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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fiat500USA: Who says old Fiats aren't tough?

Here are a few video clips from the internet featuring old Fiats for your enjoyment.



A famous Fiat 124 commercial from the 1970s featuring Rémy Julienne, Europe's greatest stunt driver.




Another Rémy Julienne Fiat commercial from the 1970s. This time showing the Fiat 131, Spider, and 128.




A neat Fiat commercial from South Africa. The Fiat 131 is one rugged car.




This film clip is from one of my favorite movies when I was growing up. It's called "The Burglars" (or "LE CASSE" in French, "LE COUP" in German). It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo, Omar Sharif and a Fiat 124 Sedan.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fiat500USA Tuner Report: Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge



Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge of Germany has just released details of his tuned version of the Fiat 500 Abarth. Schnorr has turned up the heat in the Fiat 500 Abarth with suspension, wheels and power upgrades.

First, special coilover suspension is installed that is lower and stiffer and improves the already very capable 500 Abarth. Next, high end 17 x 7 OZ Racing, Superturismo "Serie Rossa" wheels were selected shod with 205/40 ZR 17 Pirelli Pzero Nero tires.

These upgrades are vital because the big news is the increase in power. There are two power level options, first is power level I, which bumps up the normal 135 hp Abarth 28 hp and 33 LbFt of torque for a total of 163 hp and 185 LbFt respectively.

Power level II is a tire dealers best friend, guaranteed to melt the Pzero Nero's with 200 hp! That's a 65 hp increase and it comes by reworked engine software, bigger turbo and a sport exhaust. This is 10hp more than the rare racing version of the Fiat 500, the Fiat 500 Abarth Assetto Corse.

Below is the official Press Release from Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge:


PRESS RELEASE:

Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge - Saturated Capacity for the Fiat 500 Abarth - up to 200 hp

The Fiat 500 Abarth is currently the head in the range of Fiat. Those who wait for a really fast 500 will be satisfied as soon as this athlete passes through the school of capacity of tuner Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge.

But one step at a time!

Schnorr leverages the visual appearance up by using sporty parts. The aluminum rims from OZ in red (Seria Rossa) and in size 7x17" are worth 1.090,00 Euro fitting and vehicle inspection registry included. An improvement for sure, the "normal" Abarth looks much more athletic.


Schnorr promises a better road holding after having built in a special coilover kit which lowers the Fiat a few millimetres and charges the account with 1.270,00 Euro fitting and vehicle inspection registry included. For the measurement of the axis will be charged 85,00 Euro and for the adaption of the body 285,00 Euro. No question the serial Abarth accessories emphasize the outline of the Fiat is skilfully. They continue the dynamic layout of the line in a modern way and make hungry for way more.


Power Level I (163 hp - 950,00 Euro) from Schnorr offers for the 1,4-motor with serial 135 hp an improved performance of 28 hp and 45 Nm. At power level II (5.050,00 Euro) you should buckle your seat belt very tight. An aligned engine software in combination with a sport exhaust system with a big turbo charger gives the Fiat 500 the additional 65 hp. Besides the improved performance from 135 up to 200 hp the maximum hinge moment rises definitely. It can keep on carrying Euro 4-Norm.


For more information about the Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge please contact: http://www.schnorr-kfz.de/

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Elle Macpherson and the Fiat 500C



The Fiat 500 has a growing list of celebrities that love to be seen with it. The 500 has that certain chic factor going for it and it is certainly one of the "it" cars of recent times.


Here's the latest celebrity succumbing to its charms: Australian supermodel, actress, philanthropist and businesswoman, Elle Macpherson.


Here's a press release from Fiat on how Macpherson feels about the 500C.



The new Fiat 500C, just recently launched on main European markets, has a new fan: the supermodel Elle Macpherson. Already the owner of a 500, as soon as she set eyes on the convertible version, Elle wanted to try it out and promptly fell in love with it.

“I love the Fiat 500C, it has that sexy, cool Italian thing going on!” says Elle. “I like the way the car drives – it’s perfect for cities with its small turning circle and the easy way it maneuvers through London”.


The Fiat 500C was launched in the UK earlier in July and is guaranteed to be one of the “greatest hits” among the motoring public, also in view of its decidedly competitive price.

Fiat Group Press

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fiat 500 with sport seats by Sabelt

Fiat 500 Abarth with "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" Sport Seats


The new sport seats "Abarth Corse by Sabelt" are available in Europe as an accessory. Designed by Sabelt Style Center, under supervision of Abarth Style Center, the seats are renown for their lightness (10 kilos less than production seats) and the capability of retaining the body under high lateral and lengthwise acceleration loads due to their special mono-layer padding containment bands. They are high performance sport seats with ergonomics and comfort geared toward street use.

"Abarth Corse by Sabelt" Sport Seats
Equipped with a release and forward-tipping lever, the backrest embodies the headrest and shows the typical slit for the passage of four-point seat belts. In addition, the shell (with its supporting backrest) and the cushion plate are made out of white compound material, formed by structural polyester resins with 1” glass fibers, and are molded using state-of-the-art SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) technology.



Available in two versions (Frau black leather and fretworked black Alcantara, or black "F1" technical fabric) the seats “Abarth Corse by Sabelt” are embellished with some details like, for instance, the aesthetic felled seams with red thread and the distinctive Abarth writing, while the silver color typifies the Scorpion Logo placed on the backrest tilt knob.

After being presented at the recent Geneva show, the first seats “Abarth Corse by Sabelt” have been installed on 200 Abarth 500s used as courtesy cars by European Ferrari dealers. Featuring an exclusive color and a coat inspired by the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, these special cars are upgraded with sport features such as the seats “Abarth Corse by Sabelt”, the variable back-pressure exhaust “Abarth by Magneti Marelli” and the satellite navigator “Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP” with Telemetry function developed by Magneti Marelli

The sport seats “Abarth Corse by Sabelt” will be available for not only Abarth cars but also for the Fiat 500 and Fiat Grande Punto 3-door models through their accessory catalogs.

Sadly, it is doubtful these seats would be available in the United States due to air bag requirements. Maybe they can be imported for "off road use";)


With thanks to Fiat Group Press

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fiat Freak Out 2009

Over the weekend I had the chance to attend the Fiat Lancia Unlimited (FLU) car clubs national convention called the Fiat Freak Out. What a great group of people. The FLU car club is made up of interesting and very welcoming club members.



Friday I checked out the autocross and Saturday I saw a great car show. The cars displayed covered the full range of Fiats from vintage 500s, 600s, Multiplas, OTAS', Dinos , 850s, 124s, 128s and X1/9s to Lancia Betas and Scorpions. A couple of Ferraris and a Maserati were in the mix, too. Newer European models like a Barchetta roadster, a 1999 Multipla and of course, the new Fiat 500s, one from Lane Motor museum and one courtesy of Chrysler LLC.


The Multipla was driven by adventurer Jim Magill all the way from Northern Ireland. You can read about all his exploits here.



Check out the Freak Out gallery above (there will also be a gallery link on my right side bar), lots of pictures in no particular order. Fiat500USA's YouTube channel will have videos posted of some of the autocross action (as soon as I figure out a windows driver thing).

Next year's Freak Out location hasn't been announced so keep an eye on the official FLU website here. If you like cars it's a show you shouldn't miss.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Check out a Fiat 500 in Pennsylvania...

Can't wait to see a Fiat 500 in the flesh? Well, you can get a preview of one at Fiat Freak Out 2009 later this week. The Fiat Freak Out is the National Convention of the Fiat Lancia Unlimited (FLU) car club, the largest, most active Fiat / Lancia enthusiast group in North America.

The Fiat Freak Out 2009 National Convention is being held August 13th - 17th, 2009 at Valley Forge, PA. There is a lot planned for the 5 days so check out the website here for more details about the convention.

The Fiat 500 will be at the car shows on Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16. As of now, two 500's are scheduled to appear at the show, a white 2008 from the Lane Motor Museum and a 2010 being brought to the show by Fiat (Chrysler).

The car shows will be at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park (entrance is near the intersection of Egypt Road and Rt. 422) from around 11 to 3 on Saturday, and then in Downtown Phoenixville (Bridge Street) on Sunday around the same time frame. You can spectate at the car show for free but you need to register if you want to participate, again check out the Freak Out website.

The show is a great opportunity for people who aren't familiar with the historic past Fiats to get the inside scoop on what makes these cars so special. I'll be taking a few hours off to check out the show Saturday, take lots of pictures and meet some great people.

See you there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fiat 500: Design analysis





The Fiat 500 is a thoroughly modern car with the flavor of the past. Last month we posted a design analysis of the Fiat 500C. This month let's look at the Fiat 500 sedan.






The Fiat 500 immediately conveys the idea of compactness, thanks to a lateral section made up of several superimposed layers and its ‘shell-like’ roof, whose measurements are decidedly smaller than those of the sides in the plane view. The proportions and a number of aesthetic features give it an ‘appealing’ air, but also convey solidity and robustness. The waistline slopes slightly at the front to highlight the robustness and dynamism of the design.


It is also possible to see the front and rear light clusters, because of the way the rounded side links up to the nose and tail. And finally, the roof pillar forms an arc which simplifies the design of the glazing which is continuous and hides the upper edge of the doors with black profiling.






The lateral section proposes a modern interpretation of the look of the historic 500, but with more essential, modern surfaces, interrupted by the generous shape of the wheel arches.





The front combines the current family resemblance between the latest Fiat models with the distinctive elements of the first Fiat 500. For example, the strongest reference to the earlier car is the combination of the circular upper headlights together with full beam lower lights and the ‘whiskers and logo’ unit.




The headlights of the new Fiat 500 are a particularly neat design feature. They are the re-interpretation of the original Nuova 500's but with a modern twist.



They incorporate the most sophisticated exterior lighting technology. Produced by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, the front light clusters offer DRL (Day Running Light) daytime lighting as standard: this function is activated automatically when the engine is started, with a beam stronger than that of the side lights but lower than that of the dipped headlights. The DRL system meets current legislation in some countries that requires motorists to drive with their headlights on, but makes it possible not to turn the rear side lights on, thus saving on consumption. The DRL daytime light is another innovative feature that the Fiat 500 introduces in this segment for the first time.



Also available are Xenon headlights on some 500 models. Xenon headlights provide especially bright, intense illumination of the road, ensuring significantly greater visibility in bad weather or in the dark - an important contribution to driving safety. These headlights use less energy and have a much longer service life than conventional headlamps.






The rear end of the Fiat 500 features a large shaped, chrome-plated handle which reiterates the motif of the registration plate light holder of its forebear that resembled a bicycle saddle.





The side view of superimposed volumes continues right to the tailgate, creating a striking wraparound shape. The rear window ‘cuts’ the tailgate at the sides, creating a simple modern look for the glazing while a small spoiler at the top of the tailgate enhances the contemporary look and improves the aerodynamic efficiency.





The rear lights are set between the edges of the tailgate and they are divided chromatically by function so that they appear more vertical and farther apart.



The styling of the new car is completed by the broad choice of metallic and non-metallic colors which creates a large number of possible combinations, some of which are inspired by the ‘vintage’ appeal of the original shades of the first 500, while others have a decidedly contemporary look, and the bodywork can always be chosen to match the fabric or leather of the upholstery, with a facia the same color as the exterior.



And finally, the Fiat 500 is the first Fiat model to use its own name as a logo, positioning it on the wheel hubs and rims.



Adapted from Fiat Group Press Release