Official: Abarth marks 50 years of 595 with special edition Fiat 500

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Performance, Europe, Hatchback, Fiat

Abarth 595 50th Anniversary

Abarth presented its original 595 at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. It was the car that put the Scorpion marque on the map and propelled the original Fiat 500 into hot hatch territory. And to mark that occasion, Fiat’s performance brand is launching the special edition you see here.

Revealed here ahead of its public debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Abarth 595 50th Anniversary Edition packs a 1.4-liter turbo four with 180 horsepower (20 more than the standard 500 Abarth) channeled through the Abarth Competizione gearbox to the front wheels. The Scorpion brand has also retuned the suspension, fitted 305-millimeter Brembo discs, 17-inch wheels and installed a variable back-pressure exhaust.

Billed as the most powerful 595 to date, the special edition is identifiable by its matte white paint, red racing stripes and retro logos. Step inside and you’ll find red leather buckets with white trim. Only 299 examples will be made, but don’t go looking for this in US showrooms, as the Abarth range and the Fiat 500 upon which it’s based is different in the two markets. Read more in the official press release below.

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Abarth marks 50 years of 595 with special edition Fiat 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Abarth marks 50 years of 595 with special edition Fiat 500

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Performance, Europe, Hatchback, Fiat

Abarth 595 50th Anniversary

Abarth presented its original 595 at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. It was the car that put the Scorpion marque on the map and propelled the original Fiat 500 into hot hatch territory. And to mark that occasion, Fiat’s performance brand is launching the special edition you see here.

Revealed here ahead of its public debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Abarth 595 50th Anniversary Edition packs a 1.4-liter turbo four with 180 horsepower (20 more than the standard 500 Abarth) channeled through the Abarth Competizione gearbox to the front wheels. The Scorpion brand has also retuned the suspension, fitted 305-millimeter Brembo discs, 17-inch wheels and installed a variable back-pressure exhaust.

Billed as the most powerful 595 to date, the special edition is identifiable by its matte white paint, red racing stripes and retro logos. Step inside and you’ll find red leather buckets with white trim. Only 299 examples will be made, but don’t go looking for this in US showrooms, as the Abarth range and the Fiat 500 upon which it’s based is different in the two markets. Read more in the official press release below.

Continue reading Abarth marks 50 years of 595 with special edition Fiat 500

Abarth marks 50 years of 595 with special edition Fiat 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chinese Jeep production confirmed with Fiat, Guangzhou agreement

Filed under: SUV, China, Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Jeep

Jeep Badge

Fiat has just finalized a deal originally set up in January between it and China’s Guangzhou Automotive Group to bring Jeep production to China. It remains unclear which models will be built, although we’re wagering that it’ll be the 2014 Cherokee. What we do know, now, is where production will take place.

According to Automotive News, Guangzhou originally wanted production to take place in its home assembly plant in its namesake city. Fiat has battled to send production to a joint venture facility established between Guangzhou and Fiat in the town of Changsha. The joint facility won out, and now the factory, originally built in 2010 with a 140,000-unit capacity, will see Jeeps rolling out of it.

Currently, the GAC-Fiat factory produces the Fiat Viaggio, a jointly developed product that is closely related to America’s Dodge Dart. And while it remains unclear as to which model will join the Viaggio on the assembly line, that model is understood to ride on Fiat’s Compact platform. The only Jeep to share those underpinnings is the new Cherokee, so there’s not much connecting of dots needed to see why this scenario would make sense.

Chinese Jeep production confirmed with Fiat, Guangzhou agreement originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2014 Fiat 500L now comes with a complimentary Italian family

Filed under: Budget, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Hatchback, Humor, Fiat

2014 Fiat 500L

Fiat’s marketing machine has invaded Funny or Die, and the resulting web commercial is both entertaining and weird. Watch one couple buy the “most stylish” and “roomiest” car they’ve ever had, thinking they’d be able to transport golf bags and art supplies (and 32 basketballs?) only to have the roomy-for-a-Cinquecento back seat filled with a complimentary Italian family. In real life, we can’t see this being a good thing; not only do they take up space, but their added weight most certainly would hurt gas mileage and performance.

But in commercial land, it comes off as funny, and Fiat does prove that the 2014 500L is roomy enough for five people (including the driver), if not golf bags, art supplies and 32 basketballs. Scroll down to watch amusing Internet short below.

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2014 Fiat 500L now comes with a complimentary Italian family originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Court ruling to delay Fiat’s Chrysler buyout?

Filed under: Government/Legal, Fiat

Fiat logo

We’ve already reported on the attempts of Fiat to purchase the remaining 41.5-percent stake in Chrysler, currently owned by the United Auto Workers’ VEBA healthcare trust. And while the issues still aren’t resolved, Fiat has received both a bit of good news and a bit of bad news from a Delaware judge.

The good news is that the court ruled in favor on two key arguments of Fiat’s, relating to what is a fair price for the Chrysler shares. The rulings essentially slash half a billion dollars off the price of the 54,000 shares owned by VEBA, according to a report from Reuters.

The bad news is that this makes the UAW an even more difficult opponent in negotiations. Its VEBA fund is meant to cover ever escalating retiree healthcare costs, so naturally, the UAW wants to get as much money as possible. Losing a big chunk of cash isn’t likely to make the union more cooperative.

In the end, it looks like it’s going to come down to one of two options. The rulings could encourage the two to settle matters out of court, which would likely be the fastest and most beneficial for all parties involved. The alternative is a 12- to 18-month trial, in which Fiat needs to prove that its offering for the VEBA shares is fair, while the UAW needs to convince the court that it requires a certain degree of funds to cover its healthcare obligations. We’ll keep you updated.

Court ruling to delay Fiat’s Chrysler buyout? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch how one man finds contentment in his Fiat 2300 S Coupe

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Europe, Videos, Specialty, Fiat

At least once a day we hear about the glory of cars of years past, whether for their light weight, their simplicity, their manual transmissions or the way you could order options without ordering packages. But we know that we – and yes, even we here at Autoblog – romanticize plenty of it; that light weight meant atrocious NVH, those options sheets didn’t include any of the things we take for granted in a Ford Fiesta today.

Nevertheless, there are those classics that make it worth it – for them it is no problem to endure the constant draft of bad window seals, the need to add another quart of oil every couple hundred miles. Petrolicious has found one such car and owner, Pierantonio Micciarelli and his Fiat 2300 S Coupe in Milan, Italy. His Ghia-bodied two-door can’t be driven during the day and cost him 800 euros in gas for a 2,500-kilometer trip to a wedding, but the payoff is that moving beauty that makes him “feel like an emperor.”

But there’s no reason to listen to us tell it – enjoy Macciarelli tell his own story in the video below.

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Watch how one man finds contentment in his Fiat 2300 S Coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Fiat’s ‘Environmentally Sexy’ online matchmaking site amuses

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Humor, Electric, Fiat

Fiat 500e EnvironmentallySexy.com ad

Oh, Fiat. You’re so witty and attractive and… environmentally sexy? That’s the idea put forward by the automaker’s latest 500e marketing campaign, which is centered around the company’s “dating” site, EnvironmentallySexy.com.

Visitors answer a series of questions to be matched with their perfect Fiat 500e. Questions such as:
“Honestly, I’m here because I…”

A. am really lonely
B. love match sites
C. am extremely sexy

There are some humorously cute testimonial videos featuring Ryan the playboy sipping a wheatgrass, goat cheese goji smoothy and his way hot girlfriend, Sofia, who is a lawyer and Italian gameshow hostess. They were brought together not because of their love for each other’s looks, but because of their love for the Earth. Ahhh. Isn’t that sweet? Trust us, it is when Sofia says it.

The site is a good 20-minute time-waster and a unique way for Fiat to show off its electric car without getting all greenpreachy. Videos and press release below.

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Fiat’s ‘Environmentally Sexy’ online matchmaking site amuses originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Fiat 500L

Filed under: Wagon, Hatchback, First Drives, Fiat

Unexpectedly, This Opposite Attracts

2014 Fiat 500L

Back in 2007 when the Fiat 500 was launched, I was unrepentantly nuts about the thing. From the first time my eyes clapped on the Nuevo Cinquecento at the Geneva Motor Show that year, I wanted one. Since there were no plans for a North American model at the time, I had to settle for purchasing a 1/18th-scale diecast at the expo. When Fiat finally returned to the US and the Cinquecento went on sale in 2011, I was no less excited.

And then I drove one, and the bloom was off my little Italian rose. Oh, I still appreciated its size and high style, but I found it wholly unsatisfying to drive, something that wouldn’t be rectified until the Abarth arrived. It wasn’t that the standard 500 was slow – I expected that – it was that its wonky driving position, lackluster transmissions and ropey steering all stood in the way of appreciating its other virtues. The Abarth’s characterful powertrain would eventually come along to alleviate most of those pains, but not all of them.

Now with the advent of the 500L for 2014, it appears I’m living the same scenario, albeit in reverse. My first encounter with this new, larger Fiat was also at the Geneva show, only this time, when the sheet was yanked off its flanks in 2012, I didn’t like what I saw. The Italian marque hadn’t just name-checked the Cinquecento with this larger five-door, it attempted to appropriate its amusing and iconic design by repeating key styling elements like its circular light fixtures and simple chrome bar grille (collectively known as the “whiskers and logo face”), along with rounded interior forms painted in body colors. To my eyes, the design just didn’t work, yet I was still intrigued about the promise of a larger 500 and more polished driving experience.

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2014 Fiat 500L originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Confirmed: Fiat 500 Cattiva on the way

Filed under: Concept Cars, Budget, Hatchback, Fiat

Fiat 500 Cattiva concept live at 2013 Detroit Auto Show - front three-quarter view

While its dealer body has been clamoring for new and larger models, Fiat has actually done a pretty good trade selling all manner of 500 variants, from the standard hatchback and 500C cabriolet to its Abarth models, 500e electric runabout and special editions like the Gucci.

Fiat USA was a little slow out of the gates as it built up brand awareness and its dealer network, but it’s now chugging along, with combined 500 model sales outselling that of its arch rival Mini (provided you subtract the Countryman crossover, a model for which Fiat has had no direct competitor up until this point). Franchisees are finally about to get the bigger, broader-appeal model they’ve been seeking in the form of the five-door 500L, but Fiat is still going to be devoting a lot of attention to their whisker-faced icon, the Cinquecento.

As proof, at the first drive event of the 500L in Baltimore, Fiat North America boss Jason Stoicevich confirmed that his company will produce a production version of the 500 Cattiva concept shown at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Stoicevich wouldn’t divulge the model’s pricepoint or availability timeframe, but he told us, “I can guarantee you it will happen. I just can’t tell you when.”

The Cattiva is based on the middle-child 500 Turbo, and is essentially a trim-and-tape package, albeit a very attractive one. It includes rich ‘Rame’ (read: copper) paint with black trim, including ‘Nero’ gloss black light housings front and rear and a matching roof-mounted spoiler along with unique charcoal 16-inch alloys. Inside, changes are limited to a ‘Matte Nero’ instrument panel and trim, along with silver stitching on the black sport wheel and shift knob. No word on any improvements to the Turbo’s 135-horsepower, 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder, but at least that should keep the price from rising much above the standard 500T’s $19,500 MSRP. As far as timing goes, we’re thinking that this model won’t be too far down the line after the company launches the 500L.

Back when it revealed the 500 Cattiva concept, Fiat also showed a matte gray Tenebra showcar that builds upon the even hotter 500 Abarth, but Stoichevich declined to comment on that concept’s chances for production.

Fiat 500 Cattiva on the way originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 08:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Fiat officially introduces seven-seat 500L Living

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Hatchback, Fiat

As Fiat prepares to expand the lineup of the 500 with the roomier 500L, the Italian automaker has just announced a further addition to its enlarged hatchback offering. While the standard 500L has a five-passenger seating configuration, the new 500L Living brings a third row of seats, upping capacity to seven passengers.

Based on the specs Fiat released, the 500L Living has had its overall length stretched by about eight inches to accommodate the extra seats, while width and height stay about the same. We still have no word on the wheelbase of this new model versus the 500L. Fiat also says that the 500L Living will have a luggage capacity of 22.5 cubic feet (we assume that number is with the rear seats folded, which is smaller than that of the five-passenger 500L (12.1 cu-ft with rear seats up and 46.2 cu-ft with rear seats down).

European sales of the 500L Living will commence this summer, but there is no mention as to if or when this seven-passenger Fiat could be offered in the US, to compete against the likes of the Mazda5, Ford Transit Connect Wagon and Nissan NV200. Scroll down for the more information on this new Fiat model.

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Fiat officially introduces seven-seat 500L Living originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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