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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fiat Needs Your FreakOut Photos

On the road to Fiat FreakOut

The 2017 Fiat FreakOut event is happening right now. Fiat and Italian car fans have begun arriving in Milwaukee to celebrate the 34th annual Fiat Club America national convention called the Fiat FreakOut. Fiat FreakOut is always a fantastic time filled with family fun activities, drives and plenty of time to mingle with people that have the same passion for Italian cars you do.

Fiat FreakOut Image

To get more people acquainted with the event, Fiat USA is looking for FreakOut photos to post on their various social media channels. If you are at the event, or on the way, make sure you snap some pictures and send them in. The easy to follow guidelines are listed below. While you are at it, don't forget to post them on the Fiat Club America forum. We'd love to see them!

Fiat FreakOut Concours

Fiat FreakOut Image Guidelines.*

If the image(s) you send to FIAT are selected, FIAT will:

•Use your image(s) on any/all of the FIAT social media platforms throughout the world (including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), for an indefinite period of time. Keep in mind that your image(s) may be used multiple times.

•Make minor alterations to the image such as re-sizing it to fit the format of a certain platform, cropping the edges, or adding a frame of some kind. FIAT will tag your username or include your real name in a photo credit (first name, and last initial) along with a mention of the FIAT Club America in the copy or image. In exchange, you’ll get a hearty congratulations and Internet likes—but sorry, no payment.

In addition, you must acknowledge that you are at least 18 years old, you reside in the USA, that you are the creator of the image(s), and that FIAT USA has your permission [and the permission of the person/people who appear(s) in the images to use as described above.

For any image you submit to FIAT, FIAT asks the following:*

  • Images are clear (not blurry)
  • Images show the entire FIAT vehicle
  • FIAT vehicle shown is a model sold in the USA

Please send image(s) to fiatsocial@mbww.com

*These guidelines MUST be followed in order to have the image eligible to be selected.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fiat 500: One day in Turin

Fiat 500 Tours Turin

In this video, the Fiat 500 celebrates its 60th Birthday with a tour of the city of Turin and historic Fiat sites. The Fiat 500 debuted in Turin on July 4th, 1957. That model, which is known as the Nuova 500, was sold from 1957 to 1975 and reached 4 million sales. The modern Fiat 500 was introduced on July 4th, 2007 and has racked up over 2 million sales in its first ten years.

The Fiat 500 birthday tour starts off at the Fiat's Mirafiori plant (est.1939), travels to the Fiat Corso Dante factory (est.1900) which now houses Fiat's Historical Center and Archives, then passes by Palazzo Reale and ends at Fiat's Lingotto plant for a party on the roof of the factory.

Fiat Lingotto Plant

Turin is filled with beautiful architecture and is also the home of Fiat in Italy. The tour takes you around the city, with stops at Fiat's historic factories. Visited are the first Fiat factory at Corso Dante, the Mirafiori plant and of course, Lingotto, the Fiat factory with the test rack built into the roof - not bad for 1916.

Fiat Lingotto Plant in 1932

Fiat Corso Dante and Mirafiori Plants 1953

Fiat Mirafiori Plant 1966

Source, images and video: FCA

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fiat 500 Work of Modern Art

Fiat 500 Modern and Classic

The Fiat 500 has been acknowledged as a work of modern art by the Museum of Modern Art in NY. It is a fitting tribute to the Fiat 500 which celebrates its 60th anniversary today, July 4th.

Fiat 500 Commemorative Stamp
In Italy, a new commemorative stamp dedicated to the Fiat 500 was unveiled on July 4th to celebrate the 60th Birthday of the iconic model range.

The Nuova Fiat 500 model that debuted on this day in 1957 became an iconic example of automotive design and was produced from 1957 thru 1975. More than 4 million cars were made. The Fiat 500 chosen to be part of the permanent display at the museum is the 500F produced from 1965 thru 1972.

Classic Fiat 500 on Beach

Olivier François, Head of Fiat Brand and Chief Marketing Officer FCA is quoted saying:
"While the Fiat 500 has unquestionably left its mark on automotive history, it is equally true that it has never been just a car. In its 60 years of history, the 500 has transcended its material manifestation to enter the collective imagination and become an icon, which has now the honor of being certified by being acquired by MoMA in a tribute to its artistic and cultural value".

Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA adds:
"The Fiat 500 is an icon of automotive history that fundamentally altered car design and production. Adding this unpretentious masterpiece to our collection will allow us to broaden the story of automotive design as told by the Museum".

Modern Fiat 500 on Beach

The modern Fiat 500 embodies the feel and flare of the classic car, but with all the modern comfort and conveniences. The new 500 has itself been recognized as a modern masterpiece by automotive experts around the world with over 140 awards.

As Fiat puts it:
"The Fiat 500 is the best-seller in Europe, ranking first in eight countries and among the first three in six others. The 2007 version won over 2,000,000 motorists in just ten years and has reaped accolade after accolade since its debut, including Car of the Year and the Compasso d'oro design award.

The 500 is the symbol of Italian creativity which has always inspired artists and designers worldwide becoming an icon of beauty and art. Today, it makes another step forward becoming a work of art in its own right by the side of the other great icons of Italian design and yet again remaining "Forever Young."

While there are other cars near the 500's price point, none offer the charisma of owning a modern icon. Happy Birthday Fiat 500.

Read about Fiat 500 Birthday celebrations held over the years.

Source and images: FCA NV press release

Monday, July 3, 2017

Fiat Sales for June 2017

Fiat 500c Cabrio

Fiat sales for June 2017 are in and show a 4 percent drop compared to the same month a year ago. Fiat sold a total of 2,242 cars last month compared to 2,329 in June 2016. Overall Fiat brand year to date sales are running 11 percent behind that of last year. Small car sales in this country have taken a big hit this year, with cheap gas and the shift in consumer preferences to larger crossover and SUV models being major contributing factors.

Fiat 500c Cabrio Interior

Sales of the Fiat 500 hatch and Cabrio models amounted to 995 units in June. So far this year, Fiat has sold a total of 7,456 Fiat 500s, or about 4 percent less than last year at this time. This is a better performance than most of its competitors who are down by double-digit percentages.*   It is a tribute to the 500's timeless and attractive design.

Fiat 500L MPV recorded its best sales month since last July. With luck, the 500L may begin reversing its sales slide which has been running 68 percent below last year. Fiat 500X crossover sales didn't fare as well, being down 41 percent for the month and 40 percent for the year to date.

Fiat sold a total of 510 124 Spiders in June, its second best month ever. Fiat has sold a total of 4,974 124 Spiders over the past 12 months. The Spider particularly appeals to those who don't want the 'same old same old' and to people who appreciate sophisticated European styling and flavor.

Fiat 124 Spider in Grigio

June Fiat News Recap

In June, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth won the top award in the “Small Convertible” category at the seventh annual Topless in Miami Competition event hosted by the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA). More than 40 automotive journalists evaluated 25 + vehicles from various manufacturers to pick their favorite cars.

Jaime Florez, SAMA president, is quoted saying "Across all of the judging criteria, including styling, technology, and ride and comfort, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth not only delivered but also wowed.”

Fiat Motor City Pride Spider

A new rainbow-wrapped 2017 Fiat 124 Spider served as the grand marshal vehicle for Detroit's Motor City Pride parade earlier last month. The event celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture. FCA US LLC and the FIAT brand has been a long-standing supporter of LGBT community. For the 10th year, FCA has achieved a 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index evaluating LGBT workplace practices.

Fiat 500 Abarth Roof Top Option Package

Fiat500USA.com looked at the Fiat 500 Abarth Roof Top Option Package. This attractive exterior upgrade turns up the heat on the already hot looking 500 Abarth.

The Fiat 500 uses a high performance 9012 headlight bulb, and we published a how-to article on replacing them.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo released great lease prices and other buying incentives in June on the exciting new Giulia model. These excellent deals run through July 5th.

Fiat Brand Sales in the United States, January - June 2017
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTDLast Year YTDVol Change





































*Good Car,Bad Car
Sources: FCA US LLC.
Images: FCA and Fiat on the Dragon

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Alfa Romeo Giulia Introductory Sale!

Alfa Romeo Giulia Display

The new Alfa Romeo Giulia is one fantastic car. Not only does the Giulia feature more standard equipment and better performance than its competitors, but with prices starting at $37,995 it is also priced better.

In Europe, Alfa Romeo is a revered brand where it has a legacy of creating many historically significant models as well as some of the most sought after collector cars ever produced. To introduce the brand to the United States and get Americans acquainted to the new Giulia, Alfa Romeo is offering a dynamite lease deal starting at $299 a month!*

Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti

Alfa Romeo Giulia Interior

All Giulia models are eligible for special 24-month lease deals. Besides the well equipped base rear wheel drive Giulia being $299 a month, you can get an all-wheel-drive version for just $20 more. Higher spec Giulia Ti models can be had for $319 with all-wheel-drive added again for just $20 more a month.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Dashboard

If leasing is not your thing, there is a cash incentive program starting at $2,750, plus 1.9% APR financing for 36 months. As with any offers, check with your dealer for all the details plus whatever specials they have.

These offers are for cars delivered by July 5, 2017, so now is the time to get over to your dealer. Having a new Alfa Romeo would be an excellent way to start off the summer so don't miss these deals.

Give these dealers a call or check the link below for the dealer nearest you:

*NEW 2017 Giulia RWD 24 Month Lease Payment $299 /$3,299 due at signing / +$20 for AWD. Lease deal does not include Quadrifoglio. Check with your dealer for details.

Source: Alfa Romeo
Images: Author and FCA

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fiat 500 and Abarth Headlight Bulb Change

Fiat 500 Headlight
The Fiat 500 headlight uses a premium, high-performance 9012 HIR2 halogen bulb that puts out 87% more light than a common 9006 bulb.

This tutorial will show you how to change the headlight bulb in your Fiat 500 or Fiat 500 Abarth. It is a simple job that you can do yourself and will get you acquainted with one of the neat features of your Fiat 500. The headlights used on the NAFTA Fiat 500 are a marvel of engineering. They are a bi-halogen, projector beam design that allows a single bulb to function as both the low and high beam.

European Fiat 500 Headlight

This is an image of the headlights used in a European Fiat 500. Note, while they look similar to the US model's, the high beam headlight is mounted separately and is below the main upper headlight. The Euro car's high beam is in the same location as the US 500's turn signal assembly. The reason is in the US, it is illegal to have headlamps in a staggered or offset position, so headlamps need to be lined up next to each other or stacked directly on top of each other. The upper light on the European 500 contains the H7 low beam headlight bulb and a turn signal bulb. The lamp below contains an H1 high beam bulb and a daytime running / parking light.

This is different than the headlights used in European and other markets which utilize separate low and high beam assemblies. The new design is space efficient plus eliminates separate high and low beam electrical circuits and the extra fuses, relays and wiring that would be required.

9012 HIR2 Original Design with IR Coating
This is an original first generation 9012 HIR2 bulb with an infrared reflective coating. Newer bulbs look different and technology now eliminates the need to coat the bulbs with an HIR coating to achieve the same results.

They also allow the use of special high performance 9012 HIR2 headlight bulbs. The HIR designation stands for Halogen Infrared, a technology that enables the bulb to be much brighter than a similarly sized, conventional 9006 halogen bulb without having to increase the wattage. As the specification list for headlight bulbs below show, the 9012 headlight bulb used in the Fiat 500 is the brightest and longest lasting headlight bulb available for its size.

Compare the specifications for the 9012 headlight bulbs used in the North American Fiat 500:
  • Fiat 500 9012 HIR2 bulb: 12.8V, 55W, 1875 lumens, 875 hour rated life
  • Standard Philips 9006 bulb used in many cars: 12.8V, 55W, 1000 lumens, 320 hour rated life
  • GE 9006 bulb: 12.8V, 55W, 1000 lumens, 850 hour rated life
  • Sylvania 9006 Silverstar: 1000 lumens, 200 hour rated life
  • Sylvania 9006 Silverstar Ultras: 1000 lumens, 200 hour rated
  • Sylvania 9006 Xtravision: 1000 lumens, 850 hour rated life

Fiat 500 Coolant Reservoir

Changing the bulbs is relatively easy, especially on the drivers side. The passenger side has you unbolt the coolant expansion tank and swing it out of the way. That's not a big deal and reminds you that the car is a marvel of space utilization and automotive packaging. Depending on your car, you may be able to get your hand in there, but unbolting the reservoir is easy.

Fiat 500 Coolant Reservoir  Lug
After you remove the bolts, there is a locating lug in the back of the coolant resevoir that needs to be wiggled out. You can then just push the reservoir out of the way.

Fiat 500 Headlight Cap 6002TR0013

Headlamp cap used on the Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth.

Headlight Cap 6002TR0013

Locate the large cap on the back of the headlight. Give it a turn counterclockwise and pull the cap off. It is only about an 1/8 of a turn. Put that cap safely out of the way because it is easy to drop it into the depths of the engine compartment. The cap is not available separately, but if you need one it does fit other FCA cars and you may be able to get a used one on eBay or at a salvage yard. The part number on the back is 6002TR0013.

Fiat 500 Headlight Bulb

Fiat 500 Headlight Bulb Socket
Note how the locking clip engages the locking tang. You need to lift the clip over the tang in order to pull the headlight connector off.

Removing Headlight Bulb Connector

Locate the headlight connector and carefully put a finger under the locking clip and unhook it from its catch.  Do not bend the clip too far or it will break.

Fiat 500 Headlight Bulb Connector
Once the clip locking tang has been disconnected, wiggle the connector up and off the bulb.  Make sure you just hold the connector and not pull on the wires. Using dielectric grease on the connector when reassembling will make changing the bulbs much easier in the future.

Fiat 500 9012 Headlight Bulb

This is the headlight bulb's socket orientation when installed. The bulb is keyed to keep it locked in place.

Fiat 500 9012 Bulb
You need to twist the bulb counterclockwise so you can then pull the bulb straight out. Compare this picture to the one above and notice how now the lower key tab is now lined up in the housing and can be pulled out. If you have difficulty turning the bulb, it can be easier if you push it in slightly while turning it. After you twist it until it stops, it should just come out without a problem, but if it is stuck, try to make sure you are pulling it straight out and you may need to wiggle it a little.

Removing Fiat 500 Headlight Bulb

The bulb being removed.

9012 HIR2 Headlight Bulb

The replacement bulb should say 9012/HIR2 on it. A couple of notes. First, do not touch the bulb's glass! That can create a hotspot and cause the bulb to burn out prematurely, melt or even explode. If you do touch it, no worries, just get some alcohol and a lint free cloth and give it a wipe. Second, try not to bang the bulb around when you put the bulb back in.

9012 HIR2 New Generation Bulb

When looking at the old bulb, make sure the rubber o'ring seal is still on the old bulb and did not get stuck in the headlight. Not the difference in the shape of this new generation 9012 HIR2 bulb and the original 9012 HIR2 posted above.

Dielectric Grease for Electrical Connectors

Using a little dielectric grease smeared into the connector would be a good idea, too. It protects the connector from corrosion and other issues arising from high resistance.

Putting Headlight Cap On

Reverse the procedure. Make sure the bulb is inserted all the way before giving it a twist to secure it. The bulb should be flush and not cock-eyed. Also make sure you push the connector all the way on and it locks onto the headlight bulb. Put your cap back on, install your coolant reservoir (if removed) and that's it!

Xenon headlight conversion are popular with the Fiat 500. Here is a How To of a typical HID conversion for the Fiat 500