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Register Now For The Fiat FreakOut!

The Fiat FreakOut is the largest Fiat event of the year. Make plans now so you don't miss it!

Fiat 500X All- Wheel-Drive System Explored

The Fiat 500X has an advanced All-Wheel-Drive system. See how it outperforms the competition.

Driving the New Fiat 124 Spider and Abarth!

A look at how the new Fiat 124 Spider stacks up against the original

Fiat 500L Design

Within its compact dimensions, the Fiat 500L has the room of a full-sized car. See how Fiat did it and the concept and goals of the design team

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Debut

Watch the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Debut Video at the LA Autoshow

Fiat 500X Uconnect Update

How to update the Uconnect 6.5 in a Fiat 500X

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Friday, May 19, 2017

FIAT on the Dragon Celebrates 5th Year

Fiat on The Dragon

Couldn't make it to the Fiat on the Dragon event this year? Our friends over at FOD sent us a report on their Spring Drive for those who missed out. If you aren't familiar with Fiat on the Dragon, it is a family fun driving event that is the perfect place to enjoy your Fiat, Abarth or Alfa Romeo. The event takes place at one of the most beautiful areas in the country and on one of the best roads anywhere in the world. The road called Tail of the Dragon is located deep in the Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina/Tennessee state line. With 318 curves packed into 11 miles, the road is an Italian car enthusiast's dream.

I'm happy to say, Fiat 500 USA Forum and this site have been significant sponsors of Fiat on the Dragon since its first run in 2013. It really is something that shouldn't be missed as you can read below. Next year's event will be held April 6-8, 2018.

2017 Fiat on the Dragon Panorama


FIAT on the Dragon Celebrates 5th Year with Biggest Turnout Yet

By Larry Smith

Springtime came roaring into the hills of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina as the 5th annual FIAT on the Dragon event brought FIAT enthusiasts and their favorite rides back for more of the twisty mountain drives they’ve come to crave. Over 150 Italian cars made their way to this year’s event, including lots of modern FIATs, several new Alfa Romeos, and even some classics. The numbers were nothing short of impressive, considering that the first FOTD in 2013 drew around two dozen participants, mostly from the surrounding area. In 2017, drivers traveled from all over the Eastern U.S., reaching from New York to South Florida – and even as far west as Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. All in all, 26 states were represented! What is so amazing about this is that so many people willingly drove hundreds of miles for, wait for it… a driving event! It’s truly a testament to both how much FIAT owners love their cars and how much fun they have driving them.

2017 Fiat on the Dragon Corner

The presenting sponsors for FOTD were EuroCompulsion and Auto Ricambi. Both, along with several additional sponsors and friends, provided amazing support and have helped tremendously in building the event into what it is today.

2017 Fiat on the Dragon Cars

The weekend unofficially kicked off on Thursday, March 30, as many of the registered participants arrived at the base of operations: the long-standing Talley Ho Inn in scenic Townsend, Tennessee, widely known as the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies.” Of course, as waves of FIATs took to the town’s streets over the next few days, that title took on a bit of a disclaimer. As always, that first night was a great time of friends catching up and new connections being made. The anticipation was high as a steady stream of folks made their way through registration, settled into their rooms and broke off into groups for dinner at area restaurants.

Fiat on the Dragon Cars

The last of the March showers greeted the participants on Friday morning, but the weather did not dampen spirits at all. With the initial drive of the weekend being the famed Tail of the Dragon itself, it was impossible to feel anything but excitement. Still, all were thankful as the rain gradually began to taper off and the skies opened a little as the line of cars made its way to the day’s main attraction. For those who’ve never visited, the Dragon is a serpentine stretch of Highway 129 that crosses the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Its 11 uninhabited miles contain an astounding 318 curves, some much more treacherous than others. The road is extremely popular with car enthusiasts and motorcyclists alike, though even a small error or miscalculation can have dire consequences. It is definitely a road to be respected.

Fiat X1-9 on the Dragon

The merry band of FIATs and Alfas made it through without a hitch, as the group reconvened at Deal’s Gap at the NC end of the ride. Cars had departed from the hotel in smaller groups, sorted by driving styles from the most spirited to those who preferred more of a touring pace. This worked out well, as everyone got to enjoy exactly the drive they wanted. From there, the group headed to nearby Fontana Dam for lunch and group photos before continuing further on to Bryson City in Swain County and the intriguing Road to Nowhere.

124 Spider Abarth on the Dragon

A popular addition to the FOTD itinerary last year, the Road to Nowhere extends about eight miles out from town before it ends abruptly just after passing through a 1200-foot tunnel. The short version of its storied past is that the National Park Service agreed to build the road around Fontana Lake, after much of the county’s land was given up to create the lake and a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Due largely to environmental issues, construction on the road was suspended and, once everything was eventually resolved, never completed. Though born out of unfortunate circumstances, the road is
nonetheless a fascinating discovery. To travel to the very end, the group had to park and walk through the long, dark tunnel before emerging to a forest area with multiple trailheads and a spectacular view of Fontana Lake.

Fiat on the Dragon Bonfire


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Say No to Autonomous Cars with an Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Is this what we have to look forward to with autonomous driving cars? Luckily with cars like Alfa Romeos and Fiats, you can make a statement that you still love to drive. Watch this Alfa Romeo commercial from Israel, and you will see what the future may very well be like. "Progress" is not all it's cracked up to be...


Last Chance to Drive - Alfa Romeo Giulia Video Commercial




A video that shows what you are missing when you let the Google-Mobils take over...






Source: Fiat Israel, FCA image

Say No to Autonomous Cars with an Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Is this what we have to look forward to with autonomous driving cars? Luckily with cars like Alfa Romeos and Fiats, you can make a statement that you still love to drive. Watch this Alfa Romeo commercial from Israel, and you will see what the future may very well be like. "Progress" is not all it's cracked up to be...


Last Chance to Drive - Alfa Romeo Giulia Video Commercial




A video that shows what you are missing when you let the Google-Mobils take over...






Source: Fiat Israel, FCA image

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fiat 500e Wheel Alignment Specs

Fiat 500e

The Fiat 500e electric car is a fun, stylish car that just happens to be an EV. Packed with good looks and great driving dynamics it is the electric car for those who thought they would never drive one. Introduced in 2013 and originally only sold in California and then later in Oregon, used Fiat 500e models have now begun migrating across the country. Don't be surprised if you see one for sale locally.

The 500e looks similar to the gasoline-powered 500, but there have been extensive modifications done to it to so it can excel as an EV. Because an electric motor is nearly silent, extensive steps were taken to silent any wind and road noise that would typically be masked by the sound of an internal combustion engine and its exhaust.

Fiat 500e Cutaway


Another modification was done to the 500e's suspension so that it could cope with the additional weight of a 600lbs EV battery, additional chassis reinforcements, and extra sound insulation. Now that you can buy a Fiat 500e outside of California, information on servicing its suspension may not be readily available at your local service shop. To help with that, below are the specific wheel alignment specification for the Fiat 500e electric car.

Note, the Fiat 500e uses different alignment specs compared to the gas Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth. You can view those wheel alignment specs here.


Fiat 500e Wheel Alignment Specifications


FRONT WHEEL ALIGNMENT  PREFFERED SETTINGACCEPTABLE RANGE
CAMBER*
CROSS CAMBER (max side to side diff)
-0.45°
0.0°
-0.95° to +0.05°
-0.55 to + 0.55°
CASTER*
CROSS CASTER (max side to side diff)
+2.35°
0.0°
+1.85° to +2.85°
-0.50° to +0.50°
TOE - TOTAL**0.0°-0.25° to +0.25°

Notes:
* For reference only. These are nonadjustable angles.

** TOTAL TOE is the sum of both the left and right wheel toe settings. TOTAL TOE should be equally split between each wheel on the same axle to ensure the steering wheel is centered after setting toe.

Positive toe (+) is toe-in and negative toe (−) is toe-out.

REAR WHEEL ALIGNMENTPREFERRED SETTINGACCEPTABLE RANGE
CAMBER
CROSS CAMBER (max side to side diff)
-1.05°
0.00°
-1.55 to -0.55°
-0.55 to +0.55°
TOE - INDIVIDUAL*+0.25°-0.05 to +0.55°
TOE - TOTAL*+0.50°+0.22° to +0.78°
THRUST ANGLE0.00°-0.18°  to +0.18°

Notes:

Positive toe (+) is toe-in and negative toe (−) is toe-out.

* There is a shim kit available to adjust these angles. Fiat Technical Bulletin 17-001-14: Rear Axle Alignment Shims, part number: 68236620AA Shim Kit : (Kit contains 1 front shim, 1 rear shim, and 4 spindle bolts). Consult your dealer to verify fitment. 

Read more on the shim kit install here and Fiat tech bulletin here. 




Source: FCA

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fiat Sales for April 2017

2017 Fiat 500 Abarth

Fiat sales for April 2017 showed some improvements over the previous month, but overall brand sales are still running behind last year. The Fiat 500X 500X crossover had its best month so far this year, selling a total of 758 units in April, a 4 percent increase over March. The Fiat 124 Spider also recorded its best sales month this year, with a total of 465 cars sold, an 11 percent increase over the previous month.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider


While Fiat 500 hatch and Cabrio sales were down in April compared to the same month a year ago, sales of these models are running 2 percent over last year. This is a good sales performance, considering the iconic 500 hatch and Cabrio are virtually unchanged since 2011. Credit a simplified model range with increased content and new, lower prices for contributing to the success.


2017 Fiat 500L Trekking


Despite these positive sales results, the brand's overall sales year-to-date are off 13 percent compared to last year. Fiat 500L MPV sales, in particular, are down a significant 77 percent this year, but even the 500X is down 38 percent.

2017 Fiat 500L


Curiously, the 500L has been consistently the best selling car in its segment in Europe, yet has not caught on in this country. Different tastes may account for that, but also an ill-timed recall at its launch three years ago and teething issues on early production cars seem to have taken its toll on sales of this versatile car.

Fiat 500L Trekking


Still, there is plenty of love for the car by owners on the Fiat 500L forum, so there is a fan base that supports the car. Fiat has added content and reduced prices for 2017, which is promising. People that own the 500L greatly appreciate its roominess and usefulness, so maybe a marketing campaign highlighting those attributes could draw more people into the showroom.


2017 Fiat 500X Trekking


The drop in 500X sales is even more puzzling. The 500X is also a European top seller, so the product is solid. We've chronicled its advanced AWD system, European handling, and numerous safety features here on this site. One thing that has got to impact sales is the fewer Fiat dealers here in this country compared to the competition. For example, Fiat has around 200 dealers in the US compared to 2,300 + Jeep dealers and 1,000+ Honda dealers. To address this, Fiat has been actively adding new sales outlets at CDJR (Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram) dealerships across the country. As with the other 2017 Fiat models, the 500X has also had its prices decreased along with more standard equipment added compared to 2016. These changes may be helping as 500X sales have been steadily increasing every month since January.





2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Fiat News Recap
Fiat displayed its full model range at the 2017 New York Auto Show. What was once a single car in 2011, the 500 hatchback,  has now grown into lineup that has something for just about everyone.  We covered the show and look at each model shown.


Alfa Romeo at 2017 NY Auto Show


Alfa Romeo also debuted their new Stelvio crossover at the New York Auto Show. Follow the link below for details on this exciting car.


Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2017 NY Auto Show


Fiat Brand Sales in the United States, January - April 2017
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTDLast Year YTDVol Change
April
500
500L
500X
124

    1,201
    115
    758
    465
    2,539

 1,504
 466
 1,128
 0
  3,098

  -20%
   -75%
   -33%
    New
   -18%

    5,221
    399
    2724
    1426
    9,770

        5099
       1728
       4,386
           0
        11213

    2%
    -77%
    -38%
    New
    -13%
March
500
500L
500X
124

    1,671
    106
    726
    419
    2,922

 1,494
 535
 1,056
 0
  3,085

  12%
   -80%
   -31%
    New
   -5%

    4,020
    284
    1966
    961
    7,231

        3595
       1262
       3,258
           0
        8,115

    12%
    -77%
    -40%
    New
    -11%
Feb
500
500L
500X
124

    1,131
    72
    640
    302
    2,145

 1120
 370
 1,161
 0
  2,651

  1%
   -81%
   -45%
    New
   -19%

    2,349
    178
    1240
    542
    4,309

        2101
       727
       2,202
           0
        5,030

    12%
    -76%
    -44%
    New
    -14%
Jan
500
500L
500X
124

    1,218
    106
    600
    240
    2,164

 981
 357
 1,041
 0
  2,379

  24%
   -70%
   -40%
    New
   -9%

    1,218
    106
    600
    240
    2,164

        981
       357
       1,041
           0
        2,379

    24%
    -70%
    -42%
    New
    -9%



Sources: FCA US LLC.
Images: FCA and author 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fiat at 2017 New York Auto Show

Fiat Abarth Spider and Megan Agrusa

The Fiat displayed its full model range at the 2017 New York International Auto Show (Apr 14 - Apr 23). The range, which started out in 2011 as a single model - the 500 Hatchback - has now blossomed into quite a few choices with something for most anyone. There's the stylish and fun 500 Hatch and Cabrio models, the fantastically roomy 500L family car, the classy and capable 500X crossover plus sporty models like the world renown 500 Abarth and 124 Abarth Spider.

Fiat 2017 New York Auto Show


One of Fiat's hallmarks is offering an extreme amount of value for the money. All their cars are typically loaded with features found in cars at much higher price points. In 2017, Fiat is pulling out the stops by lowering prices across the board on most models while at the same time increasing content.

Fiat 500X at 2017 New York Auto Show


Below is a look at various Fiats on display at the NY Auto Show, plus links to each model's 2017 updates and changes.

2017 Fiat 500 Lounge Cabrio

The 2017 Fiat 500c Lounge Cabrio on display showed off its ingenious sliding roof and gorgeous leather interior,. The folding roof design on the Cabrio offers open air thrills yet helps maintain the stiff body structure of the 500 for safety as well as comfort and driveability.

Fiat 500 Lounge Cabrio Interior

The 500c's steel frame side window design produces 70 percent less header shake then its key competitors, plus delivers class leading interior sound quality (quietest at 45 mph, 70 mph and lowest powertrain noise). An interesting detail is the windshield is slightly taller to help reduce wind buffeting and also to increase forward visibility for rear seat passengers.

2017 Fiat 500 Pop Cabrio

The Fiat 500c Pop Cabrio is the most affordable convertible in America and comes loaded with features. What's more, the 2017 500c Pop Cabrio is an incredible $4,905 less than the comparable 2016 model!

Fiat 500 Pop Cabrio Interior

The interior of the 500c Pop Cabrio is high style all the way. Besides the good looks, there is substance with over 35 safety and security features available, most of which are included at no extra cost.



2017 Fiat 500 Abarth

The Abarth name is a legend in the automotive world with a history of producing championship winning high performance race cars from everyday Fiats. Just like the Abarths from the past, the company takes the standard Fiat 500 and gives it the full treatment by upgrading suspension, brakes and driveline. With 70 percent more engine torque, and 59 percent more power compared to the regular Fiat 500, the Abarth 500 is one wicked machine. In fact, the 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth is the most powerful small sports car under $20,000. New for 2017, Fiat has reduced the price of the 500 Abarth between $2500 and $5200 depending on the model.

Fiat 500 Abarth Interior

Carlo Abarth, the founder of Abarth & Co, was an accomplished racing driver, entrepreneur and engine tuner but also a man of impeccable style. He made sure all his creations looked the part with a serious dose of attitude and toughness. The Fiat 500 Abarth caries on the tradition.



2017 Fiat 500L Urbana

The Fiat 500L is the car for people that need room but don't want to drive a mini-van. Within its compact exterior dimensions, the 500L pacts the interior room of a fullsize car. Along with all that room is a European driving experience which means excellent roadability with great high-speed stability, tight back road handling and sure footed braking. The Fiat 500L is the best selling car in its class in Europe and offers fantastic value here in the United States. For 2017, Fiat has simplified the model lineup, increased features and content and reduced prices. The Fiat 500L may be the best value in family cars on the market today.




2017 Fiat 500X Trekking

The Fiat 500X is what you get when you take a Jeep drivetrain and dress it in Italian style and give it European driving characteristics. The classy and capable Fiat 500X is the crossover for people who never thought they would drive one.


2017 Fiat 500X Lounge

Available in two design themes - the sophisticated Urban look or the athletic Trekking edition - the 500X offers something for everyone. The 500X is more than just a good looking car, though, and it is loaded with up to 70 standard and available safety and security features. It is no wonder that in Europe the 500X is a top seller in its class.


Fiat 500X Trekking in Arancio

New for 2017, the 500X model lineup gets simplified going from 5 trim packages from last year down to 3 this year. Feature content is up and option package prices have been dramatically reduced, making the 500X the most affordable European crossover available in this country.


Fiat 124 Spider Lusso

The Fiat 124 Spider was one of the most highly anticipated cars of the past year. Just like the original 1960s 124 Spider that was a revelation of refinement in its class, the new Spider has all the comfort and sophistication you expect in a European roadster along with performance.


Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Designed in Italy under the watchful eye of Felix Kilbertus, former lead designer at Pininfarina, the new Spider brings back the flavor of the classic Spiders of the past but with a thoroughly modern interpretation. New for this year are added colors and the ability to mix and match options compared to last year.


Fiat 124 Abarth Spider

The 124 Spider Abarth is the ultimate Spider for those who want the utmost in performance and aggressive looks. The optional hand-painted Racing Heritage blacked-out hood and trunk recall the legendary Fiat Abarth 124 Rally cars from the 1970s. It should be noted that the Abarth Spider in Europe is a limited production car that commands a €40,000 ($42,900) price tag, however in the US the car is priced starting at $28,195. It is one of the great sports car buys out there.




Images: Author