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The European Union Wants to Fit Cars with Electronic Nannies that Won't Allow Drivers to Exceed the Speed Limit

The European Union Wants to Fit Cars with Electronic Nannies that Won’t Allow Drivers to Exceed the Speed Limit

The EU claims it has undeniable safety benefits, wants to enforce by 2022

It looks like Volvo knew something when it announced that all its new cars would be limited to 180 km/h or 112 mph by 2020 because it seems all cars are going to be forced to obey the speed limit in the near future. At least that’s the plan announced by the European Union after it reached a provisional agreement to mandate that automakers fit their cars with speed limiters that won’t allow the driver to go over the speed limite when the situation would require it.

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Lockheed Martin's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Memorial Day is all about celebrating our Armed Forces and remembering the high cost of freedom. Countless American lives have been lost in the continuing fight for freedom and independence. Today, we honor them in the best way we know how – by taking a look at the U.S. Military’s current mobile hardware.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is built by Lockheed Martin as a “lightweight” vehicle designed for widespread use throughout the military. It serves as an armored troop carrier that’s resistant to light arms fire and roadside IEDs commonly found on today’s front lines. Unlike up-armored Humvees and the heavy MRAPs, the JLTV doesn’t suffer from poor driving dynamics and off-road performance. This helps keep our boys protected while on the move, regardless of terrain or outside conditions.

Despite the JLTV’s 14,000 pound curb weight, the vehicle is light enough for both the CH-47 Chinook and CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters to airlift, giving the vehicle an added level of transportability. Also adding to the JLTV’s list off accolades is its relatively low cost and good fuel economy, along with its reliability and low logistical support costs.

Sure, the JLTV might not have as memorable a name as the Humvee, but this bad boy is one of the best solutions to keeping our troops safe while keeping them on the move.

Continue reading for the full run-down

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2016 Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute Concept

2016 Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute Concept

This one-off Jeep rolled off the assembly 75 years after the U.S. ordered the first Willys MB

July 15 is an important date in Jeep history. In fact, it was on this date in 1941 that the U.S. government awarded Willys-Overland Motor Company the contract to build the Willy MB. Now, 75 years later, Jeep is celebrating by building a one-off Wrangler configured to look like its grandfather. This modern take on the original will roll off the same assembly line as the MB (minus the modernization and robots, of course), making the occasion even more sentimental.

“We are creating this unique Jeep Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle in celebration of the brand’s legendary history, and to demonstrate that 75 years later, today’s iconic Jeep Wrangler is instantly recognizable and clearly connected to the original Willys MB,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “Since they were first produced in 1941, Jeep vehicles have been the authentic benchmark for off-road capability, having mastered more terrain, led more adventures and provided drivers more freedom than any other vehicle before or since.”

Manley is certainly right about the Jeep (and more specifically, the Wrangler) being the benchmark for off-road capability. Think about it – what over vehicle has remained so true to its original roots for more than 70 years? Not many. If fact, there are very little modifications needed to make this 2016 Wrangler look like a 1941 Willys MB. Let’s dive into the details below.

Update 07/18/2016: Jeep released a short video showing the Wrangler Salute Concept rolling off the assembly line. There are also interviews with Jeep executives and assembly line workers on the deep meaning this one-off Jeep carries.

Continue reading for the full review.

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2017 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

2017 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

The U.S. Military has just awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense for its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, called the L-ATV as a replacement for the aging Humvee. The L-ATV, or Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle, will be slowly deployed over the next eight years, with approximately 17,000 units slated for production.

The $6.7 billion contract covers both variants of the L-ATV – a two seat base platform and a four-seater that comes as either the general purpose vehicle or the Close Combat Weapons Carrier. A companion trailer is also included.

The L-ATV is powered by General Motors’ 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 and is backed by an Allison six-speed automatic transmission. Though the powertrain is outsourced, the L-ATV rides on Oshkosh’s proprietary TAK-4i independent suspension system that is said to provide 20 inches of wheel travel with generous cargo capacity and unmatched off-road abilities. In fact, an early version became the first military vehicle to complete the Baja 1000, competing in the 2010 races.

Oshkosh beat out big names like AM General and Lockheed Martin in winning the contract. Not only will Oshkosh supply the L-ATV, but it will continue to supply parts and services for decades to come.

While the L-ATV nearly twice the size of the current Humvee, it still fits in a Lockheed C-130 airplane, along with other military transport vehicles. Air-lift hooks protruding from its hood and rear bumper allow for helicopter transport, despite its 14,000-pound curb weight.

Oshkosh will begin delivering L-ATVs in roughly 10 month’s time.

Continue reading for more info on the Oshkosh JLTV.

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Lockheed Martin's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

Memorial Day is all about celebrating our Armed Forces and remembering the high cost of freedom. Countless American lives have been lost in the continuing fight for freedom and independence. Today, we honor them in the best way we know how – by taking a look at the U.S. Military’s current mobile hardware.

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2015 Daimler SuperTruck

2015 Daimler SuperTruck

Passenger cars and trucks aren’t the only road-going vehicles undergoing a fuel-saving transformation. Daimler has just announced its Freightliner SuperTruck has surpassed the Department of Energy’s criteria for the SuperTruck Challenge that began back in 2009. And surpass it did – the Freightliner SuperTruck beat the DOE goal of a 50 percent improvement, surpassing the fuel economy averages of a 2009 baseline truck by a whopping 115 percent. That translates to an average of 12.2 mpg.

While that might not seem too impressive, consider the truck and its cargo weigh 65,000 pounds and was moving an average speed of 65 mph over a 312-mile test loop on the open interstate. Oh, and it’s powered by a 10.7-liter turbodiesel that makes 390 horsepower and 1,400 pound-feet of torque. Yep, I’m impressed.

This is all part of a corporate challenged issued by the DOE back in 2009 to raise fuel economy levels of transfer trucks. The challenge set forth the goal of a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 50 percent improvement in brake thermal efficiency. While two other truck makers are in the competition, neither of their entries come close to touching the Freightliner’s advancements.

Continue reading to learn more about the Daimler SuperTruck.

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2015 BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

2015 BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

BMW is preparing to launch a new version of its popular X5 SUV, the F15 Security Plus. To the casual observer, nothing is amiss with the X5, but to a firearm-wielding criminal bent on theft or worse, the F15 Security Plus is a rolling safehouse disguised as a BMW.

BMW will officially debut the armored X5 at the upcoming Moscow Auto Show next week, though the original concept made its first appearance in Frankfurt last year. The F15 Security Plus is designed to meet the VR6 protection level, meaning attacks from small arms fire like the AK-47, AR-15, and most hand guns will have no effect on the passenger’s health (well, save for panic or heart attacks).

Ballistic panels and glass aren’t the only modifications BMW has done to the F15. The chassis has been strengthened while the electronic management systems and brakes have been upgraded to deal with the added weight. Power comes from the twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque.

This isn’t BMW’s first in-house armored vehicle. The German automaker has been producing armored versions of its 7 Series for nearly two decades. Currently BMW is producing the VR7-rated 7 Series rated to protect against more lethal threats like explosives and higher-powered rifles.

BMW will also offer a lighter, VR4-rated X5 SUV for customers looking for basic protection but with minimal changes in vehicle driving dynamics. More details are slated for release once the vehicle debuts in Moscow.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

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2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

We cover a ton of fast cars and torque-rich trucks here at TopSpeed, but sometimes we’ve got to examine what we’re up against — or what the bank robber who’s stolen a BMW 3 Series as a get-away car is up against. Take a look at the new 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit. The new police cruiser from Dodge gets all the updates the civilian Charger gets, but also comes with all the right stuff for nabbin’ perps.

Cops are very demanding of their cars; it’s their rolling office and has to be comfortable for an eight-hour shift, plus be ready for chasing suspects sideways down a back road or at 120 mph on the interstate. Dodge has brought the goods with the 2015 Charger Pursuit, retaining all the positive characteristics from the previous Charger, plus incorporating some new features that keep officers happy and Dodge competitive in the squad car category. Remember Ford and Chevy offer some stiff competition.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit.

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2014 Ariel Atom Police Car

2014 Ariel Atom Police Car

While there’s nothing wrong with the Italian police having a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Huracan sports car at its disposal to apprehend those lightning-fast crooks, a British constabulary’s choice for a patrol vehicle might raise a few eyebrows. No, we’re not talking about a McLaren P1, although that would be awkward considering the supercar’s limited availability and purpose, but the Ariel Atom, a vehicle that’s light enough to sprint from 0 to 60 mph quicker than any hypercar.

Unveiled less than a month ago, the ultra-quick Atom 3.5R will serve as a police vehicle following an agreement between the British manufacturer and the local Constabulary of Avon and Somerset. Now don’t go thinking the local police force responsible for protecting the county of Somerset is about to embark on a series of high-speed pursuits, because this specific Atom has a different purpose. According to Auto Express, the featherweight vehicle will help local police raise awareness among motorcycle riders about road safety through the Safer Rider campaign.

There’s no explanation as to why the Somerset Constabulary picked an Ariel Atom for the campaign, but we’re guessing it’s because the vehicle lacks a proper shell, bearing a closer resemblance to motorbikes. It might also have something to do with the fact that Ariel will launch a motorcycle later this year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ariel Atom Police Car.

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2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle

2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle

Every year, BMW brings a number of its vehicles to RETTmobil, considered as the best European expo for emergency vehicles. This year, the Bavarian automaker is doing it again with a handful of models that are built specifically for this occasion. One of these models is the BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle, which gives a whole new meaning to a luxury SUV ambulance.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle isn’t your ordinary X5. It’s actually been fully equipped to serve a specific purpose. The exterior colors pretty much say it all, right? The white base of the X5 makes way for orange graphics throughout the body. Custom-issued emergency lights sit on top of the X5 and just under the kidney grilles, further showcasing the breadth of customization BMW undertook to turn this SUV into a full-fledged paramedic vehicle.

The interior of this X5 xDrive30d wasn’t shown in any of the photos, but to serve its purpose, we can surmise that BMW removed most of the accessories from a standard X5 and slapped on a host of life-saving equipment. It should also have tremendous amounts of space and an automatic tailgate that makes it more accessible in times of emergency.

Another important element of this paramedic vehicle is its engine. In this case, this X5 comes with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine that produces 258 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, more than enough power to be of good use in emergency situations. It’s also been equipped with xDrive all-wheel drive, allowing it to successfully navigate through the toughest of terrain.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle is one of seven vehicles BMW is bringing to ReTTmobil. But we’re guessing that lots of eyes will be on this one.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5.

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab SSV

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab SSV

There’s yet another police vehicle hitting the roads this summer – the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 SSV – a modified version of Chevy’s popular full-size truck. Equipped with several cop-centered features, the Silverado SSV will be well suited for Park Rangers, fire departments, and police special service vehicles (hence the SSV nomenclature).

Powering the Silverado is the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 making 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Like the civilian version, the 5.3-liter comes with GM’s three power-making, fuel saving technologies: direct injection, variable valve timing, and Active Fuel Management. All told, the Silverado gets up to 23 mpg highway in two-wheel-drive configurations. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with an auxiliary oil cooler for heavy-duty hauling. Tow/Haul mode and selectable shifting are present too.

To power all the police equipment inside the cab is a 170-amp, high-capacity alternator with a massive 730 cold cranking amp battery. An extra dome light, a 110-volt outlet, and four upfitter switches are added as well. A-Pillar spot lights, wig-wag headlights, and auxiliary wiring for emergency lights in the grille are all available.

Chevy also includes a few features to keep costs down for the government agencies that buy these trucks. First is a common key set that allows one key to operate their entire fleet of Silverados and Tahoe PPV vehicles. No more lost keys or judicious labeling of key sets. GM’s new Duralife brake rotors also keep maintenance costs down over the long haul.

The Silverado SSV is available in two- or four-wheel-drive and come in Crew Cab form with either the 1WT or 1LS trim packages. Tons of aftermarket police equipment is also through third-party venders for outfitting the truck for specialized uses.

Chevy hasn’t release pricing for the Silverado SSV package, but expect costs to be more than the standard Silverado. Currently, a 1WT Crew Cab truck in 2WD costs $34,795 with no options selected.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

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2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit

2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit

The latest Dodge Charger Pursuit just spanked its two arch-rivals in another high-speed test session by the Michigan State Police, whose data and recommendations are highly regarded in the law enforcement community. And can you blame them for choosing the only model running a Hemi V-8 to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic?

You read that right. The latest Charger is not only on the police order books as a rear-drive V-6 and V-8, but now also with the V-8 to all four wheels.

This is big news because it effectively makes the Charger Pursuit as one of the fastest cars on American highways — year round. With a powertrain and seamless AWD system offered for the V-8, the Charger is hotter than ever below its menacing panels.

No big changes outside since the 2012 refresh brought and updated nose and the full LED racetrack of brake lights in back. Even so, the numerous combinations of police-ready trims are enough to make even a grown man tinkle himself a little when viewed in the rearview mirror.

Such a mean grille surely lets any driver know that a big ticket is coming. Why? The Charger is most popular among money-generating State Highway Patrols versus the boring Tahoe and Taurus Interceptor PPV’s run by suburban mall cops.

The big Charger Pursuit in your rearview means no chance of escape. The old Pursuit Hemi was able to char the freeways at 160 mph-plus top speed, with a 60 mph sprint now projected to be as low as 5.7 seconds for the AWD Hemi.

What red-blooded cop would turn down this as a daily driver?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit, with details on its newly-available AWD on the potent Hemi V-8.

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2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport

2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport

In the 2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport’s senior yearbook, the standard headshot would have been replaced by a blank “No Photo Available.” This commercial vehicle sits in the fleet-only section of Chevy’s U.S. lineup. These models major on sale price and fuel mileage – but typically include few tech or luxury features and zero trendy styling.

The opposite of trendy, the Captiva Sport is eerily familiar on all American roads. By george! It is the stillborn, second-gen Saturn Vue in a bowtie grille! Additional fender flares and chrome accents appear where there were once maroon Saturn badges.

Reviving this car is a special treatment within General Motors, and only replicated with the (also fleet-only) Chevy Caprice PPV that started life as the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. What this distinction means for the Captiva Sport is that the vehicles have to be delivered directly to a commercial operator, thereby skipping the local retailer in favor of bulk orders.

The Captiva Sport’s big news for 2014 is an updated infotainment unit that now offers Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen audio and mobile connectivity.

The Captiva Sport is therefore a work car for people who might otherwise be in a Malibu Classic (yes, it existed..) or a Cruze – neither of which have AWD winter traction.

The larger Chevrolet Equinox is also on the fleet books for virtually identical list prices. How do they compare?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport, the only autobahn-tested AWD crossover in the Chevrolet’s American commercial fleet lineup.

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2013 Ford Focus ST Police Patrol Vehicle

2013 Ford Focus ST Police Patrol Vehicle

The Ford Focus ST has quickly become one of our favorite hot hatchbacks on the market today, as the U.S.-spec model pumps out a monstrous 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, and gets this hatchback to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. The UK-spec Focus ST is slightly detuned – wow, we actually got the upper hand in performance for once – as it has 250 PS (246 horsepower) and 360 Nm (265 pound-feet) of torque, which gets it to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and gives it a 154 mph top speed.

Apparently, the UK thinks so highly of Ford’s newest version of the Focus that it has been approved by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) for use by UK police officers. While Ford does not go into many specifics about what’s under the hood, we assume by the lack of information that this Police Patrol Vehicle pumps out the same 250 PS and 360 Nm of torque, which will give it a huge upper hand on most of the cars roaming the streets of the UK.

Inside, the Ford Focus ST PPV is a mobile data terminal, which allows the police to activate the various functions of the car and likely acts as the in-car computer system for checking up on bad guys. Atop the Focus’s compact body sits the obligatory blue-and-white light bar boasting long-lasting LED technology. The body of the demonstrator car that Ford is dragging around the UK is draped in white with your typical police livery.

Local police forces can pick up the Focus ST PPV for £21,995 ($35,156 at the current exchange rates) in hatchback form or for £23,095 ($36,915) for the estate (wagon) model.

Click past the jump to read Ford’s press release.

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2012 Curiosity Rover

2012 Curiosity Rover

We love vehicles that have two and four wheels, so why shouldn’t we love those that have six wheels? No, we’re not talking about the latest Ford F-350 Dually. We are talking about the technological marvel that has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue lately: the Mars Science Laboratory, which is better known simply as the Curiosity Rover.

Recently, we showed you an infographic that pitted the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor against the Curiosity Rover, and that was obviously done in jest. See, the Curiosity Rover is set to go where no F-150 could ever go... the red planet – Mars to those that are not also Sci-Fi nerds.

With the Curiosity’s touchdown coming in just a few days, we thought it was time to give it the TopSpeed once over to see if it is really ready to embark on this 253-day journey, which is quite a commute...

UPDATE 08/07/2012: The Curiosity Rover has touched down on Mars and has officially taken its first color picture of the surface of the Red Planet. The picture was taken with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Check out the image, as well as many others, in the gallery provided!

Click past the jump to read our full review on the Curiosity Rover.

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2002 Bentley State Limousine

2002 Bentley State Limousine

The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.

In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.

As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!

Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.

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2012 KTM X-Bow R Police Cruiser by MTM

2012 KTM X-Bow R Police Cruiser by MTM

Monaco is pretty well known as the land of supercars, as it has arguably the highest concentration of supercars roaming its streets than any other country in the world. With all of these supercars, it makes life a little difficult for law enforcement to catch speeders. Often times, cars are simply flagged down by foot patrol officers, because Monaco officials know that chasing down a high-powered Lamborghini is fruitless.

Another thing about Monaco, which we know from the Grand Prix of Monaco, is that its roads are chock-full of crazy twists and turns, so agility may be even more important than overall speed. So what are the Monaco Police to do when they finally decide it is time for a crackdown on these crazy drivers? Well, buy one of the most lightweight and agile supercars in the world, the KTM X-Bow R by MTM, of course.

This MTM-tuned KTM X-Bow R pumps out a low-for-a-supercar 400 horsepower from its 2.0-liter engine. It makes up for this relative lack of power by being the Calista Flockhart of supercars and weighing only 1,700 lbs. To give you a better idea of how awesome this car is, it only has 4.25 lbs per horsepower, which is drastically better than that Lamborghini Aventador’s 4.96 lbs per horsepower and the Ferrari 599 GTB’s flabby 6 lbs per horsepower.

The only supercar to beat the KTM X-Bow R by MTM in weight-to-power is the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, which comes in at 4.15 lbs per horsepower. Now that is some impressive company to be in.

If you still don’t believe us that the KTM X-Bow R by MTM is the car to be chasing down supercar speeders in Monaco, have a look at the video of the police testing it after the jump. That should be plenty to convince you that it is one bad-ass supercar killer.

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2014 Fiat 500T Sport

2014 Fiat 500T Sport

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.

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