2017 Fiat 500C - Driven
Dated and diminutive it may be, but the Fiat 500 remains a frugal and fun — and tiny — car. Adding a canvas top to the pint-size Cinquecento just increases the smiles-per-gallon it generates.
As a cheap-and-cheerful commuter, the Fiat 500 has long been a favorite of mine for its European style and driving characteristics. Among cars in its price range, the little Italian remains near the top of my fun-to-drive list. The Fiat 500C has even more charm thanks to its fully retractable roof.
For 2017, Fiat simplified the 500 lineup to just three trims: base-level Pop, leather-trimmed Lounge, and sporty Abarth. All are available with the “C” designation, which stands for “Cabrio.” In prior years, there were twice as many trims available. Most of the equipment from those additional trims is still available in the options list.
When Fiat announced that it would release the 500 Abarth in Chrysler dealerships across the U.S., they initially built just 1,000 examples. Yeah, that wasn’t enough, as the preliminary orders alone exceeded 1,000 units, so Fiat upped the number to 3,000 units. It looks like that wasn’t quite enough either, as Chrysler has shut off the ordering system for 2012 500 Abarths due to the factory in Mexico not being able to handle any more orders for this model year.
According to The Detroit News, there are still some Abarths in dealerships around the country sitting around as demos or cancelled orders. So this means that you may still be able to snag up a 2012 model, but it won’t be built to your requests. You would have to settle for what it comes with straight from the dealership’s floor.
Per Fiat’s website, there are zero 500 Abarths available throughout the country, but old faithful AutoTrader shows us that there are 205 listed on its site from all around the country. We wouldn’t be shocked if the majority of those are just baited hooks, in order to get a customer in so the dealer can say “Aw, we just sold that this morning, but we can take a deposit on a 2013 model.” If you have worked at a dealership before, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
If you are patient, you can just wait until September to order up a new custom fitted 500 Abarth, so there is no need to accept a model that doesn’t meet your needs. Just make sure you get in early to beat the rush that we all expect there to be for this model year.
What happens when an "American" car, like the Dodge Dart, wants an Italian name but also wants to live in China? You give up yet? You get the Viaggio, Fiat’s newest sedan coming to Chinese dealerships in late-2012.
We have all come to grips with the fact that the Dart is essentially just an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in a different wrapper. Now Fiat is about to confuse all of us even more by essentially taking the Dodge Dart’s blueprints to China and manufacturing the Viaggio. From the teaser images Fiat released, we can tell that the only difference between the front end of a Dart and the Viaggio is that they have differing front fascias. On the rear, the Viaggio will not bear Dodge’s full-width light bar and the license plate recess moves to the trunk lid. That’s where the differences stop, with exception of some chrome accents.
To recap, the Dodge Dart is a Giulietta with a new body, and the Viaggio is a Dodge Dart with a new front fascia and different taillights. So that would make the Viaggio and Giulietta third cousins once removed, right?
Enough with the genealogy, the Viaggio will bear the same MultiAir turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that the Dart has, but in two different versions. The base model will crank out just 120 horsepower and the optional engine will produce 150 horsepower, 40 horsepower and 10 horsepower less than the Dart’s 1.4-liter, respectively. The engines will link up to either a five-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Fiat has kept wraps on whether or not this model will remain only in China, or if it will be an export model. Likely with manufacturing happening in China, this creation will stay there. To avoid confusing us all, Fiat, we ask that you please keep this model overseas. We would appreciate it. You can catch a full look at the Viaggio at the Beijing International Auto Show on April 23rd.
Click past the jump to read Fiat’s press release
Fiat is at it yet again. Just a few weeks ago, we complained about the fact that Fiat keeps on reusing the “500” name in the U.S., and once again we are apparently in for more 500s. Just like government documents spoiled the surprise that Fiat’s subsidiary company, Chrysler, was planning a revival of the Barracuda nameplate, government documents are now spoiling the fun for Fiat itself.
Documents leaked from the NHTSA and CARB are showing two models under the 500 umbrella that currently do not exist. One of those vehicles is the 500T, and “T” in this instance obviously means turbocharged. The other, and less newsworthy, is a 500 Abarth Convertible.
For those that know Fiats, you are likely wondering what’s going on, as there is already a turbocharged 500, it’s the 500 Abarth, which has a 160-horsepower Multi-Air 1.4-liter engine. What all of us experts – or so we like to call ourselves – agree upon is that this new 500T will likely feature a slightly detuned version of the Abarth’s 1.4-liter engine, ranging somewhere in the 130 to 140 horsepower range.
What Fiat would be doing with this is trying to target buyers that want a higher performance 500, but don’t want to fork out the $22,000 that it costs to get into an Abarth. If the 500T hits 130 horsepower, that would be 29 horsepower greater than the standard engine and likely enough to satisfy the hunger for a little more performance.
Using reasonable estimations, we would assume that the Fiat 500T would have an MSRP in the $20,000 range, as to keep it less than the Abarth, but slightly more than the 500 Lounge (the top trim level before the Abarth). That would position it just under the base MINI Cooper ($20,200) and well below the MINI Cooper S ($23,800).
Given these two models pan out, and the 500X that Fiat teased us with earlier comes to be, this would put the 500 at a whopping seven models. It’s starting to get a little ridiculous, Fiat.
When we buy a car, we want it to make us feel special. Now that the Fiat 500C has hit our shores, it’s easy to see that this convertible has excelled in this aspect. It combines the fun of a convertible and the ease of use of a compact car. You feel so happy when driving the 500C it should be categorized as an anti depressant. With such a cheap and cheerful car, you would expect it be made of plastic and have the same cosmetic qualities as an outhouse. As soon as you peek inside and out, you are amazed.
The 2012 Fiat 500C promises all the fun and style of the Fiat 500 with a convertible drop top that lets you soak up the glorious sunshine. The amazing thing is a fully loaded 2012 Fiat 500 C is the same price as a base model MINI convertible. We just looked up thew word value in the dictionary and not surprisingly, it showed a picture of the 2012 Fiat 500C.
Details on the Fiat 500C after the jump.
Enter the new 500, the manifesto of the ‘new Fiat’, a model that represents to all intents and purposes the materialisation of a new approach, of new brand strategies, and a different approach to the car. Exactly 50 years after the launch of the first edition of the model, which was to become an icon of Italian motoring and of an entire period of history, Fiat is accelerating into the future.
Anyone could re-edit the 500, because its shape is part of our collective memory. (...)
It’s hard enough to get your hands on a Fiat 500 outside of Europe, but if you are one of the lucky few, then here’s how to get a little more power out of the little car. JCR Racing LTD, a British tuning house specializing in Fiat and Alfa Romeo vehicles, unveiled their latest conversion kit for the Fiat 500. The new kit includes a supercharger, a new intercooler system, custom designed hood scoop or bulge, depending on the customer’s choice painted to match the color of the car and some ECU modifications.
According to the manufacturer, the supercharger boosts the power of the engine to 150 bhp (50 more hp) without affecting the fuel economy. Price of the kit: 2,800 pounds (currently about $5,100.)
You can watch a video of the engine revving here.
The Fiat 500 is now Ferrari’s courtesy car. Ferrari’s corporate cousin produced 200 all-red special versions of the little retro car to be used throughout Europe. Although the performance will likely be a step down from whatever the driver had before, the courtesy cars come with Fiat’s largest engine for the 500 (1.4 liters, 100 horsepower), and they also “offer specific tuning and exhaust in perfect harmony with the sporty spirit of the ‘prancing horse’.”
Fiat is also touting items on the car such as the red brake calipers, sporty pedal set, special black steering wheel with red stitching and 16” alloy wheels. But honestly, no matter how special this 500 may be, if you pick up a date in your economy-based courtesy car, do you really think she’s going to believe you when you tell her that your Ferrari is in the shop?
Poland is emerging as one of the world’s leading places from where green and fuel efficient engines are born. Toyota’s 1-liter engine which is presently performing duties on the Aygo small car, won the International engine of the year award a while back. That engine was also developed in Poland giving us strong hints that Poland should be one of the best countries for developing and manufacturing small engines.
Italian manufacturer Fiat has put its hand up and decided to manufacture a low emission 900cc gasoline engine in Poland. Unlike any of the engines present in European cars today, this one would be the smallest of the lot with only 2 cylinders. The new engine will give life to Fiat’s new microcar, the Topolino, when launched late next year for European markets.
Sufficient engine options will be on offer for the Topolino, ranging from a 65hp normally aspirated version to a turbcharged 110hp version equipped with Fiat’s Multiair adjustable valve timing (110hp from a 900 c.c engine?!) which promises to be powerful yet frugal. I guess there are more reasons for Mercedes and Toyota to worry about as the Topolino is likely to be another massive hit.
One can expect to see this engine in cars like the 500, Grande Punto and Panda a few years from now on, especially with the emission norms getting tougher, the idea of a 2-cylinder and sub-100 gram per kilometer of CO2 emission engine is definitely a bright one.
In order to make the Fiat 500 look even better, the well-known tuning company Novitec, specialised in Ferarri and Alfa Romeo cars, unveiled its new body kit for the small vehicle. Characterized by the front lip spoiler, 16 and 17 inch alloy wheels, rear roof spoiler and a double exhaust system, the small vehicle from the Italian manufacturer becomes car even more desirable.
Novitec also re-programmed the ECU of the engines and now the 1.3 JTD turbodiesel develops 83 hp, with 13 hp more than the standard, while the 1.4-liter petrol engine is now capable of developing 131 hp.
Press release after the jump!
Big tuners also love small cars, not just V8 powered sports car with plenty of power. Hamann also love small cars and today unveiled their customization programme for the recently launched Fiat 500. The new programme includes 17” alloy wheels painted in black, a sport exhaust system that changes completely the sound of the engine but also a re-programming of the diesel ECU which improves the power from 75 to 90 hp and 230 Nm of torque.
For the exterior the Fiat 500 also received some stylish Hamann stickers while at the interior the aliminium pedal set which includes a footrest and a car mat set with an embroidered Hamann logo accentuate the sportivity of the car.
Press release after the jump!
After many years the little legend will come back. Fiat’s new 500 mini-car will make its debut next weekend. After few days we will know all the information and all the images with the new Fiat 500.
After months of waiting, receiving proposals and suggestions from the entire Community that were then examined and elaborated by the Fiat team dedicated to this project, the first images of the new 500 will be unveiled online the day before they will be released to the general public. The (...)
Attractive and ingenious, the new Multipla comes with a new look, but still retains its main strength: six comfortable seats, with extraordinary flexibility of use and versatility. In just over four metres, the new Multipla offers a solid solution to the need for space, with six seats arranged in two rows, three in the front and three in the rear, all equally comfortable and roomy: it is actually the only car in its category to offer the 3+3 solution.
The new Multipla, with its (...)
This year, Fiat’s operations in Poland are working flat out to get ready to start produce the new Fiat 500 model in 2007. The company is also working to further boost exports of parts and components, reports the Puls Biznesu news agency:
The main target for Fiat’s Polish companies is to get themselves ready to launch the production of new models at its plant in Tychy, southern Poland. "Next year we are launching with Fiat 500 and a year later with the new Ford Ka. This means that the (...)