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Fiat's Feeling Mighty Generous With a Record-Breaking Giveaway

Fiat’s Feeling Mighty Generous With a Record-Breaking Giveaway

1,495 winners went home with a special edition Fiat 500 Essalunga

In case Oprah Winfrey decides to do another car giveaway in the near future, she’s going to have a tough time beating out what Fiat and an Italian supermarket chain known as Esselunga. Together, the two Italian companies did something that earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records: they gave away a staggering 1,495 Fiat 500s as part of Esselunga’s 60th anniversary, a staggering total made even more impressive by the fact that all these models are actually special editions in their own right.

Winners of the Essalunga-hosted competition all dropped to Fiat’s Mirafiori plant to take delivery of their new special edition 500 models, referred to officially as the Fiat 500 Essalunga. The model is based on the 69-horsepower, 1.2-liter variant of the Fiat 500 and comes with an exclusive Pastel White body paint finish, an Ivory-dressed interior, and a set of 14-inch wheels. In addition to these features, the car also receives a trove of equipment, including seven airbags, climate control, Uconnect 5 infotainment system, AUX-IN and USB ports, steering wheel controls, and LED daytime running lights. Needless to say, all 1,495 cars that were part of the giveaway at the Fiat plant were collected in less than two days by grateful owners from all over Italy. I’d be grateful too if was part of that list.

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New Color Packages Should Jolt Some Life Back To The Fiat 500

New Color Packages Should Jolt Some Life Back To The Fiat 500

The little hatchback has always been a cosmetic car, so these new options help

The Fiat 500 should not be confused for a performance car, save for the Abarth edition. For the most part, the 500 is a cosmetic car and Fiat understands that better than anybody else. That’s a big reason why the Italian automaker is offering three new packages dedicated to the 2017 Fiat 500.

The new packages enhance the 500, bring more life to the sub-compact than it already has. Owners of the 500 can choose between the Sport Black Trim Package, the Two-Tone Appearance Package, and the lengthily named Abarth Roof, Mirror Cap, and Body Stripe Appearance Package. The three packages come with their own unique offerings, even if the overall purpose of adding more style to the Fiat 500 remains the same across all of them. Understandably, each package is also priced differently ranging from $295 for the Two-Tone Appearance Package all the way up to $1,295 for the Sport Black Trim Package. Fiat’s goal is clear in this regard: the three appearance packages are meant to entice customers. It’s a sound strategy that Fiat hopes could help bring sales of its hatchback up after rather disappointing numbers in 2016.

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2017 Fiat 500 Abarth Ares by Pogea Racing

2017 Fiat 500 Abarth Ares by Pogea Racing

This is the souped up Fiat 500 that we’ve all been waiting for

The Fiat 500 Abarth is a cute little ride, isn’t it? It certainly looks the part of one, but being cute and cuddly isn’t the only thing appealing about the 500. It’s also understatedly customizable, which is why we’ve seen so many special edition iterations of the car, not to mention tuning programs from some of the best tuners in the business. Pogea Racing counts itself in the latter group, and it has a real doozy of a kit for the 500 that gives the subcompact hatchback an output of 405 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque. Seems fitting then that Pogea Racing has dubbed this creation as “Ares,” after the Greek god of war. This Fiat 500 Abarth is ready to rumble with the best of them.

The program has more than just a fancy name and ridiculous power at its disposal. It also has an extensive menu of carbon fiber parts for the exterior, a well-dressed interior that brings some life to the hatchback’s cabin, and suspension upgrades to help the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder handle all that extra power.

The bad news is that this isn’t a program that Pogea Racing is producing in big quantities. On the contrary, the tuner only plans to build five such 500 Ares models and the cost of building one doesn’t come cheap. The upgrades to the engine alone cost more than the car itself so you can imagine what the whole thing will fetch for, donor car and all.

Then again, a 405-horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth doesn’t come cheap, nor should it.

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2017 Fiat 500 60th Anniversary

2017 Fiat 500 60th Anniversary

The Italian brand celebrates six decades since the original 500 was launched

The modern Fiat 500 has been around for 10 years as of 2017 and so far it has done a great job keeping the original car’s legacy alive. The small size and the vintage design help, but Fiat also launched several special-edition models that paid tribute to the first 500 over the last decade. Come 2017 and the Italian firm has developed yet another anniversary model, this time around to celebrate the 500’s 60th anniversary.

One of the most iconic vehicles of all time, the Fiat 500 was launched in 1957 and the first unit was produced in the city of Turin on July 4. Fiat sold over four million examples until the car was discontinued in 1975, making way for the equally successful 126 model. The 500 nameplate was revived in 2007 and the second-generation city car became a success story too. Fiat says that the new 500, which is sold in around 100 countries, will reach sales of two million units in the first half of 2017. This is an impressive figure for a ten-year-old model in this day and age, and needless to say, it wouldn’t have been possible without the legacy of the original Fiat 500.

Limited to only 560 units, the 60th anniversary model was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show and goes on sale starting March, meaning it will hit the streets just in time for the day the first-ever 500 left the factory back in 1957. Let’s find out what this limited-edition model is all about.

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2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special

2017 Fiat 500X S-Design Special

A special edition version for Fiat’s high-riding 500 variant

There once was a time when a high-riding Fiat 500 would’ve amounted to some form of ridicule. The 500, after all, has been around for 60 years and at no point did it venture past being a small compact car. But time has a way of flipping long-standing narratives in the auto industry, and no more is that more evident than the launch of the Fiat 500X back in 2015. Essentially a small crossover version of the 500, the 500X checks off some boxes that the traditional 500 can’t. It’s bigger, more spacious, and provides a fresh alternative to the established compact city car. Ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the 500X will be well-represented at the event with a special edition model called the 500X S-Design Special.

Mind you, this isn’t exactly unchartered territory for the biggest variant of the Fiat 500. We’ve seen it get an Opening Edition in the past and it’s also been a staple in SEMA for the past few years. But the S-Design Special is different, not only because it’s Geneva-bound, but because it’s also arguably the most dressed-up version of the Fiat 500X that we’ve seen so far.

Okay, so it’s not exactly dripping with exclusive features, but it does have a lot of unique qualities unto itself. It has a new paint finish and a slew of unique exterior and interior details that help shape the exclusivity attached to this model. It also has tinted windows, which apparently is significant enough to warrant a mention in the Italian automaker’s press release.

Altogether, these features help create the identity of the Fiat 500X S-Design Special Edition. For what it’s worth, we’re all going to see how appealing the special edition 500X is in the eyes of customers since Fiat plans to open orders for the model in June 2017, a few months after it debuts in Geneva.

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2017 Fiat Tipo S-Design

2017 Fiat Tipo S-Design

Unique features inside and out add some style to the Italian hatchback

Using a name that dates back to 1988, the Fiat Tipo returned to the market in 2015, after a 20-year hiatus. Designed to replace both the Linea and Bravo, the Tipo is offered in three body styles — sedan, hatchback, and wagon. All three versions are already available in showrooms and, for 2017, Fiat is launching a new model. Dubbed S-Design, it features a few sportier elements on the outside and unique features inside, giving it a distinct personality. The S-Design upgrade will be available for both the hatchback and wagon and the former will make its public debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Launched alongside other special-edition Fiats, especially 500 hatchbacks, the Tipo S-Design is actually a trim level that will probably become the most expensive in the lineup. But, while the exterior and interior is stands out by means of extra features, the drivetrains carry over unchanged. And the fact that Fiat isn’t offering the base gasoline and diesel engines in the S-Design is confirmation that the new model is set to become the range-topping Tipo.

There’s no word on pricing and availability yet, but the Tipo S-Design should go on sale in all European markets where the Italian compact is already available.

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2018 Fiat 500L

2018 Fiat 500L

Fix it again, Tony!

Fiat reintroduced the 500 nameplate back in 2007, and since then the subcompact has spawned a number of versions, including the 500L. The company’s only crossover-like vehicle until the 500X arrived, the 500L gained its first updates in 2016, after four years on the market, and another facelift for the 2018 model year.

The standard 500 is a funky little car that harkens back to the original in some aspects, while providing a modern feel that we all love. But, when it comes to the 500L, let’s just say it’s not the best looking car out there. It’s disproportionate in some areas and just odd looking in others – that’s just the nature of MPVs, though. Some might argue that Fiat really needs to ditch the MPV altogether and redesign the 500L into a full-fledged SUV, but the facelift fixes some of the old car’s design problems. With that said, let’s take a good look at what changed over the last few years.

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2017 Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition

2017 Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition

It’s a feast for the senses; that much is clear

The Fiat 500 will never be mistaken for a car that puts a premium on its performance capabilities. Actually, the 500 is far from what a performance car looks and sounds like. But rest assured, even without those credentials, the 500 has an identity that’s unique to its own. Just run back the number of special edition models that Fiat has produced of the 500 and you’ll see a pattern there. The Fiat 500, for all intents and purposes, is a fashion and lifestyle car in the sense that it attracts designers from all walks of the fashion and lifestyle worlds, a lot of whom have made partnered with the Italian automaker to make special edition models of the hatchback.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Fiat 500 Ron Arad Edition. How about the 500 GQ Edition or the 500 La Petite Robe Noire? Go back a little further and you might remember the 500 and 500 Gucci Edition models from 2013. There’s a pattern here that Fiat has embraced and that relationship with the fashion world is once again in the spotlight with the introduction of the Fiat 500 Paco Rabanne Edition.

Styled by the famed perfumer in collaboration with Garage Italia Customs, the one-off 500 Paco Rabanne Edition is not for the conservative fashionista. It’s certainly not for those who don’t appreciate a car dressed in shiny gold and has plenty of unique details that set it even further apart from other special fashion edition 500s. It’s brash, ostentatious, and an acquired taste, to say the least.

Fiat itself isn’t actually selling the 500 Paco Rabanne Edition. But someone will take home the one-off creation, thanks to a Paco Rabanne giveaway wherein a customer who buys a bottle of Paco Rabanne 1 Million or Lady Million fragrance will be given a chance to register in Fiat’s website for the opportunity to get chosen as the winner.

Like it or not, it’s a car that’s going to demand attention wherever it goes. The question is whether you’re fashion-forward enough to appreciate what Paco Rabanne and Garage Italia Customs did to this Fiat 500.

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2016 Fiat 500 Riva

2016 Fiat 500 Riva

Fiat brings the luxury and elegance of the Aquariva Super yacht to the 500 with this unique special edition model

Fiat gives the 500 credit as being a “strong contributor to motorizing Italy,” and since it’s introduction n 1957 it has earned a cult-like following with over four million units sold. It became known as a model that made mobility accessible and “expressed a deep-seated zest for life.” At the same time, back in the late 50s and early 60s, the same feeling was said to be expressed by the Riva speedboat – a boat that was meticulously executed with premium quality materials and was often looked to as a symbol of perfection. Since the Riva and the 500 both shared a similar cult-like following, Fiat decided to throw both into a blender and created the car you see here, the Fiat 500 Riva special edition.

As a model that was built in partnership with Riva, the car is said to “stand out for its unique appearance and refined details” and is “Synonymous with elegance and Italian taste.” The model itself is offered as a coupe or a convertible and takes on more interior design changes than anything, with the exterior limited to minor additions like chrome mirror caps, pin striping, and some extra trim inserts. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise you that Fiat would drop a special-edition model that isn’t all that modified – it seems to be the name of the game these days, as manufacturers get even better at tooting their own horns and placing the “special edition” name on anything with a few extra options.

With that said, the 500 Riva does have some interesting interior characteristics that do set it apart from the standard 500, while at the same time paying tribute to the Aquariva Super yacht, which is the current Riva icon. So, let’s take a look at this special model and see what all the hype is about.

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2018 Fiat C-SUV

2018 Fiat C-SUV

A bigger 500 buoy

Love it or hate it, the compact crossover segment remains as popular as ever, both domestically and abroad. Automakers of every stripe are cashing in on consumers’ love for small, jacked-up passenger vehicles, and Fiat Chrysler is certainly no exception. The Italian-American company’s current product lineup already includes the 500X, a sub-compact crossover based on the iconic Fiat 500 city car, but the marque lacks a contender for the slightly larger compact SUV segment. That could change with a new, as-of-yet unconfirmed C-SUV.

While official details are still under wraps, rumors have been swirling that Fiat is prepping the new model (which will possibly adopt the name “500XL”) for a reveal sometime in 2017 or 2018, with production kicking into shortly thereafter. The release will reportedly shadow the upcoming replacement for the Jeep Patriot and Compass, a.k.a. the “Jeep 551,” with the same platform shared between the two models.

Further speculation points to South America as the first market slated to receive the new model, given its construction on the continent. A global release would quickly follow.

We recently received a batch of spy shots that could very well have captured the upcoming Fiat C-SUV out doing some testing, although we’re not yet total certain. Either way, read on for my speculative review.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat C-SUV.

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2017 Fiat 500S

2017 Fiat 500S

The 500 gets a splash of visual goodies

The 500 has been a popular car for Fiat, even in the U.S., as it recalls the brands history while giving modern city dwellers something fun to drive. While our favorite 500 is unquestionably the 500 Abarth, Fiat has debuted an interesting new 500 at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Called the 500S, the two-door, four-seater gets several updates, including a new seven-inch Uconnect infotainment screen (something sorely lacking before) and a new appearance package. The S trim level adds sportier bumpers with fog lights, side skirts long the door bottoms, and a rear spoiler. Trim-exclusive Satin Graphite paint graces the door handles, rear hatch, mirror caps, and wheels. Standard 15-inch alloy wheels and optional 16-inch rollers are new, along with their colors, while a chrome exhaust tip, “black grained” front air intake, and revised grille update the 500’s looks.

The most welcomed change, however, is on the dash. Gone is the outdated radio with its tiny alarm clock display, replaced with a seven-inch touch screen running a version of FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system.

Powering the 500S – at least in Europe – is the 1.3-liter MultiJet diesel making 95 horsepower. Then little four-cylinder can push the car to 62 mph in 10.7 seconds while only emitting 89 grams of C02 per kilometer.

What’s more, the 500S can be had in the cabriolet form as well. The convertible soft top simply power-folds along the roof line, down the C-pillars, and folds in the cargo area. Pricing for the Fiat 500S has not been announced, though Fiat is expected to make those numbers known closer to the 500S’ production launch in the fall.

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2017 Fiat Tipo Hatchback

2017 Fiat Tipo Hatchback

Modern and stylish, yet still affordable

In 2015, Fiat unveiled the Egea, a concept that previewed a compact sedan designed to replace the aging Linea. A few months later, the production car with the same name was launched in Turkey and renamed the Tipo for other markets. It was a significant departure from its predecessor, employing a fresh design, a well-equipped interior, and a diverse engine lineup. Come 2016 and Fiat expanded the Tipo family with a hatchback and a wagon.

Aimed at the highly disputed C-segment that includes popular hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus, the Tipo replaces the Bravo, which was discontinued in Europe in 2014. However, like its sedan brother, the Tipo hatch will be a more affordable and simple car powered by less powerful, but significantly more fuel-efficient engines.

With the sedan gathering more than 20,000 orders in its first two months on the market, Fiat has high hopes for the Tipo hatch. The five-door model will be sold in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) in three trim levels and an engine lineup that includes gasoline, diesel, and LPG units. Pricing is not yet available, but we’ll be back with more info as soon as Fiat spills the beans.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Fiat Tipo Hatchback.

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