sub compact cars

sub compact cars

The Fiat 500 first saw life back in 1957 as the Fiat Nuova 500 and was an inexpensive little city car that became extremely popular throughout Italy. Its small, two-cylinder engine displaced roughly 500cc — hence the name — and produced a modest 13 brake horsepower. It enjoyed a ragtop roof that slid rearward and a pair of suicide doors. In comparison to today’s cars, the original Fiat 500 was a toy, only standing chest height to the average person. Production ended in 1975 and the 500 name laid dormant until 2007 when the current version became available in Europe.

The Fiat 500 swam the pond in 2010, marking the first time Fiat sold vehicles in the U.S. since 1984. The return happened, thanks to Fiat’s purchase of Chrysler and the two automakers’ global alliances. The car has remained unchanged for the most part, except the additional Abarth trim level new for 2012. That sporty trim added a ton of go-fast, have-fun goodies to Fiat’s spunky little run-about.

I recently spend a week getting to know the Fiat 500c Abarth. You’ll notice the ‘c’ in the 500’s name, well that signifies it carries a ragtop roof, just like the original Fiat 500 did. This 500, however, has 147 more horsepower than the original, a sweet exhaust note, and a superb five-speed manual gearbox. This thing is like the Mazda Miata of Italy — the tossable plaything that begs to be driven hard.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Fiat 500c Abarth

Scheduled to be unveiled sometime in the third quarter of the year, the 2015 Smart ForTwo is almost ready to go into production, as company engineers are conducting final road tests in different environments. Although our spy photographers have spotted the new tiny vehicle in all shapes and sizes, and stretching their legs in both warm weather and near-freezing conditionss, the ForTwo’s design is still a mystery. However, with the brand new Renault Twingo out in the open, we can imagine what the next Smart will bring styling-wise.

Why should we look at the Twingo to figure out more about the ForTwo? Well, it’s already common knowledge that the ForTwo and ForFour pair of Smarts have been developed in conjunction with the French car. All three will share a rear-wheel-drive architecture with an engine mounted it the back, while both the Twingo and the ForFour will wear a similar shell.

Because the two share about 70 percent of their components, they will be built at Renault ’s Novo Mesto plant in Slovenia. The ForTwo, which will sport the same body panels as the ForFour minus the rear doors, will continue to be assembled in Hambach, France, the tiny vehicle’s traditional home.

Click past the jump to read more about the new Smart ForTwo.

Posted on by Simona  

Wilhelm Karmann GmbH - or simply Karmann - was one of the largest independent motorvehicle manufacturing companies in Germany, specially known for its products developed for Volkswagen . Two of the most famous vehicles developed by Karmann are Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet and the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia developed between 1955 and 1974.

Today, as a tribute to Karmann, Volkswagen launched the special edition Golf Cabriolet Karmann which is now on sale at a price of €27,275 — about $37,000 at the current exchange rates.

The new special edition can be combined with all the standard Golf Cabriolet engines and will be distinguished by special 17-inch Porto-style alloy wheels and various chrome elements. The interior is updated with sport seats upholstered in black Alcantara, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip, and various "Karmann" logo placed both on the exterior and the interior.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet Karmann.

Posted on by Simona  
Smart Fortwo

The next generation Smart ForTwo was caught testing in many times, but pretty much each time we were looking at a mule, not at the real deal. However, today our spy photographers managed to catch the car wearing the real Smart nose up front. As a proof this is the part of the body that wears pretty much all the camouflage.

The new ForTwo will be developed in cooperation with Renault as a result of a previous agreement signed between Daimler, Renault Renault , and Nissan in April 2010. It will be built on a new platform called Project Edison that will also be used for the upcoming Twingo, but also for the next ForFour. All three models will get a rear mounted engine and a rear-wheel-drive system. This new platform will make the next ForTwo a little bit larger than the current generation.

Expect the new Smart ForTwo to be unveiled in March 2014 at the Geneva Car Show, and click past the jump for a closer look at this tiny machine testing somehwere warm.

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We have seen nearly every gimmick under the sun with various automakers, from Saturn and its "No Haggle" pricing — see where that got it — to Volkswagen with its "Sign Then Drive Event." One gimmick that we’ve been waiting for is for when dealerships start renting out their cars for extended test drives or just a weekend trip.

Well, the wait is now over, as Toyota has done just that. From the looks of things, about 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealers across the U.S. participate in this program and Toyota claims that its rental rates are competitive with local car-rental companies. According to the Toyota Rent a Car website, you can rent cars, trucks, SUVs, Hybrids and even the 2013 RAV4 EV for a day, week or even months. Unfortunately, the 2013 Scion FR-S isn’t on the list of available models, but the almost-as-cool Scion tC is on the list.

So, we can now check brand-new rent-a-buckets off of our wish list, now we are just waiting for all of the dealers to morph into rental showrooms and Internet-based car buying — now that is "no haggle pricing!" Those two will likely never happen, but at the rate that Tesla is changing the car-buying experience, you just never know what will happen.

Your move, Elon Musk...

Click past the jump to read about some of the coolest models that Toyota is renting out under this program


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