Chrysler isn’t on the Chopping Block Yet; Fiat to Retreat, Become Euro-Only EV Brand
FCA’s investor meeting has taken place, and the official word is that Chrysler will carry on as a North-American.-only brand and Fiat will become a Euro-only EV brand. To take things even further, a company spokesperson has also said that Dodge won’t be killed off either. That’s a pretty bold move from FCA considering how unpopular Chrysler and Fiat have become here. What happens with these brands next, however, will determine whether or not they’ll continue to stick around long term.
During the brass era of automobiles, from about 1900 to 1915, pretty much every car was a luxury car. Before Ford’s 1908 Ford Model T put the nation on wheels starting in 1907, automobiles were primarily seen as playthings for wealthy folks. Even Fiat, who’s known these days for more pedestrian economy cars and family vehicles, started out as a luxury manufacturer.
Fiat is one of the pioneers of the automotive age. The company built its first car in 1889. In addition to its forays into racing, Fiat was known for its luxury cars, and was one of the top importers of chassis into the U.S. Like most high-end cars of the time, early Fiats were sold as bare chassis and had coachbuilt bodies installed to the owners’ specifications. The bodies alone could cost as much as $4,000 in some cases. The first car to blend Fiat’s racing and luxury disciplines was the 60 HP, built from 1903 to 1907. The model range featured a pressed steel chassis and a massive 60 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The 50-60 evolved into the Tipo 6, like this example recently shown and sold at Pebble Beach. Popular with affluent American customers, the Tipo 6 was one of the most luxurious cars of its time.
Fiat was one of the best-known European manufacturers during the brass era. The company produced a range of vehicles, but it was the staggeringly expensive big-bore models that captured the attention of the public, and they were owned by royalty and dignitaries. The cars were low-production vehicles, with less than 100 built in most cases, and very few of them have survived the ensuing century.
Continue reading for my full review of this special Fiat.
Fiat has been building a market for itself since the 500 debuted for 2012 here in the U.S. Now the brand has three main models, two of which ride on the same platform but cater to different crowds. The 2016 Fiat 500X offers a somewhat rugged package with a tad more ground clearance and AWD. Its stable mate, the 2015 Fiat 500L offers a more urban experience, complete with cutesy looks and a functional interior.
I recently got to spend some quality time with the 500L in my day-to-day life. Obviously its larger size, four real doors, and seating for five provided a much more family-friendly ride than the previous two Fiats I’ve tested – the Fiat 500 and 2012 Fiat 500 Cabrio, both in the sporty Abarth trim.
The term “large” almost seems like an understatement when sitting inside for the first time. Its tall roof, wide stance, and long body make the car feel much bigger than it actually is. Its interior space feels almost MPV-like. Funny it should feel that way because the 500L also shares its platform with the 2015 Ram ProMaster City.
Unlike the ProMaster City, the 500L comes powered by the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder – a very prevalent engine in the Fiat lineup. Three transmission options are offered, the first being a six-speed manual and the two remaining being six-speed automatics, one of which is a dual-clutch unit.
Five trim levels are offered and span the gap between rental ready and leather-lined. My tester walked the middle ground as a Trekking model, which offers a bit more rugged exterior without crossing into the 500X’s market. Still, the 500L offers plenty of practicality without sacrificing quirkiness.
Continue reading for the full driven review
A vehicle with original styling that is striking for its dynamism. Once you climb aboard, the same car conveys all the practicality and comfort of a higher category car. This, in brief, is the spirit of the new supermini due to go on sale in September. Its name? The Panda.
Appealing, easy to remember and sustained by the over twenty years of success of the model launched in 1980, the Panda name is part of Fiat’s heritage.
It is, therefore, a symbolic hand-over. September 5 marks the last (...)
Today the new Fiat Bravo is presented to the international media in Rome, going on the market all over Europe in the following weeks. The model is built in the Piedimonte S. Germano plant (Frosinone), and aims to become a benchmark in the most important segment of the European market. To achieve this goal, the Fiat Bravo has been designed and developed as the ideal synthesis of Beauty and Substance.
Following in the wheeltracks of the original hugely successful Punto hatchback, which has accounted for over six million sales since its launch in 1993, the new Grande Punto’s objective is to regain leadership of the highly competitive and crucially important European compact hatchback market.