorp-Ion Concept by IED

Now that Alfa Romeo is set to return to North American after a lengthy absence, Fiat is looking at a number of measures on how it plans to return to the US and Canada with a bang as well.

One option that the Italian automaker is planning on pursuing is building a ’more affordable’ sports car to compliment the Alfa Romeo 4C soon after the latter is released in 2013. Word is that this affordable sports car will be built as an Abarth , one that is being pegged to take on a market heavyweight like the Mazda MX-5 Miata . Easier as that is said than it is done, Fiat understands that the Alfa Romeo 4C might not be up to the budget of a lot of American consumers, especially considering that the car is already being touted as a possible rival to a couple of Porsche sports cars: the Cayman and the Boxster .

Should Fiat push forward and build a front-wheel drive sports car under Abarth, we expect it to carry an output of somewhere around 200 horsepower, possibly even going up north to 250. No details have been made as far as what the car is going to look like, but we’d love it if the Italian automaker brushes off an old Abarth classic - the 1968 Scorpione - and build a modern-day take on what we consider one of the sexiest sports cars of the 60’s. That or they could just make some modifications on the Abarth Scorp-Ion Concept that we saw earlier this year.

The Fiat line-up that’s headed to the 2011 Bologna Motor Show will also include a special edition 500 model that has been designed to commemorate the car’s introduction to the US market.

The special edition Fiat 500 model is called the "Nation Limited Edition" and it will come in hard-top and cabrio trims. As far as the former is concerned, Fiat dressed it up in an "America Blue" exterior paint finish and it comes with a bevy of unique trims, including a "Stars & Stripes" package on the sides and on the mirror casings, and a new set of 16" alloy wheels.

Meanwhile, the 500C version will come in a "Tri-Coat White" exterior paint finish and will also feature the same "Stars & Stripes" package on the sides and the mirror casings, as well as a new set of 16" alloy wheels. A different wrinkle on the 500C is the red soft-top roof, further enhancing the color scheme of the car as a celebration of our beloved land.

Powertrain figures for both the 500 and 500C remains the same - a 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir technology that delivers 101 horsepower and 98 lb/ft of torque - although customers who opt for the 500C will have to shell out more money to be able to buy one.

Both models will be limited to 500 units apiece with the hard-top version coming with a price tag of €14,500, which is about $19,500 based on current exchange rates. As for the 500C, that one will cost you €18,000, which when converted, hits $24,200.

The Abarth 695 "Assetto Corse" launched by Abarth at the 2011 Bologna motor Show continues the tradition started by models like the 695 Tributo Ferrari and the Abarth 695 "Competizione" . The difference is that it is an evolution of the Abarth 500 "Assetto Corse" , a car that scored huge successes during the past three years of racing.

On the exterior, the new 695 "Assetto Corse" will be distinguished by an aggressive front decorated with a badge bearing the Abarth logo, a broader bumper completed with aerodynamic spoiler and screen-printed grilles. And as this is a track car the aerodynamics are very important so at the rear it has received a winged spoiler, a badge bearing the Abarth logo and a twin exhaust pipe. The package is completed by a new set of 17" light alloy racing wheels enriched with new floating, perforated and self-ventilated front disc brakes and perforated rear disc brakes.

The interior has been designed so that it offers the highest safety levels required by FIA regulations. The car gets a safety roll-bar, racing seat and a racing steering wheel, while the doors have been lightened by using Lexan for the side windows.

Under the hood Abarth has placed a 1368 cm3 turbocharged engine that delivers 205 HP of power.

Of all the B-Spec race cars that are being shown at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show , we could argue that, pound-for-pound, Road Race Motorsports’ Fiat 500 is the most impressive of them all.

The Italian hatch-turned-racer was basically stripped down to its bare necessities to make way for the transformation. A widebody carbon fiber body kit - a collaboration between Carbontrix and Road Race Motorsports - was fitted into the Fiat to give it that low stance profile perfect for racing. The car’s chassis set-up was also tweaked by Road Race Motorsports courtesy of a new rear anti-sway bar to provide better handling in racing conditions. As for the wheel-and-tire combination, the 500 sits on a new set of Stance Mindset wheels wrapped on Toyo rubber racing tires. Other features of note regarding the 500 RRM include a timing controller, and, for the purposes of B-Spec Racing, a Drew Tech GPS and Track mapping system and a Zeitronix Data logging system that can store all the pertinent racing data the team’s going to need when they’re in competition.

Finally, we get to the engine, which may not sound impressive considering it’s a Fiat 500. But thanks to Road Race Motorsports, the 500’s 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine was given an engine tweak, a new sports exhaust system, and a new Road Race intake system. All those improvements gave the 500 a significant output increase to the tune of 138 horsepower, up from the stock version’s 101-horsepower output.

UPDATE 11/07/2011: We have added live images from the SEMA Show. Find them in the picture gallery.

The Fiat 500 is a relative newbie in the US market so Chrysler is trying to give the little Italian hatchback the proper introduction to American consumers. What better way to do that than to showcase a couple of modified 500s at the SEMA Auto Show ?

The first of the two programs is called the Fiat 500 Titanium, one that comes with aggressive styling and premium sport-luxury details. The car was dressed up with a Matte Titanium finish that highlights the car’s sculpted front fascia. There’s also a satin black fascia insert that has integrated LED fog lamps while the circular projector headlamps are finished in gloss black to complement the titanium finish. Mopar also added lowering springs on the car, as well as new side skirts, a large liftgate spoiler that adds downforce for improved stability, a new diffuser, and a set of 16" Matte Titanium wheels with front-and rear-brake calipers. Other elements of the 500 Titanium that are worth noting are the Matte Titanium exterior door handles, mirror caps, a license plate brow, and to make sure the car packs improved performance, a Mopar cold-air intake and Mopar cat-back exhaust.

Meanwhile, the interior of the 500 Titanium speaks loudly of high-performance luxury that’s emphasized by Titanium Metallic accents. The lightweight and high-performance front seats come with massive side bolsters. Likewise, the seats have been wrapped in black leather and further accented with Titanium Metallic vinyl seat centers. The seats also feature a black leather center stripe with Metallic Gray accent stitching while the Titanium Metallic vinyl door bolsters go extremely well with the Matte Titanium instrument panel and gauge cluster brow.

Nothing speaks more to the American auto market than a well-dressed vehicle. On all corners, the Fiat 500 Titanium fits that bill.

UPDATE 11/03/11: This review has been updated with official photos from Fiat

You know the saying ’good things come in small packages?’ Well, in the case of this little mighty monster of an Abarth 500, the adage certainly fits to a tee.

Take one look at the Fiat Abarth 500 and you clearly won’t mistake it for a speeding bullet. But that’s not what this particular 500 is all about. Just ask Romeo Ferraris, the tuning company that took the liberty of transforming this little hatchback into a full-fledged pocket rocket.

The full details surrounding the tuning program for this special 500 - it’s been dubbed the "Cinquone Stradale" - has yet to be disclosed by Romeo Ferraris, although they have shed some light that this model will be an "extreme" street-legal version of its race-spec car. Knowing that the latter is already powered by a highly modified 1.4-liter turbo engine that delivers 360 horsepower, the rumored 300-pony output of the Cinquone Stradale is nothing to sneeze about.

Aesthetically speaking, the Cinquone Stradale has been dressed with an extensive widebody kit program that includes a pair of huge air vents on the hood, a new rear diffuser with centrally-mounted tail pipes, a rood spoiler, blistered wheel arches, and a new set of fancy-spoked wheels.

Inside the car, the dress up continues with plenty of leather and Alcantara surfaces with matching carbon fiber trim. A pair of bucket race seats are also part of the package, as is the race-spec roll cage.

Fiat has announced the 500 "Pink Ribbon" Edition that will be limited to only 250 units. For each unit sold, Fiat will donate $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to facilitate their mission of achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime.

The Fiat 500 Pink will be based on the 500 Lounge model and will be offered in Argento (silver) and Bianco (white) exterior paint colors. Joining the exterior paint will be a signature dark pink body side stripe with a "500" logo and an accenting "ribbon" in light pink.

The interior will get pink accents to contrast with the Nero leather for the front and rear seats, as well as a signature "500" logo embroidered on the front seatbacks. The same pink and black combination will be used for the steering wheel and the body-color instrument panel bezel. Each unit will also be offered with a pair of uniquely designed Fiat 500 Pink Ribbon key fobs.

This special edition is now on sale and is priced from $22,500 (including $500 destination).

The third world premiere to come out of Abarth is the special edition Punto SuperSport. This Frankfurt-bound model is based off of the Punto Evo Esseesse showcased at the 2010 Paris Auto Show and features Grigio Campovolo two-tone livery along with other bells and whistles to warrant the special edition title.

The Abarth Punto SuperSport’s Grigio Campovolo paint job comes with a special matte black finish for the hood and roof, adding a little sport to small hatchback. The model is further customized with "supersport" graphics on the side panel, matte black mirror covers, and 18" alloy rims combined with red calipers and hub caps. The exhaust used in this special edition comes straight from the Esseesse model.

For the interior, Abarth has added comfort and style with "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" black leather seats with a gloss back backrest and a black leather steering wheel. These elements are then highlighted with double red and yellow stitching. Stainless steel pedals with Abarth branding and an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli add more spunk to the SuperSport model.

Safety is also not an issue in this special edition as Abarth has added a modified suspension, floating, perforated and self-ventilated front disc brakes with over-sized four-piston red brake calipers, perforated rear disc brakes, high performance front brake pads, front and rear Koni shock absorbers with FSD (Frequency Selective Dumping) valve, and specially lowered springs.

Under the hood, Abarth has placed the same 1.4 Multiair engine found in the Esseesse to power the hatchback. This engine develops 180 HP at 5,750rpm and a peak torque of 199 lbs-ft at 2,500 rpm, allowing the car to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 134 mph.

The second special edition model Abarth will be unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show is called the 500 Cabrio Italia. No, this new model isn’t a tribute to the Ferrari 458 Italia , but it is a model that was specifically built to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian unity. There will only be 150 units built, appropriately so, each will feature a special chrome "500 Cabrio Italia" plate with satin effect.

The 500 Cabrio Italia is painted in a special Blu Abu Dhabi livery combined with an electrically operated black top and tinted rear windows. Adding a touch of class and sparkle are the 10-spoke 17" rims with diamond effect combined with yellow Brembo front calipers.

Along with the celebratory additions to the exterior of the vehicle, Abarth has also supplied the special edition with a number of components that set it apart from the rest. For starters, the "esseesse " brake system consisting of perforated self-ventilated front brake discs and fixed four-piston calipers has been added, as well as Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions.

Sliding into the vehicle, the driver will notice "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats in natural leather with carbon fiber backrests. Once comfortably seated, the driver can wrap their hands around the black leather steering wheel with double stitching and take advantage of the Alutex aluminum glass fiber pedals and gear lever knob. There is also a carbon fiber running board with dedicated "Cabrio Italia" graphics finishing off the aesthetic improvements. On a technological note, the Abarth 500 Cabrio Italia boasts of an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation unit with a telemetric function developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli.

Running the 500C Italia is a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine that delivers an impressive - for this class - 160 HP. This power will allow the 500 Cabrio Italia to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, while top speed sticks at 131 mph.


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