Fiat cars

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.

Fresh off of the success of the first Gucci-inspired Fiat 500 , the Italian automaker is back for another round of luxury goodness.

This time around, Fiat once again looked the way of its compatriot Gucci to dress up the new 500 Cabriolet . The new special edition 500 fell under the guidance of Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini in collaboration with the Centro Stile Fiat, and to their credit, the Gucci magic gives the small Fiat hatchback the luxury upgrade few fashion houses can compete with.

Just like the first version, the changes were entirely aesthetic, which means that the powertrain remains the same. But for people who care more about how the car looks than how it performs - Fiat 500s aren’t about ponies, anyway - the new 500C by Gucci is right up their avenue.

Interested buyers can now pre-order the car on the website. The asking price (€20,000) is a little more expensive than the last one (17,000) but even if it’s a little pricey for our standards, people who enjoy a little dash of luxury on their hatchbacks will have no problem shelling out that amount for a car that has been "Gucci’d" up.

UPDATE 08/17/2011: The Fiat 500 by Gucci will be heading to the States in time for New York Fashion Week, beginning on September 8, 2011. Anyone who is interested in buying the special edition hatchback will be able to drive away in one, as well as purchase a number of Gucci clothing and personal accessories such as handbags, watches, shoes, and sunglasses that will also be at the event.

More details on the Fit 500 by Gucci after the jump.

Fiat unveiled the 500 Coupe Zagato Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, but they failed to mention anything about a production version of the model. Seemingly tired of waiting for anything to happen, Italian specialty carmaker, Scagliarini Motorsports, put some elbow grease into the project, revealing the first 504 Coupe Zagato Elaborata. As it turns out, this is actually the production version of the concept unveiled back in March.

The Fiat 500 Coupe Zagato by Scagliarini was specially designed for a customer in the U.A.E. and features the same Zagato design elements as the concept car. The body kit is made of carbon fiber and includes a front splitter, bumper grill, air vents, dash kit, door panels, roof spoiler, and rear diffuser. An interesting feature is that the two rear passenger windows have been blocked.

In terms of power, the Fiat 500 Coupe Zagato concept utilized a TwinAir engine that delivered a total of 105 HP and 155 Nm of torque at 2,500 rpm. The Scagliarini production model, however, uses the same engine found in the Fiat 500 Abarth SS : a 1.4 16v Turbo petrol engine with an output of 178 HP.

UPDATE 08/06/11: It seems that a certain Italian coachbuilder may have a bit of a problem having its name attached to a car project it had no hand in building. As it turns out, Zagato has vehemently denied having any involvement on this particular Fiat 500 project by Scagliarini, and they’ve even released an official statement to state their case.
“Zagato neither had any official relationship with Scagliarini, nor was officially contacted by any member regarding this project," the statement said. "This news (which is published everywhere) created a great embarrassment to us. So It will be extremely appreciated if you could give it maximum visibility.”

Fiat’s decision to return to the US after a long and hard absence was set in motion with the 2012 500 and, just as expected, the mini car has already begun to attract the attention of tuning firms ready to pump it up. One such tuner is the famous Mopar, whose new tuning package will be on display at the Detroit Auto Show in just a few days time.

The Fiat 500 is already cute in its own right, but apparently there are about a zillion tuners out there that feel it is an easy car to tweak, pinch, pull, and update. Mopar started its update with removing the Fiat’s usual red exterior paint job and replacing it with some black. The paint job was then given the racy feel with two blue racing stripes on the roof and hood. After that, Mopar added chrome insertions on the exhaust tip, mirror covers, fuel door, front and back grille surround, and a new set of black gloss wheels.

Not being big on interior updates, Mopar only switched out the Fiat 500’s standard interior for one filled with Katzkin leather (black with blue accents) and different carbon fiber inserts.

UPDATE 08/02/2011: Mopar has announced the list of accessories they will be offering for the 2012 Fiat 500. There are over 150 to choose from and the list includes updates for both the exterior and the interior. Hit the jump for a list of the top 15 accessories for the all-new 2012 Fiat 500.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 6

When you ask most Americans what comes to mind when you say Fiat, one word consistently came up: "broken." Now with Fiat making a re- entrance behind their fantastic 500 , feelings are changing. Although the Fiat 500 has only been on US soil for about a year, it is already gaining momentum like a blue whale rolling down a hill. It has just been announced that the long awaited Fiat 500 Abarth will make its American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and go on sale in the first half of 2012 . This is a huge move forward because according to Inside Line, the initial debut for the Abarth models was supposed to be introduced in the first half of 2013.

When this hot hatchback hits the market its major competitors will be the venerable VW Golf GTI and the Mini Cooper S . The angle that the Fiat successfully utilizes is that over the years both of its competitors have gone somewhat soft and strayed quite far from their roots. In the Fiat Abarth, the lineage is as clear as day and also adds a touch of warm nostalgic familiarity. As soon as your right foot hits the gas, a direct channel to your adrenal glads will be opened. The exhaust note from this peppy 1.4 liter engine reminds us of a little Boston terrier behind a fence, it sounds big but it’s really not. These primal signals will serve as a reminder of how a ’hot’ hatchback can enrich your life.

We adore the little Fiat . Its sense of style, presence, and plucky attitude make it a must have vehicle. This admiration will be multiplied with the Abarth Abarth version of this venerable Italian hatchback. The Fiat 500 Abarth serves as a case in point for automakers; in order to move forward, one must often look back.

Source: Insideline

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