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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fiat introduces the Abarth 500C...

Fiat is introducing the long awaited convertible version of the 500 Abarth called the Abarth 500C. This version will no doubt find its way to the US sometime after the regular 500 Abarth shows up on our shore (currently estimated the fourth quarter 2011).

Until then we'll have to settle for pictures, so enjoy the official press release below:

ABARTH 500C: adding power to a style icon: a sports convertible

The brand new Abarth 500C is the result of developments in both style and performance. This is not the first time that Abarth has undertaken the performance tuning of a convertible and the company has used all its past experience to improve both stylistic and technical factors.

While the eye is inevitably drawn to the new body finish, based on elegant two-tone color schemes, the extended, dynamic-looking spoiler instantly reminds you that the Abarth 500C is first and foremost a high class sportswear. In addition to enhancing the aggressive appearance of the 500C, the spoiler effectively boosts CZ loading and creates a smoother air flow.

The looks of the Abarth 500C have also benefited from the new design 17” diamond finished alloy wheels...

...including the sought-after diamond finished 5 petal white wheels.
Another strong point of the Abarth 500C is its exceptional interior climate and acoustic comfort.

Thorough aerodynamic research has minimized turbulence with the roof open, allowing the sound of the road and engine to be enjoyed to the full. The new car therefore delivers a more complete sport driving experience and enhanced enjoyment. In an Abarth 500C, you can experience all the thrills of a real sports car. With the roof up, performance is on a par with a hard top.

When the roof down, the range of sensations and emotions is dramatically extended, and includes all the pleasures of feeling the wind in your hair and the sound of the twin tail pipes.

This video shows how the top works on the 500C

The roof is electrically operated and slides along guides in the car’s sides to let you enjoy your Abarth 500C all year round. A true object of design, the Abarth 500C’s roof stands out for its elegant, electrically controlled movement and its impressively finished and carefully administered technical features, including a glass rear window and third brake light built into the spoiler.

The soft top comes in a choice of two colors (black or titanium grey), to suit the classic Abarth colors as well as the 2 two-tone color schemes created specially for the car: one overtly sporting (black and race white) and the other in two elegant shades of grey.

Finally, a colored graphic runs around the two-tone body, simultaneously dividing and uniting the two souls of the car: below, all the performance of a true sportster, above, all the elegance of a convertible.

Performance: Abarth tuning

The 500C is a true Abarth, as its 140 HP 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine clearly shows. Performance is impressive: 0-100 km/h in only 8.1 seconds and a peak torque of 206 at 2000 rpm. An engine that not only delivers thrilling performance but also makes the Abarth 500C extremely pleasant to drive day in, day out.

The engine is a 4 cylinder, 16 valve, unit of 1,368 cc, fitted with an IHI RHF3-P fixed geometry turbocharger. The unit delivers exciting performance, pushing the car to a top speed of 205 km/h and accelerating it from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.1 seconds. These exceptional figures are also the result of an over boost function engaged by pressing the “Sport” button, which modifies engine control unit mapping, turbo pressure, and steering wheel loading. Yet despite its true Abarth spirit, the 500C still only consumes 6.5 l/100 km in the combined cycle.

The car’s sporting yet flexible engine is also environmentally friendly and already conforms to the strict Euro 5 standards soon to be introduced.

On top of its superb engine, the Abarth 500C boasts all the technical content of the model from which it is derived, including TTC (Torque Transfer Control) The most obvious innovation, of course, is the race-derived “ABARTH Competizione” gearbox, fitted as standard.
It was 1949 and Karl Abarth officially began marketing the first product, a race-derived gearbox with steering wheel control for the Fiat Topolino, capable of delivering quick gear changes in sporty driving conditions.

With the same philosophy, more than 60 years later, the “ABARTH Competizione” is offered as standard on the Abarth 500C. This electro-hydraulically actuated, 6-speed gearbox is operated by steering wheel paddles and controlled by a system that maximizes economy and performance when driven hard.

This is the interior of the Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari", it shows the transmission controls that should be the same as the Abarth 500C

The innovative MTA-derived (Manual Transmission Automated) system is based on a conventional mechanical gearbox on which the traditional gear lever has been replaced with an actuator electronically controlled by the TCU (Transmission Control Unit) to optimize gear changes and mechanical efficiency. The gearbox can be used in two modes: auto for maximum comfort, and manual for maximum performance. “Sport” mode can be engaged in both gearbox modes and reduces gear shift times. Learn more about the MTA here.

The new “ABARTH Competizione” gearbox makes driving even more fun thanks to race-derived functions like steering wheel paddle-shifting, just like on a real super-car.
Further confirmation that the 500C is a genuine Abarth comes from the fact that a specific “SS” tuning kit is currently being developed specially for it, offering an even higher level of performance.

The Abarth 500C is aimed at customers seeking everything the scorpion brand represents in terms of performance and innovation, plus the ultimate in style and versatility.


The Abarth 500C incorporates all the safety systems already installed on the Abarth 500.
Designed to conform to the strictest standards, the Abarth 500C is one of the safest vehicles in its class. Stable and effective braking, exhilarating acceleration from a 140 HP engine, and ultra-reliable handling mean that the Abarth 500C will get you through even the tightest scrapes without you batting an eyelid.

The 500C is equipped as standard with 7 airbags (two front, two window and two side airbags plus one driver knee airbag): a record for this class of vehicle. The new version is also equipped with sophisticated technical solutions to maximize active safety and control: these include ABS with EBD (Electronic Braking Distribution), a sophisticated ESP system (Electronic Stability Program), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) traction control, Hill Holder to facilitate starting off on slopes, and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) to help with emergency braking.

The Abarth 500C also features two advanced control systems: “TTC” (Torque Transfer Control) and “GSI” (Gear Shift Indicator). TTC improves the transfer of torque from the engine to the wheels and in particular gives excellent handling on bends, making sports driving safer and more fun than ever. GSI (Gear Shift Indicator) provides a signal on the instrument panel (a LED that flashes five times) to tell you when to change gear. In Normal mode, GSI tells you that changing up will help reduce fuel consumption. In Sport mode, the signal means that changing gear will give you better performance.

Finally, the Abarth 500C is fitted with dynamic systems and comfort-enhancing equipment to ensure that occupants enjoy luxury as well as safety on all types of journey. Take the suspension system for example.

The front suspension is based on independent McPherson struts...

...while the rear suspension is semi-independent, with an inter-connecting torsion bar. Specially developed by Magneti Marelli, both suspension schemes have been optimized specifically for the Abarth 500C to ensure superb handling and the highest possible level of comfort.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fiat's twin cylinder MultiAir engine coming soon...

The twin cylinder SGE (Small Gas Engine) Fiat has been working on will finally make its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, March 4-14th. Originally the engine was to make its debut in the new Topolino super mini Fiat has been working on over the last year and a half, however, that debut has been postponed this year due to poor economic projections in Europe for 2010.

Spy shots of the new Fiat Topolino

The 900cc parallel twin cylinder SGE will be christened "TwinAir" because of its use of MultiAir technology and will be first installed this summer in the Fiat 500.The TwinAir will be the smallest displacement gasoline engine available in Europe, however, it is important to note that it is very powerful for its size. The initial application will be in turbocharged 85hp form with turbocharged 105hp and normally aspirated 65hp versions to follow.

When and if we in the US will get the TwinAir engine is yet to be seen, however we will see this engine downsizing technology applied to Chrysler products. Fiat's concept is combining the MultiAir technology with a turbocharger will give the same power as a larger engine.

This is not a new concept, but the big advantage Fiat has is, now with MultiAir, the engine can be tuned to maximize low end torque for increased drivability. The goal here is to have a small engine behave like a big engine, with no sacrifice in drivability.

Click picture to enlarge

An example is the twin cylinder 900cc SGE, in turbocharged form, has the same power as the 1.4L 16V engine currently fitted in the Fiat 500.

For Chrysler, we'll see the new Pentastar V6 engines with MultiAir combined with single and twin turbochargers replace some of the large V8 engines.

Click picture to enlarge

The TwinAir combined electric Hybrid has also been developed. It is a very interesting twist on the normal hybrid car technology. The Fiat hybrid system is developed specifically for small vehicles unlike most current systems, with their bulky batteries. which are more suited for bigger vehicles.

For more information on the SGE TwinAir and Fiat hybrid click here.
Photos and slides courtesy of Fiat Group Press
Video with thanks to Mickred video channel

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Inside the Fiat 500: Spark Plugs...

Inside the MultiAir combustion chamber

The days of throwing a set of Champion spark plugs in and forgetting about them is long gone. The Fiat 500 uses the latest engine technology available so it's fitting that the plugs it uses are cutting edge. Fiat has partnered with NGK to use their latest design offerings.

For the 1.2 L 8V Fiat 500, Fiat is installing NGK ZKR7A-10 spark plugs as exclusive OE fitment. NGK has developed this 12mm diameter plug specifically for Fiat’s FIRE EVO and PDA engine families. It is a nickel alloy plug with 5mm protrusion and 1mm gap setting.

Fiat 500 1.2L and 1.4L NGK spark plugs

For the 1.4 L 16V version of the Fiat 500, NGK’s DCPR7E-N-10 (NGK Stock Number 4983)  has been selected as Original Equipment. This 12mm spark plug has been developed specifically for the FIRE MPI engine family. It is also a nickel alloy plug with a gap setting of 1mm.

One of the reasons Fiat chose the DCPR7E-N-10 plug is because its small diameter makes for easier installation in multi-valve small displacement engines. Another reason is its good ignition quality without requiring the costs of precious metal and its robust ground electrode design.

Fiat recommends changing these economical priced spark plugs at 32,000 miles,

100,000 mi  Recommended Service Interval plugs used on later (2014 and up) 1.4L Non-Turbo MultiAir Engines use the following spark plugs:

Mopar part number: 
SP192435AA  which are NGK 91715 / NGK IKR7H8 Laser Iridium Spark Plug

Gap: 0.032 in or 0.813 mm

Fiat 500 Abarth

Fiat 500 Abarth Assetto Corse

Note: This article describes the plugs used in the European Abarth 500 equiped with the 1.4L TJet engine. The NAFTA Fiat 500 Abarth uses NGK SIKR9A7 - NGK Stock Number 93618. It is highly recommended that you use these plugs in the 1.4 L MultiAir Turbo. These plugs should be changed at 30.000 mile intervals for optimum performance.

The high performance Fiat 500 Abarth's engine was developed at Fiat Powertrain Technology (FPT) under the Chief of Petrol Engine Development, Paolo Martinelli's leadership. A noted engineer, Martinelli previously was head of Scuderia Ferrari's Engine Department from 1994 to 2006 and was responsible for developing the Ferrari V10 Formula One engines that won 6 constructor championships.

For the 1.4L 16V Turbo engine, FPT had NGK develop a high performance spark plug called the IKR9F8. This plug is exclusive to the 1.4L 16V Turbo and is the only plug recommended for it.

Fiat 500 MultiAir spark plugs and Lambda sensors

The IKR9F8 is a double precious metal spark plug. The tip of its centre electrode is extremely thin and made of Iridium. It dramatically reduces the required ignition voltage and guarantees an optimal spread of the flame front within the combustion chamber. In addition, the IKR9F8 contains a platinum ground electrode. Because both the precious metals, iridium and platinum, are extremely resistant to spark erosion, this plug ensures the highest degree of ignition relaibility and resistance to misfiring.

Additionally, the IKR9F8 requires less space than standard spark plugs. This is due to an unusually long thread of 19mm combined with a compact diameter of only 12 mm. The benefit of this is it allows for the designing of larger cooling passages within the cylinder head which is an important consideration in a high performance Turbo engine.

More than just Spark Plugs

NGK is the world’s largest manufacturer of Lambda (O2 sensors) under the NTK brand name. Fiat has chosen NGK/NTK lambda sensors (o2 sensors) for all Fiat 500's equiped with MultiAir. In the normally aspirated version of the 1.4L 16V MultiAir engine and the 1.4L 16V MultiAir Turbo engine used in the 500 Abarth, Fiat has specified a wide band oxygen sensor- ZFAS-U2 - to provide the high accuracy Air/Fuel metering necessary when controlling not only the quantity of fuel injected but also the air flow rate, ensuring an optimised Air/Fuel ratio.

This wide band oxygen sensor was selected because of its very fast light-off time, quick signal response and high degree of accuracy, together with its resilience against water splash. NTK’s OZAS-S2 binary Lambda sensor has been selected for the downstream catalyst monitoring function.

Photos courtesy Fiat Group Press, NGK
with help from NGK, de

Saturday, February 13, 2010

US Fiat 500 from...Poland?

Fiat 500 factory in Tychy, Poland

Here's something I read that came right out of left field...

In a speech made on February 11 before the Chicago Economic Club, Ralph Gilles, CEO of the Dodge brand, made a comment that production of the Fiat 500 from Toluca, Mexico might not be ready by the anticipated December 2010 launch date, so the first batch of Fiat 500's might be brought in from Fiat's Tychy, Poland plant!

While you're waiting for your Fiat 500, watch one being made in this video!

Now this is very preliminary, and I'm working on getting more information, when I do, I'll let everyone know.

Photo and Video used by permission of Fiat Group Press

Friday, February 12, 2010

Inside Chrysler's new platform: the C-Evo Chassis...

Alfa Romeo has released more information on the platform (chassis) of the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta. This chassis, called C-Evo, is one of the technological assets Fiat is giving to Chrysler and will be the bases of the next generation of compact and mid-size vehicles offered by Chrysler.

You can catch up on this by reading my December 11, 2009 post here.

Dodge 2010-2014 product plans (click to enlarge)

The C-Evo chassis is versatile, and, because it is built using sub frame technology, can accommodate different wheelbases. This allows it to be used, for example, for the compact 2012 Dodge Caliber and also the mid-sized 2013 Dodge Avenger/ Chrysler Sebring (where the longer wheelbase chassis will be called D-Evo).

The C-Evo chassis is quit impressive and is aimed at being best in class. It will be a huge step forward from what Chrysler and its competitors are offering in the compact and mid-sized segments. In addition, besides front wheel drive, the chassis offers all wheel drive capabilities, opening up a new market for Chrysler in the compact and mid-size market segments.

Alfa Romeo calls its all wheel drive system Q4, here's a video on how it works.

Below is a description of the C-Evo chassis, courtesy of Alfa Romeo. After reading this, can you imagine that chassis combined with the Chrysler 200c concept car body? While you're at it, throw in a twin turbo, Pentastar V6 and the Q4 system...I'd call that a winning combination!

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta introduces the brand new “Compact” architecture

The C-Evo Chassis

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta introduces an entirely new architecture - "Compact" - designed to satisfy the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety. It ensures both exceptional dynamic performance and high comfort levels, thanks to the refined technical solutions employed for the suspension; a new-generation steering system; a light and rigid structure created from materials such as aluminum and high-strength steels, with avant-garde manufacturing techniques. Furthermore, driving satisfaction and comfort can be adapted to the meet every customer's specific needs thanks to the Alfa DNA selector, a device that customizes the vehicle's behavior to suit different road conditions and driving styles.

So, the new Alfa Romeo is a completely new car which, drawing on the spirit of its famous predecessor, is without a doubt a sports car capable of expressing both great agility over the most demanding routes and providing comfort on everyday roads. Plus, thanks to a specific suspension calibration offered by the Sport Pack, the sportiness of the new Giulietta can be further enhanced.

The new "Compact" architecture continues Fiat Group Automobiles' architecture rationalization strategy - preceded by the "Mini" architecture for segment A and the "Small" for segments B and L0 - and is a true "point of departure" from previous architectures due to the new content introduced, the materials used and the levels of performance achieved. Also, from the earliest design stages, the aim was to create a new architecture that would allow future Fiat Group Automobiles segment C vehicles, starting with the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta, to be ranked “best in class” in terms of handling, steering feel, performance to weight ratio, ride comfort, NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness), safety (active and passive) and climatic comfort.

First of all, the underbody represents a generational leap in terms of the materials used. The entire structure is now significantly stronger and provides better performance without any increase in weight with respect to the previous generation. All this is thanks to the ever wider use of high and ultra-high strength materials, which now make up more than 90% of the total mass of the system: some structural parts, designed to provide high strength and the ability to absorb impact with minimal deformation, have been made from hot-pressed tempered steel.

Moreover, lightweight materials have been used for several structural elements bolted to the body structure. For instance, the front beam connecting the front struts and the third load path are made from extruded aluminum. The rear bumper beam and the third load path energy absorption elements are made from Xenoy (a thermoplastic with excellent energy absorption properties in relation to weight). The third load path energy absorption elements absorb the energy of low-speed impacts with obstacles and support the bumper in impacts with pedestrians. Employing these solutions has provided a weight reduction of 18.7 lbs. (8.5 kg) at the front and 8.8 lbs (4 kg) at the rear with respect to conventional steel structures, without compromising safety performance.

Another new feature of the underbody is its modularity, which makes it ideal for use on a family of vehicles with different wheelbases. This modularity is provided by several central floor panels and the side members and does not affect any part of the front and rear structures. This reduces outlay to a minimum and means that the system can be applied to other vehicle systems without modification.

Many of the systems and components that make up the "Compact" architecture have been thoroughly revised with respect to the previous generation, improving performance and reducing weight (-35% for both the framework of the rear seats as well as the magnesium alloy cross car beam).

Giulietta offers exceptional handling performance and comfort levels thanks above all to the new suspension system employed. The Mc Pherson front suspension in particular was revised to offer maximum rigidity under side loads, reducing the weight thanks to the use of aluminum(saving 8.8 lbs (4 kg) with respect to cast-iron solutions).

The rear suspension is, on the other hand, brand new: the layout is a sophisticated, cutting-edge Multi link that does not compromise the useful volume of the luggage compartment and, thanks to the aluminum wishbones, allows for a weight reduction of over 22 lbs (10 kg) with respect to conventional Multi link systems.

In addition, the new electric power steering system ensures an excellent steering feel and is integrated with the vehicle's active safety systems. The climate control system was also specifically designed to provide the best climatic conditions in the passenger compartment, while significantly reducing over-consumption of fuel (30% less than a conventional system). Similarly, thanks to specific technical features, exceptional noise and vibrational quality values have been achieved.

In terms of passive safety, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta was produced to obtain the maximum Euro NCAP rating, as demonstrated by over fifteen thousand hours of mathematical modeling, 80 crash tests, 150 tests on a HyGe slide and more than 100 tests on components and sub-systems. In detail, the new third load path increases the energy absorption potential of the vehicle front end and reduces both inertial forces and passenger compartment intrusion, thereby ensuring optimum passenger protection at higher impact severity. Safety is guaranteed by 6 airbags (as standard on the entire range); three-point seat belts with double pretensioners and load limiters; the collapsible pedal unit and steering column; the second-generation anti-whiplash system and the Isofix mountings.

Alfa Romeo Q2 Electronic Differential demonstrated.

Lastly, in terms of active safety, the new architecture of the Alfa Giulietta was designed to integrate the vehicle's different systems and exploit them to the full, thus emphasizing the three set-up functions (Dynamic, Normal and All Weather) available through the Alfa DNA selector. This device, fitted as standard on the entire range, is designed to modify the operating parameters of the engine, gearbox, steering system and Q2 electronic differential, in addition to the behavior logic of the Vehicle Dynamic Control system (VDC). Giulietta will also be introducing Pre-Fill - a new function - activated when the DNA is set to Dynamic, which uses the VDC system to provide the driver with the quickest braking response possible. These sophisticated features which improve the dynamic control of the vehicle are supported further by the Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), a function which provides the driver with a feed-back torque at the steering wheel that helps him to perform critical maneuvers correctly, before the VDC intervenes to prevent loss of control.

Turin, 8 February 2010

Chrysler 200C

With thanks to Alfa Romeo, Fiat Group Press and Chrysler Media

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fiat 500 launch dates

People who have followed my blog already know that the Fiat 500 will be available at the end of the year, but now that the main street media has picked it up it's front page news, LOL! For the record, I reported the December 2010 date on June 1, 2009 here.

Below is a list of launch dates for the Fiat 500.

Fiat 500 launch dates in grey. Click to enlarge

The US launch dates for the various models of the Fiat 500 are:

New 2024 Fiat 500e: Launch 2023 LA Auto Show. Available first part (quarter) of 2024. See this Link 
Launch pushed to December 5, 2023 due to 2023 UAW strike.
Fiat 500: December 2010; production starts December 13, 2010**
North American Fiat 500 unveiling at 2010 LA Auto Show
November 19-28**** Pricing/Specifications revealed Nov 17***** Public Availability: March/April 2011******
Fiat 500c: mid 2011 (estimate); production starts March 28. 2011**
Fiat 500 Abarth: Unveiling 2011 LA Auto Show, Nov 16-17********, availability first quarter 2012*******
Fiat 500C Abarth: 2013 model year. LA Auto Show unveil , availability first quarter 2013*********
Fiat 500EV: 2013 model year* 2012 LA Auto Show unveil
Fiat 500T: 2013 model year
Fiat 500L: 2012 LA Auto Show unveil, mid 2013 availability as 2014 model
Fiat 500X Crossover: Production begins Sept 2014, intro LA Auto Show, Showroom 1st Quarter 2015
Fiat 124: Intro 2015 LA Auto Show. Showroom Summer 2016

These dates are from the various Chrysler sources. Of course, dates can change, but as of now, let's go with these.

A quick link to this post will be on the upper right corner of my blog under "Popular Topics" and I'll update this post with new information as we go forward.

Breaking news: Sign up to be the first to get a new Fiat 500! ***

Fiat North America is going to begin taking reservations for the first batch of US Fiat 500s. Called the Prima Edizione (First Edition), these will be a limited production of among the first Fiat 500s produced for the North American market. There will only be 500 of the Prima Edizione produced and it is bound to be a collectors item.

Read more here and sign up to get on the list at the official site:
*April 12, 2010...Added Fiat 500EV launch date, **June 15, 2010...Added production dates, ***July 19, 2010...Added Prima Edizione info, ****August 15, 2010...Added unveiling info, *****November 4, 2010...Added pricing date, ******January 30, 2011... Added public availability, ******* January 30, 2011... Revised availability date,********July 24, 2011...Abarth unveiling date added, ********* November 8, 2012... Abarth 500c unveil date added,,, Added 2024 Fiat 500e All-Electric info on Nov 22,2022
Photo and slide courtesy of Chrysler Media

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fiat investing $550 million in Chrysler's Toluca plant...

Anyone that has followed this blog already knows that Fiat will build the 500 at the Chrysler plant in Toluca, Mexico. What is news is the amount Fiat will invest in the plant. President Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico, confirmed Monday that Fiat will invest $550 million, creating more than 400 jobs and 1200 indirect jobs.

Production of the Fiat 500 will begin in December of this year with an ideal capacity of 130,000 vehicles being possible. The initial production figure is predicted in the 100,000 range, being split evenly between the US and Latin American markets.

Ten months to get the tooling together, set up the factory, find suppliers, train employees, etc. All i can say is...WOW!

Photo courtesy of Fiat Group Press

Fiat Panda summed up...

The Fiat Panda is one of the vehicles that is coming to the US. You can read more about this rugged vehicle here.

Photo Courtesy of Fiat Group Auto

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alfa Romeo for Maserati...

Alfa Romeo will supply the Maserati dealer network with 100 customer service cars. These cars will be upgraded with exclusive features and equipped with the 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engine with the same specs as the MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde (read about the Quadrifoglio Verde here).

The MiTo had been scheduled to come to America, but with the recent announcement by Sergio Marchionne that Alfa Romeo will undergo a product review, the planned arrival of the MiTo is up in the air. I'll have more on this in an upcoming post, in the meanwhile, enjoy the pictures of the MiTo and the official Maserati press release below.

Maserati and Alfa Romeo: two icons of Italy's world-famous automotive industry representing sportiness, technology and elegance.

One hundred Alfa Romeo MiTos produced exclusively for the Maserati service network will soon be seen on roads all over Europe. Maserati has chosen the Alfa Romeo MiTo as the new courtesy car for its customers, connoisseurs of Italian style with a keen eye for originality.

The special-purpose cars will be styled in the exclusive Maserati Blu Oceano (deep Blue), and fitted with a sparky 1.4 MultiAir Turbobenzina engine (170 hp) - the most powerful engine in the MiTo range.

The cars will not only be distinguished by their unique color, but also by two other exclusive features: the "Limited Edition" plaque on the air conditioning unit, and the kick plate made from specially treated aluminum, bearing the words Alfa Romeo for Maserati.

The 100 cars will also have a series of high-end details, supplied as standard: Pelle Frau upholstery, automatic dual-zone climate control, leather steering wheel complete with radio and telephone controls, a radio navigator covering the whole of Europe, and a hands-free Blue&Me system including USB port and... headlights.

The MiTo for Maserati also has a racing temperament. The 18' alloy wheels, rear spoiler, rear bumper and aluminum pedals are all fitted as standard.

All the cars will come with Dynamic Suspension, the advanced electronic shock absorber control system that actively varies the set-up to reflect the road conditions and driving style, to guarantee rapid cornering and excellent handling.

Through this partnership with Alfa Romeo, Maserati's European network will be able to offer customers a special car that reflects its own philosophy, where each choice is the product of the utmost attention and care paid to every detail is meticulously and attentively chosen.

Turin, 26th January 2010

Press release courtesy of Maserati Media