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2019 Fiat 500 Revealed

Complete pricing details on the new 2019 Fiat 500 are here.

Fiat 500X All-Wheel-Drive System-Explored

A look at the 500X's All-Wheel-Drive system and how it stacks up to the competition

Fiat 124 Spider!

Everything you need to know about the new Iconic Fiat 124 Spider.

The Roomy Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L has the room of a full-sized car within its subcompact dimensions. Learn more about this versatile car

Alfa Romeo Stelvio!

Read all about the exciting Alfa Romeo Stelvio here.

Why are Fiat enthusiasts crazy about their cars?

Articles that look at some of the great cars, features and accomplishments that make up the Fiat Brand

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fiat Chrysler - Peugeot Merger Proposal Details

Fiat SpA Logo

The Board of Directors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the Supervisory Board of Peugeot S.A. have agreed on a pathway to merge and create the world's fourth-largest automaker, nudging out General Motors fourth-placing, and just behind third-place Renault-Nissan.

This proposal is in response to the staggering costs of upcoming forced governmental regulations, technology mandates, and changing markets. Similar to the earlier Renault-FCA merger proposal from May of this year, this merger of equals will generate 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion) in annual savings and boost presence across key regions, and automotive markets. Combining will also strengthen development of new technologies needed to compete in the rapidly changing marketplace.

Company Market Value
FCA - $22BN
PSA - $26BN

2018 Combined Sales = 8.7 Million

John Elkann will be chairman of the combined 50/50 venture with Carlos Tavares as CEO. The company will be headquartered in the Netherlands.

More reading:

Below is the press release with details:

Groupe PSA and FCA plan to join forces to build a world leader for a new era in sustainable mobility

Discussions have opened a path to the creation of a new group with global scale and resources owned 50% by Groupe PSA shareholders and 50% by FCA shareholders. In a rapidly changing environment, with new challenges in connected, electrified, shared and autonomous mobility, the combined entity would leverage its strong global R&D footprint and ecosystem to foster innovation and meet these challenges with speed and capital efficiency.

  • The combination would create the 4th largest global OEM in terms of annual unit sales (8.7m vehicles)
  • At its inception, the combined company would realize among the highest margins in the markets where it would operate, based on FCA’s strength in North America and Latin America and Groupe PSA’s in Europe
  • The combination would unite the groups’ respective brand strengths across Luxury, Premium, Mainstream Passenger Car, SUV and Trucks & Light Commercial – making them stronger together
  • The merged entity would bring together the companies’ extensive and growing capabilities in the technologies shaping the new era of sustainable mobility, including electrified powertrain, autonomous driving and digital connectivity
  • Approximately €3.7 billion estimated annual run-rate synergies without any plant closures resulting from the transaction
  • Highly respected combined management team recognised for exceptional value creation and with proven success in previous OEM combinations
  • Dutch parent company Board would have balanced representation and a majority of independent Directors. John Elkann as Chairman and Carlos Tavares as CEO and member of the Board

The Supervisory Board of Peugeot S.A. and the Board of Directors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”) (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) have each unanimously agreed to work towards a full combination of their respective businesses by way of a 50/50 merger. Both boards have given the mandate to their respective teams to finalize the discussions to reach a binding Memorandum of Understanding in the coming weeks.

The plan to combine the Groupe PSA and FCA businesses follows intensive discussions between the senior managements of the two companies. Both share the conviction that there is compelling logic for a bold and decisive move that would create an industry leader with the scale, capabilities and resources to capture successfully the opportunities and manage effectively the challenges of the new era in mobility.

The proposed combination would create the 4th largest global OEM in terms of unit sales (8.7 million vehicles), with combined revenues of nearly €170 billion 1 and recurring operating profit of over €11 billion 2 on a simple aggregated basis of 2018 results excluding Magneti Marelli and Faurecia. The significant value accretion resulting from the transaction is estimated to be approximately €3.7 billion in annual run-rate synergies derived principally from a more efficient allocation of resources for large-scale investments in vehicle platforms, powertrain and technology and from the enhanced purchasing capability inherent in the combined group’s new scale. These synergy estimates are not based on any plant closures.

It is projected that 80% of the synergies would be achieved after 4 years. The total one-time cost of achieving the synergies is estimated at €2.8 billion.

The shareholders of each company would own 50% of the equity of the newly combined group and would therefore share equally in the benefits arising from the combination. The transaction would be affected by way of a merger under a Dutch parent company and the governance structure of the new company would be balanced between the contributing shareholders, with the majority of the directors being independent. The Board would be composed of 11 members. Five Board members would be nominated by FCA (including John Elkann as Chairman) and five would be nominated by Groupe PSA (including the Senior Independent Director and the Vice Chairman)3. The Chief Executive Officer would be Carlos Tavares for an initial term of five years and he would also be a member of the Board.

Carlos Tavares said:
“This convergence brings significant value to all the stakeholders and opens a bright future for the combined entity. I’m pleased with the work already done with Mike and will be very happy to work with him to build a great company together.”

Mike Manley said:
 "I'm delighted by the opportunity to work with Carlos and his team on this potentially industry-changing combination. We have a long history of successful cooperation with Groupe PSA and I am convinced that together with our great people we can create a world class global mobility company."

The new group’s Dutch-domiciled parent company would be listed on Euronext (Paris), the Borsa Italiana (Milan) and the New York Stock Exchange and would continue to maintain significant presences in the current operating head-office locations in France, Italy and the US.

It is proposed that the by-laws of the new combined company would provide that the loyalty voting program will not operate to grant voting rights to any single shareholder in the Shareholders Meeting exceeding 30%4 of the total votes cast. It is also foreseen that there would be no carry over of existing double voting rights but that new double voting rights would accrue after a three-year holding period after completion of the merger.

A standstill in respect of the shareholdings of EXOR N.V., Bpifrance Participations SA, DFG and the Peugeot Family would apply for a period of 7 years following completion of the merger. EXOR, Bpifrance Participations and the Peugeot Family would be subject to a 3-year lock-up in respect of their shareholdings except that the Peugeot Family would be permitted to increase its shareholding by up to 2.5% during the first 3 years following the closing, only by acquiring shares from Bpifrance Participations and DFG.

Prior to the completion of the transaction, FCA would distribute to its shareholders a special dividend of €5.5 billion, as well as its shareholding in Comau. In addition, prior to completion, Peugeot would distribute to its shareholders its 46% stake in Faurecia. This would enable the combined groups’ shareholders to equally share in the synergies and benefits that would flow from a merger while recognizing the significant value of FCA’s differentiated platform in North America and strong position in Latin America, including its market-leading margins in those regions. It would also reflect the added value that FCA’s higher-end global brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati would bring given their substantial development potential.

The extended portfolio would cover all market segments with iconic brands and strong products based on rationalized platforms and optimization of investments.

The proposal would be submitted to the information and consultation process of the relevant employee bodies, and would be subject to customary closing conditions, including final board approvals of the binding Memorandum of Understanding and agreement on definitive documentation.

About Groupe PSA

Groupe PSA designs unique automotive experiences and delivers mobility solutions to meet all customer expectations. The Group, which employs 210,000 people, has five car brands, Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel and Vauxhall and provides a wide array of mobility and smart services under the Free2Move brand. Its ‘Push to Pass’ strategic plan represents a first step towards the achievement of the Group’s vision to be “a global carmaker with cutting-edge efficiency and a leading mobility provider sustaining lifetime customer relationships”. An early innovator in the field of autonomous and connected cars, Groupe PSA is also involved in financing activities through Banque PSA Finance and in automotive equipment via Faurecia.


1 Represents FCA Net Revenues, excluding Magneti Marelli, and Groupe PSA Revenue excluding Faurecia Revenue to Third Parties.
2 Represents FCA Adjusted EBIT, excluding Magneti Marelli, and Groupe PSA Recurring Operating Income excluding Faurecia
3 Employee representatives would be defined based on legal requirements at all levels

Source: FCA NV

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Alfa Romeo Tonale Coming to USA!

Alfa Romeo Tonale

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is coming to America. Company sources say the stunning Alfa Tonale will make its first appearance in the US at the 2019 LA Auto Show this November. The production version of the Tonale is expected to arrive in the United States in late 2020. Designed by FCA's Centro Stile in Turin, the Alfa Romeo Tonale concept car made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show last March and has already begun winning design awards, such as Auto & Design magazine's International Car Design Award 2019 and Auto Express' Readers' Choice Design Award 2019.

Alfa Romeo Tonale Rear
Note: Concept car shown. The production Tonale will incorporate many of the design cues of the concept car and will look similar, but there likely will be differences to facilitate production and to satisfy Government mandated regulations.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is the company's first plug-in hybrid, and its goal is to combine state-of-the-art technology with best-in-class driving dynamics. Below is the official press release on the concept car.

The New Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept Vehicle: Electrification Meets Beauty And Dynamism

  • First Alfa Romeo plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV makes its debut at 2019 Geneva International Motor Show
  • Distinctive features of Italian style are projected into the future, striking the perfect blend of valued heritage and anticipation of a new evolution for Alfa Romeo
  • In keeping with Alfa Romeo’s DNA, every detail is designed according to the driver's needs
  • Tonale premium compact SUV concept is Alfa Romeo’s take on electrification: state-of-the-art technology and enticing driving dynamics

Alfa Romeo is breaking into the electric vehicle world at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, revealing the new concept of the Alfa Romeo Tonale premium compact SUV. The Tonale is the first plug-in hybrid and the first premium compact SUV for Alfa Romeo. It rewrites the rules of today's fastest growing segment using the brand’s trademark language made up of gorgeous Italian design and unparalleled driving dynamics.

Alfa Romeo Tonale Front

A Premium Compact SUV Inspired By Beauty And Alfa Romeo’s Design DNA
The design of the Tonale is an expression that looks fondly into our future. Its compact dimensions embody unique Italian design and the unmistakable original and modern style typical of Alfa Romeo, striking the perfect blend of valued heritage and anticipation of a new evolution. Alfa Romeo holds dear the essence of Italian art and sculpture through the timeless “artigianale” experience of hand sculpting.

Alfa Tonale Front Rendering

The Tonale is inspired by the beauty and nuances associated with human forms, and the organic movement of light resulted by pure lines and volumes. Its design tangibly recalls a number of time-honored style elements that are synonymous with the rich history of Alfa Romeo, with an execution that excites a modern approach to the new Alfa Romeo anatomy.

An element that echoes the tradition of Alfa Romeo’s DNA is the phone dial wheel. The Tonale’s 21-inch wheel design displays this through a lightweight architectural construction, creating an honest and impactful execution of the circular theme. The lineage of the phone dial wheel dates back to the 1960s, worn proudly on the iconic 33 Stradale. The distinctive Tonale wheel design is also celebrated harmoniously with an exclusive Pirelli tire scheme.

Alfa Tonale Side Rendering

The bold, elegant volumes of the body side make reference to a seemingly distant past, recalling the sensual qualities found in the pure forms of the Duetto and the Disco Volante Spider, while the Tonale’s “Linea GT” interprets the tension and confidence of the pouncing stance found on the beloved GT Junior. The front end sports Alfa Romeo’s signature “Trilobo” and the distinctive “Scudetto” grille that serves as the central point of strength, driving the speed and fluidity that moves throughout the Tonale. Flanking the iconic “Scudetto” and completing the front monographic is the “3 plus 3” forward lighting that evokes the proud gaze reflective of the SZ and Brera.

Alfa Tonale Rear

Alfa Romeo Tonale Rear

The rear of the Tonale is elegantly defined by an enveloping window volume, complemented on top by the suspended wing that enhances the continuity between the transparent roof and the rear window itself. As every Alfa Romeo design is cared for through the human touch, the rear lighting is reminiscent of an artistic signature, rather than an optical lighting element … a sort of luminous signature born directly from the artist’s hand.

Alfa Romeo Tonale Interior

With the inspiration of Alfa Romeo’s racing history at the core, the Tonale interior design conjures the passion associated with providing a spirited drive through dynamic form and pure sculpture. The interior of the Tonale is very driver oriented and the overall layout is designed comfortably for four passengers. The hand-drawn gestural lines stretch throughout the environment to create a muscular tension, as if what surrounds you is ready to lunge forward.

The emotional significance of the Tonale interior is also generated by the contrast of rich materials, such as the cold solidity of aluminum combined with the soft and welcoming warmth of the leather and Alcantara. Inside there are translucent backlit panels, such as the central tunnel, providing the perfect location for the essential Alfa Romeo element, the DNA drive mode selector. The Tonale interior provides an inclusive experience, with details typically reserved for the exclusive. The interior is immersive and welcoming, with the dynamic attributes appreciated by those who love to drive.

Alfa Romeo Tonale Steering Wheel

The Tonale concept vehicle is equipped with the highest levels of technology to ensure a connected, comfortable and dynamic user experience, while keeping the pleasure of a sporty drive at the forefront.

The driver's attention will be on the road, with the peripheral focus on a 12.3-inch full digital cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen central head unit. The new infotainment features a seamless and fluid multitasking interface that allows the driver to have all the latest features and functionality readily available at their fingertips. The Tonale allows the driver to be fully connected to the Alfa Romeo Lifestyle and Social communities, realized and presented through the new infotainment features, “Alfista” and “Paddock”.
  • "Alfista” is an immersive Alfa Romeo Lifestyle experience, providing a fully connected interface with select Alfa Romeo clubs and community events, such as gatherings, drives and meets. This in-vehicle app allows the driver access to live news and updates about the current happenings of the Alfa Romeo brand. The customer has the ability to confirm attendance to events and gatherings, order Alfa Romeo Racing tickets, as well as apply for opportunities to win VIP access to special Alfa Romeo sponsored events, just to name a few.
  • “Paddock” is the Alfa Romeo Tonale in-vehicle garage and market for real-time viewing and purchasing of the latest interior and exterior performance upgrades and equipment. The Paddock app also enables the customer to scroll through the latest offerings of Alfa Romeo Merchandise and Apparel, which can be ordered direct with the touch of the screen.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is our look into the future of the premium compact SUV segment, creating a holistic creative expression and through the blend of beauty and technology. For Alfa Romeo Design, it is our “opera d’arte,” or piece of art … otherwise expressed as our Alfa Romeo Tonale.

Alfa Tonale Concept Drawing

Authentically Alfa Romeo
The Tonale marks the debut of the brand in the premium compact utility vehicle segment and does so in line with the characteristics that have always identified each Alfa Romeo model. The goal is to deliver the best driving dynamics in the segment and to apply electrification in perfect Alfa Romeo style.

It is the natural evolution of the brand on the way toward propulsive synergy capable of enhancing performance and driving dynamics. Rather than simply adapting to new standards, with the Tonale concept car Alfa Romeo is reinterpreting its own DNA to capture the new idea of beauty, energy, harmony, efficiency and driving user-friendliness.

Alfa Tonale Rear Door Handle

The electrification of Alfa Romeo comes at the service of sportiness and emphasizes the famous "Mechanics of Emotions" mission of the brand. For this reason, it has no need to express itself through signatures or decided livery, but just with small details such as the Alfa logo, or “Biscione” in hybrid optics, a small yet definitive detail that enhances the Tonale.

The rear electric engine opens the way to new technological solutions that offer driving dynamics, maximizes the drive and the pleasure of sporty driving. The evolution is also evident in the drive modes managed by Alfa D.N.A. From the beginning on the 4C and through the development with Giulia and Stelvio, it has reached the Tonale and now implements specific energy management functions.
  • "Dynamic" mode evolves into "Dual Power" mode and guarantees maximum output from the two engines
  • "Natural" mode continues to maintain the best performance optimization, and the compromise between using electric and internal combustion engines is managed automatically. This translates into everyday energy and fuel savings, but not at the detriment of performance
  • The “Advance Efficiency” mode becomes “Advance E” for performance in full electric mode. So, in line with the principles of the brand, the plug-in hybrid propulsion enhances the beauty, sporty and dynamic driving characteristics of each Alfa Romeo model, taking them to a new level. In Tonale, electrification embraces performance and represents a new way to achieve high performance and outstanding driving fun
  • The infotainment touch screen features an “E-mozione” button, which offers specific throttle settings, sharper braking and a more direct steering response

Alfa Tonale Concept Drawing

Alfa Romeo Tonale
The Tonale embodies the adventure potential of a premium compact, dynamic sport utility vehicle capable of guaranteeing the adrenaline of sporty driving inherent in the legend of the brand, in urban settings with the same ease. The hum of the electric motor accompanies the genuinely Alfa Romeo roar creating an efficient, exciting synergy at the service of driving pleasure. The energy switch to electric is the latest key page in the 109-year-long history of the Alfa Romeo legend and one which will propel the brand into the future.

Alfa Tonale Concept Side

This is also behind the name chosen for the new concept car. The Tonale Pass, not far from the Stelvio Pass in the Alps, is a large natural amphitheater famous for its majestic peaks, the natural spectacle of frothy waterfalls and snow all year round in a breath-taking natural setting. Directly connected to the Stelvio Pass, excitement and harmony coexist in the Tonale Pass area. The Tonale is an important development under the sign of continuity and geographical proximity, an evolution traced in time in an evocative association.

Source and images: FCA Press Release

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Fiat 500X 120th Anniversary Edition Coming to America

500X 120th Anniversary

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the founding of Fiat in 1899. To celebrate the occasion, Fiat commissioned a special Two-tone painted 500X model called the 120th Anniversary Edition.

2019 500X 120th Edition

Fiat 120th Anniversary Badge

First shown at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the 2019 500X 120th Anniversary Edition is now coming to America.

Based on the 500X Pop model, the attractive 120th Anniversary Edition features the following upgrades:

  • Piano Black-painted accent-color roof
  • LED headlamps
  • 18-inch black-finish aluminum wheels
  • 120th anniversary exterior badging
  • Black body-side moldings and mirror caps
  • Piano Black painted instrument panel
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity

500X 120th Anniversary Rear

The 500X 120th edition will be available in four exterior colors: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Milano (Ivory Tri-coat), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and Nero Cinema (Black Clear Coat)

500X 120th Edition Interior

500X 120th Edition Dashboard

Pricing of the 120th Anniversary Edition starts at $25,735*, just $995 more than a base Fiat 500X Pop model. The expected arrival of this unique Fiat is later in the year. You can configure your Fiat 500X 120th Anniversary Edition right now on the Fiat USA website. To learn more about the 500X, follow the links in this story and check out your local dealer for ordering information.

500X 120th Edition Driving

Read more:

*plus destination charges of $1,495 ($1,545 in Hawaii)
Source and images: FCA

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Fiat 500X Sport Coming to North America!

Fiat 500X Sport
European model shown for illustrative purposes

The new Fiat 500X Sport is on its way! Sources have reported a new Sport model is being added to the 500X lineup. Preliminary information has pricing and options, but no imagery.

Fiat 500X Sport Euro Edition

In Europe, the 500 Sport is spearheading the refreshed 500X range. Last year, the US also received the new 500X range that features many enhancements, revised styling, and a new engine that offers the best in segment torque output. The new 1.3 FireFly Turbo engine replaces the old 1.4 MultiAir Turbo and boasts a 35% improvement in torque, going from 172 lbs.ft with the previous engine to a stout 210 lbs.ft. Along with the substantial increase in torque, fuel economy is also up three mpg in city driving.

Fiat 500X Sport Euro Edition

Information is scarce on what exactly the US 500X Sport will come with, but in Europe, the Sport is more than just a slapped on badge. Suspension calibrations have been revised, and the car rides 13mm lower, and steering has been retuned for more precise feedback. The results are a reduction of understeer by 26%, and oversteer, at the extreme limits, by 17%. Responsiveness and turn-in ability are also said to be significantly enhanced.

Fiat 500X Sport Front

Exterior wise, the 500X Sport is based on the Pop model and is given a makeover with body-colored moldings including side skirts, wheel arches, and rear diffuser-style rear bumper. Myron grey accents are tastefully applied to handles, specially designed inserts on the front bumper, the front molding, and rear-view mirror caps. Dual chrome exhaust tips round out the exterior changes.

Fiat 500X Sport 19-inch Wheels

Unique 19" alloy wheels featuring 225/40 rubber are available and besides looking good, generate an 8% increase in lateral acceleration compared to the standard 18" wheel package.

Fiat 500X Sport Tailpipes

The 2020 Fiat 500X Sport is available in the following colors (color code):

Fiat 500X Dashboard

Inside, there are Sport specific instrument panel graphics, aluminum pedal covers, a flat bottomed sport steering wheel and titanium grey dashboard insert. Unique Sport floor mats are included. Optional is a hand-stitched Alcantara instrument panel cover* and black leather seats with titanium grey trim.

Fiat 500X Interior

Fiat 500X Pedal Pads

Fiat 500X Sport Alcantara Cluster Brow

While we have preliminary information on some of the equipment the North American car will come with, full details have yet to be confirmed. The description above gives a bassline of what could be. One bit of news North American fans of the 500X will be happy to hear is that paddle shifters, a long wished for item, have been added.

Fiat 500X Paddle Shifter

2020 Fiat 500X Sport Standard Features (w/order code)

Pricing of the Fiat 500X Sport starts at $26,895 plus destination charges of $1,495 ($1,545 in Hawaii).

Fiat 500X Sport

2020 Fiat 500X Sport Options - Option Code - Pricing

• 225/45R19 ALL-SEASON TIRES (TV5)


Note: N/A W/AAS; N/A W/AFE

(*) Package AAS includes package AAW content


Fiat 500X Sport

Dealers have begun putting their orders together and expect more news to follow shortly. An arrival date for the 2020 Fiat 500X Sport has not been confirmed, but rumors range from the end of year, to first half of next year. Stay tuned for more information!

* 10/7 Confirmed for the US is the Alcantara Instrument Cluster Brow

Images: FCA
Note: preliminary information subject to change.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Fiat Brand 2019 Third Quarter Sales Results

2019 Fiat Lineup

The Fiat brand has reported third-quarter 2019 sales total of 2,360, a decrease of 38 percent from third-quarter 2018 sales.

The top-selling Fiat model was the 500 hatch and Cabrio series, followed by the 124 Spider and the 500X crossover.

Sadly, and much to the disappointment of Fiat enthusiasts, Fiat has announced that 2019 will be the last year of the best selling 500 hatch and Cabrio models here in the US. There is a next-generation 500 due out next year in Europe, but so far there has been silence on whether we will see that model on this side of the Atlantic. The new model will feature an all-electric powertrain which promises to make for an outstanding commuter car.

Fiat 124 Abarth Scorpion Sting
2020 Fiat 124 Abarth Spider with Scorpion Sting Appearance Group

In the meantime, Fiat USA has refocused on its 500X crossover. The 500X received a refreshed design and a new engine for 2019 and has been garnering positive press reviews. The 124 Abarth Spider has also been given some attention with a new available graphics package to build some excitement

Fiat Brand Sales in the United States, Third Quarter 2019
Fiat 500Current YearLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTDLast Year YTDVol Change







Sources: FCA US LLC.
Images: FCA and author

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Statement on Discontinuation of Fiat 500 in North America

2019 Fiat 500

Below is the official FCA statement on the Fiat 500 production in North America. Keep in mind, this  news is not out of left field, as there has been talk since 2013 of the next generation Fiat 500 being produced in Europe (see link below). The next generation Fiat 500 will have an electric powertrain and is expected to debut next March at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. With luck, we may see that car here.

Fiat 500 - Always Happy

FCA Statement Regarding Discontinued Production of Fiat 500

FIAT will discontinue production of the current-generation Fiat 500 and 500e in North America. Current inventory of the 2019 Fiat 500 and 500e will last into 2020. In North America, FIAT will continue to offer the new Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500X all-wheel-drive compact crossover, the Fiat 124 Spider roadster and the five-passenger Fiat 500L utility vehicle.

A look back:

Friday, July 26, 2019

Fiat 500 Abarth Hard Shifting Repair

Fiat 500 Abarth Shifter

One of the best things about a Fiat 500 Abarth is how much fun they are to drive. Part of the enjoyment comes from the easy shifting, heavy duty C510 5-speed gearbox that comes standard in the Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Turbo models.

The C510 transmission in these models is strong and can handle much abuse, as dished out by modded Abarths with over 300nm (221bs. ft) of torque, but as you get more miles on your car, you may notice shifting becomes stiffer as the shifter hangs up to the right or left side of the shift pattern and doesn't spring back to neutral. If that is the case stick around and we'll get your car shifting like new in no time!

500 Abarth Shift Linkage Pivot Shaft

The Fiat 500 Abarth and Turbo shift linkage pivot shaft can become oxidized and stick in its housing, causing your shifter inside the car to not spring back into neutral. At rest and in neutral, your shifter should spring back by itself and stay in the middle of the shift pattern, If you have to force the shifter back side to side, you likely have a sticking pivot shaft.

You can try popping the inside shift boot up and spraying some white lithium grease, etc., into the ball socket under the shift knob to see if that helps, but if it still sticks, you should look into the fix below. Besides taking the enjoyment out of shifting your car, the increased effort can wear out your shift cable(s) and possibly internal components inside the transmission.

Identifying the Issue
This issue isn't with the back and forth effort, but the side to side motion. You can test this by when in neutral pushing the lever to the right towards the 5 / reverse gear gate and letting go. The shifter should quickly snap back to the 3rd / 4th gear gate or center of the shift pattern, Try this a few times and if the lever hangs up or needs to be guided back, you likely have a sticking side to side pivot shaft. Luckily this is an easy to fix issue, and just requires some grease and a little time and patience.

Note: Click on the pictures to enlarge them for easier viewing

Getting Started: Fiat 500 Abarth Battery Tray Removal

Fiat 500 Abarth Battery Cable

Take the negative battery cable off first. The small ground wire (arrow) going to the ECM also needs to be removed. Remove the positive battery cable next. Isolate the cables so they don't fall back onto the battery and arc.

Fiat 500 Abarth Battery Hold Down Bolt

To get to the shift linkage, you need to remove the battery and battery tray. Here, I'm undoing the battery hold down bolt.

Fiat 500 Abarth Battery Hold Down Bolt

Removing the battery hold down bolt. Note, the hold down bolt is long, as are all the bolts holding the battery tray, and they take some time cranking to unscrew them.

A tip is if the bolts/nut start to get harder to unscrew, spray some penetrating fluid on them and then screw them back in a few turns. Do this every time the fasteners start feeling like they are getting harder to unscrew. By doing this, you will clean the threads and redistribute some lube into them, and it will avoid breaking or stripping the fastener.

Fiat 500 Abarth Battery Tray

There are three fasteners holding the battery tray down. Two on the side are bolts and the one in the center, which is a nut. When you reinstall them, a tip is to load them up with anti-seize because, being under the battery, they are prone to corrosion.

Fiat 500 Abarth ECM Connector

The ECM is attached to the battery tray and comes out with it, so you need to remove the connectors. Carefully pull the yellow clip connector locks open.

Fiat 500 Abarth PCM Connector

then pull the levers up. There are two. When the lift the levers up the connector disengages from the ECM. Be careful when you do this work. Lift the connector straight up so you don't damage the delicate pins in the ECM.

Fiat 500 Abarth Harness Clips

One the ECM connector is off, you have to go around the battery tray and unclip the harness hold downs. Here I am using a flat-head screwdriver to carefully lever the clip out of its receptacle on the battery tray. There are a few wire harness hold down clips that are secured to the battery tray that have to be disengaged from the tray so you can pull it out.

Be careful with these as it is important to secure the wiring harness to keep it from moving around while driving. Being sloppy and breaking them and then not replacing or securing the harness can catch up to you in the form of bad connections and weird electrical issues down the road.

Fiat 500 Abarth Sensor Hold Down

There is a hold down for a sensor in front the of the battery tray. Push the connector from the back to pop it free.
Fiat 500 Abarth Harness Hold Down

Another cable hold down clip on the side of the battery tray being removed with a bent Trim Stick tool.

500 Abarth Harness Hold Down Clip

Sometimes you can push the clip out from the back.

500 Abarth Engine Harness

The wire harness runs under the battery tray and these clips help hold it into place. Just pull the harness out.
Fiat 500 Abarth Battery Tray

You can now remove the battery tray/ ECM unit.

Fiat 500 Abarth Engine Computer

Back view of the ECM and battery tray unit. Put it safely aside and treat it like the expensive item it is.

Doing the Job: Greasing The Fiat 500 Abarth C510 Trans Shift Linkage

Fiat 500 Abarth Transmission Linkage

Once the battery tray is out, you can see the Fiat 500 Abarth shift linkage located on the C510 transmission case. It is way back, so be prepared to lean over to get at it.

Fiat 500 Abarth Shift Linkage

The issus is the external pivot shaft that runs through the case starts to get stuck and hard to swivel. A lack of grease and climate conditions are prime reasons for this. The arrow points to the shift shaft that runs through the case.

Fiat 500 Abarth Pivot Shaft Nut

The pivot shaft is held in simply by this nut. It is a good idea to mark the position of the shaft in relation to the surrounding area. This will help you put back everything in the same position.

Fiat 500 Abarth Pivot Shaft Removal

An extension and a swivel joint will make getting at the nut easier.

500 Abarth Pivot Shaft Removal

Here's some perspective on where we are working. Don't be intimidated by the location, there is room to get to everything you need to get to.

500 Abarth Shift Cables

When the nut was loosened, I removed the shift cable in the back from the pivot shaft lever. To do this, I used a thin 13mm wrench and stuck it under the cable joint and pulled up, popping it free from the ball socket. The picture above just illustrates how I did the rear cable. Leave the front cable attached.

Abarth 500 Transmission Linkage

Once the nut is loose, unscrew it with your fingers. Take your time to make sure you don't drop it. Note on the right side is a rubber boot covering the vertical shift shaft the runs straight up and down into the transmission internals. The little shift lever we are removing fits into a cutout in the vertical shift shaft (there is another picture below that shows that upclose). I carefully pulled back the rubber boot on the vertical shift shaft to see how the levers fit together. It only goes in one way so don't be concerned.

Abarth 500 Trans Pivot Shaft Lever

Another image of how the little shift lever fits into the vertical shift shaft. When everything is bolted back up, all these parts will line up and fit together perfectly, so don't be concerned. After I removed the nut, I removed the washer and the little shift lever. It is keyed to the shaft.

Once the nut, washer and lever is removed, you can push the pivot shaft out. It comes out from the back. If it hits the shift weight behind it, you can have someone carefully inside the car pust the gear shifter slightly forward to give more room for the shaft to be withdrawn from the rear.

Before you remove the lever, it is a good time to try pivoting the shaft back and forth to feel the resistance. It should move smoothly and easily. If it does, than you may have another issue, possibly with the cables, the shifter or something else.  However, as you are more than half way through with the job, you might as well complete it by greasing the pivot pin anyway. Mine was binding and not letting the inside shifter spring back to the center of the shift pattern.

Abarth 500 Trans Pivot Shaft Housing
Another shot showing the pivot shaft being pushed out. There is a rubber seal in the nose of the passage. There didn't seem to be much if any lube on this shaft, and it was quite stiff to move.

Before I disassembled the pivot shaft, I had tried spraying lube on the shaft every day for a week and then working the shifter inside the car.The lube didn't make a difference and there was no trace of the lube I had been spraying.

Abarth 500 Trans Pivot Shaft

Withdrawing the shift linkage pivot shaft. This is the part of the shift mechanism that moves back and forth when you go side to side in neutral with the shifter inside the car. The little lever attached to it that you removed pushes the vertical shift shaft up and down inside the transmission.

Abarth 500 Trans Pivot Shaft

Inspecting the shaft, it was in good shape, but devoid of lube, and had signs of oxidation and sticking. Note the cutout at the end for the lever that was removed. The little shift lever is keyed so there is no adjustment.

500 Abarth Trans Pivot Shaft

I used the brass brush above and some polish to clean up the shaft, being careful not to to strip the original plating off of the shaft. Once that's removed, the shaft will be even more susceptible to oxidation and rust, etc.

500 Abarth Trans Pivot Shaft Bore

A look down the external passage on the transmission where the shift lever shaft passes through. Luckily there wasn't any signs of damage, or corrosion. I cleaned it out with a rag and some light oil like WD40.

500 Abarth Trans Pivot Shaft Lever

This is the little shift lever showing the orientation it faces when being put back on the shift shaft.

Abarth Trans Pivot Shaft Lever Assembly

The pieces removed Side to side shift pivot shaft and lever, washer and fastening nut.

Greasing Abarth Trans Pivot Shaft

Grease the pivot shaft. I used a synthetic grease that has good water repellency qualities. Keep the grease off the threads because you should use loctite or a new self locking nut to secure this when done.

500 Abarth Trans Shift Linkage Boot

The rubber boot is peeled back to show the cut out in the vertical shift shaft where the shift lever we removed fits into.

Abarth 500 Trans Shift Linkage

Slide the greased pivot shaft back into its passage, place the small shift lever onto the shaft (it is keyed to fit onto the pivot shaft). and fit the end on its right side into the notch on the vertical shift shaft. Once you slide the washer on and secure the nut, everything will line up tight.

Abarth 500 Pivot Shaft Lever

Showing how the small shift lever fits into the notch on the vertical shift shaft. I put a dab of grease on the end.
Abarth 500 Trans Pivot Shaft Install

Fitting the washer and then the nut onto the shift shaft.

Abarth 500 Trans Pivot Shaft Location

Snap the rear shift cable onto the ball socket on the shift shaft arm. You can just use your fingers as it snaps on quite easily.

Nest, tighten the nut holding the shaft and lever together (that's what the arrow is pointing at). There are no specs for tightening this nut. It should be tight enough to secure it, but not too tight to bind the shift shaft. A new self locking nut or loctite will take any concerns away from the nut backing out over time.

Fiat 500 Abarth Linkage Boot

The most tedious part of the job is stretching the boot back over the shift lever. Take your time to do this and don't rip the boot! Mine got caught in the notch on the shaft and was fidgety to free up. I could have just unbolted the lever, but that would have made it too easy! LOL

Abarth 500 Trans Linkage Boot

This isn't the greatest image, but looking at the boot's left side, the boot is positioned on the little shift lever where it is supposed to be to keep dirt from getting into the vertical shift shaft that runs into the transmission.

After that, put back your battery tray, making sure all the wire harness clips are fasternd and anchored down, hook up your ECU (Note: make sure you hook the ECU first before your battery!) and then your battery (don't forget to clean your terminal connectors if they are dirty).

But before you are done: 

Cleaning the Fiat 500 Abarth Ground Strap

500 Abarth Ground Strap 68073597AA

500 Abarth Ground Strap 68073597AA

Before you put the battery tray back, it is a good time to look at the ground cable located under the battery tray that runs from the frame rail to the transmission. These can corrode and it is good preventative maintenance to unbolt the cable, and clean the mounting surface. Bad grounds and battery connections contribute to many vehicle issues, so do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes on this preventative maintenance.

Simply unbolt the cable, clean the connections and put some dielectric grease on them.  On the braided cable, using some anti-corrosion spray like Fluid-Film is a good idea.

On my car, the ground cable wasn't too badly oxidized and resistance measurements were fine. but I ran into a problem removing the bolt holding the ground wire to the transmission, so I replaced the ground cable and the bolt.

Part numbers that fit my 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth:*

  • Fiat 500 Abarth Ground Strap: 68073597 AA
  • Ground Cable Hold-down bolt at transmission: 68145957 AA


That's it! You are done and now you can enjoy your like new shifting effort and a shifter that snaps back in to the 3rd-4th gear plane. With the greased lever, it should be a long, looong time before you ever have to do this again.

Read more:

*Contact your dealer or check the Mopar website to confirm part numbers.

Disclaimer: This is how I greased the linkage and changed the ground strap on my Fiat 500 Abarth and is provided for informational and entertainment purposes. If you have any doubts on you ability to perform this work or have any issues, I recommend having it done by a professional. I am not responsible for any issues arriving from you reading this post. Use at your own risk.

Images: Author
Inspiration: Side to Side Stiff - Shift Cable Sticking? thread on the Fiat 500 USA Forum

Fiat 500 Abarth C510 Hard Shifting Repair, Fiat 500 Hard Shifting Repair, Fiat 500 Abarth Trans Pivot Shaft Repair