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Driving the Fiat 500 Abarth Automatic

With lightning fast shifts, the Fiat 500 Abarth automatic is not your typical slushbox automatic

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 Giulia Quadrifoglio Debut

Watch the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Debut Video at the LA Autoshow

Fiat 500 Abarth Oil Change

Everything you need to know about changing the oil on a Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Turbo

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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:

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 left 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: ciaofiat.com
*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
Photo and slide courtesy of Chrysler Media

42 comments:

Terry said...

Hello Chris--First of all, what a great site you have created here. (I have had a Fiat Spider 2000, a Strada and an Alfa GTV6--All great cars)--My question is, I have read that all the Fiat's (500,500C, Abarth and Giardinetta) will all be released simultaneously at the end of 2010 to mirror the line-up offered by Mini---While this seems far fetched it is something fondly to be wished for. Do you have any updated info on the release dates from your sources?

Thanks, Terry

Terry said...

Hello Chris,
First of all, what a great site you have put together here. I have read that
Fiat was going to simultaneously (or nearly so) launch all the variants: The 500, Abarth and even the Giardinetta in order to compete on a product by product basis with Mini. Is there any truth to this? Also, will the Abarth be available with the MTA gear box on release? (As a former Fiat 2000, Strada and GTV6 owner, I can't wait for some affordable Italian iron to reappear stateside)

Thank you,

Terry

Chris said...

Hi Terry, sorry for the delay responding to your questions.

I live in NY State and we were hit with a huge storm that put about 160,000 people without power for days (it's going to be more than a week for a lot of folks). As for myself, I've been unable to get online for 6 days! Anyway, enough about me...

As of today, March 2, 2010, the above launch dates are still current.

The much talked about Giardiniera has not gotten much press lately. This model, plus the European only Topolino, appears to be put on hold this year. The most probable reasoning being that 2010 is anticipated being a flat year sales wise, with 2011 promising to be better. It doesn't make a lot of sense to launch new products when there's little demand this year.

We should have more information on the Giardiniera this April when Fiat announces their plans for the next few years.

Transmission availability is very speculative at the moment, but in the US, an automatic is a must. As of now, the MTA gearbox is likely to be available in at least the Abarth. But wait...

Interestingly, I've found an Italian source that mentions the 500 will not get the Dualogic but a variation of the Dual Dry Clutch automatic 635C transmission that Fiat is sharing with Chrysler.

Personally, I feel this trans would be better suited for America. We'll see...

Best regards, Chris

Terry said...

Hello Chris:

Thanks for your response and let's hope that winter's fury will soon be a distant memory. (I'm in Chicago and we have been hammered pretty good all winter but can't compare to the east coast problems.)Have you heard anything about warranty coverage on the line? Wonder if they will mimic Mini's no cost maintenance program--There is a perception of poor quality from the past (although my Fiat & Alfa reps were always very responsive to any issues) so maybe this would go far to making "doubting Thomases" less anxious..

Thanks much

Terry

Chris said...

Hi Terry,

Nothing yet on warranty, but I would assume its comparable to Chrysler's.

Currently, Chrysler has a 3 year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper and a 5 year/100,000 mile Powertrain warranty. Corrosion perforation warranty for all panels is 3 years with outer panel corrosion warranty to 5 year/100,000 mile.

Now in Europe, long warranties are not very common. In the UK, the 500 has a 3 year warranty, a 3 year paint warranty and an 8 year corrosion perforation warranty.

As far as free maintenance, the maintenance cost on the 500 is not much (in Europe, oil changes are at 18,000 km and holds less than 4 quarts). You do have a point about the old days, so anything is possible.

Personally, I'm assuming they won't do that and I would rather have them save the money to keep the price down. Also, when there's free maintenance involved, the dealer typically pays for it out of his profit margin on the car (and we want the dealers to like selling Fiats).

Best regards, Chris

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for the 500 diesel version to come to the USA? This model would save me so much money!!!

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
Is it possible for the 500 diesel version to come to the USA? This model would save me so much money!!!


I am also hoping the diesel MultiJet II will come. It sounds like a fantastic combination of fuel efficiency and torque.

However, the cost of certifying a car/engine combination for sale in the US is staggering.

I think eyes will be on VW to see how they do with their diesels. Although, I think the 500 MultiJet II would outsell the VW Golf diesel here (especially priced right).

My opinion is that Fiat will carefully establish the 500 and then carefully move new products into the country.

I've got my fingers crossed, Thanks for the comment, Chris

Anonymous said...

I work in addison ILL. and today on my way home I saw a Abarth. I did'nt even know this car was comming to the U.S. and according to this web site it should'nt be here until Dec 2010.So did I see a demo? or are they here for sale allready?

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
I work in addison ILL. and today on my way home I saw a Abarth. I did'nt even know this car was comming to the U.S. and according to this web site it should'nt be here until Dec 2010.So did I see a demo? or are they here for sale allready?...

Hi, there are evaluation cars running here in the US, so I'm sure that's what you saw.

The 500 and the Abarths are not sold yet. The latest official time table is posted above.

As soon as something changes, I'll update the above post, so keep checking this post. It will be at the top left under "popular topics"

Thanks for the comment...

Anonymous said...

Any inside word on when the EV version of the 500 is hitting the States?

Thanks...Thinking of grabbing a 500 as soon as they come out and then "upgrading" to the EV version when it hits the States (before they are even sold in mass numbers in Europe...surprising)

Gavin

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
Any inside word on when the EV version of the 500 is hitting the States?

Thanks...Thinking of grabbing a 500 as soon as they come out and then "upgrading" to the EV version when it hits the States (before they are even sold in mass numbers in Europe...surprising)

Gavin...

Hi Gavin,

The latest launch date for the Fiat 500EV is 2012. The 500EV is being developed exclusively in the US by Chrysler and I'll post more info when I here anymore about it.

Keep checking back.

Best regards, Chris

chris said...

Oops, make that hear ;)

Doonie said...

How can we find out about when the diesel engine is coming to the USA?

Anonymous said...

I had a chance to ride in one while I was in France. It’s some fantastic fun with very neutral handling and a not-too-firm ride that was begging to be driven a little harder. I will buy one, but I was hoping to get one a little earlier as I’m do to get a car in early 2011. It was really a nice package, though the seat adjustment lever was plastic and a bit flimsy (but I suppose robust enough for what it’s for.

I really don’t think that they will be bringing in the diesel version. Americans really aren’t that open to diesels like they are in Europe – it’s really another market altogether. For instance, I was talking to some guys over in France they were saying around 90% of the cars sold are manual transmissions, whereas in America, around 95% of all cars sold are automatics. Similarly, most American are just not hot enough on diesels to warrant the investment in bringing that engine over. They are noisier, and rougher than gas (it’s the nature of the cycle). In reality, mileage, to a point, doesn’t mean so much. Let’s say you drive the average 15K per year and you get 40 mpg with the gas version (non-Abarth). Let’s say you get 50 mpg with the diesel it hard to tell the price difference between gas and diesel long-term as it tends to fluctuate, but for the sake of argument say it’s at parity and $3/gal . You save a whopping $225 dollars per year with the diesel. What’s the point really? So from a consumer point of view, there is not that much savings and from a manufactures point of view there is no incentive.
Kenny

Anonymous said...

My question is where do I go to get a 500 when they get here? Chrysler, dodge dealers, or will they be sold at maserati and 8c dealers? Silly, but im just saying, I don't know where to put a deposit.

Anonymous said...

abarth 500 with the computerized manual transmission will cost how much?

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
"My question is where do I go to get a 500 when they get here? Chrysler, dodge dealers, or will they be sold at maserati and 8c dealers? Silly, but im just saying, I don't know where to put a deposit..."

The latest news is the 500 will be sold at select Chrysler dealers, mainly in more metropolitan areas.

Chris said...

Anonymous said...
abarth 500 with the computerized manual transmission will cost how much?

There are no prices released yet. You might want to go and register for updates on the official Fiat USA website; http://ciaofiat.com/

Ray said...

Chris,

Thanks for the great website. I have never owned a Fiat or any Italian car but have a personal connection with them nonetheless. When I was very young, my dad owned a 1959 Fiat 600 bought new from the dealer in Miami where we lived. We all loved this wonderful little machine; it was my parents' only car for 5 years and was trouble-free that entire time.

Like my dad, I have always preferred small, efficient, fun cars and look forward to the 500's US debut with much anticipation. Until then, I'll keep informed of the latest news through your webpage.

Take care.

Chris said...

Ray said...
"Chris,

Thanks for the great website. I have never owned a Fiat or any Italian car but have a personal connection with them nonetheless. When I was very young, my dad owned a 1959 Fiat 600 bought new from the dealer in Miami where we lived. We all loved this wonderful little machine; it was my parents' only car for 5 years and was trouble-free that entire time.

Like my dad, I have always preferred small, efficient, fun cars and look forward to the 500's US debut with much anticipation. Until then, I'll keep informed of the latest news through your webpage.

Take care."...

Hi Ray,

Thanks for sharing your story... It touched a nerve with me for I have a similar story. When I was young, my Dad brought home a 1967 Fiat 124 sedan. Like you and your Dad, my Dad too, preferred small, efficient cars. Some of my fondest family memories were going for long drives in this car.

It was the first car I had ever taken an interest in and I remember spending hours waxing and polishing it (it had the shiniest hubcaps I had ever seen!).

One day, on the Palisades Parkway, we had stopped for traffic and were rear ended by a car moving at highway speed (by the way, the car that hit us was a Fiat X1/9).

I was in the back seat, but was alright, both cars featured controlled collapsibility and absorbed the high speed impact.

Afterward, I became intrigued about why everyone survived this horrendous event and learned it was no "accident" but a conscious decision by Fiat to endow the 124 with the latest safety features, much like the subject of this blog, the New Fiat 500.

That a car company in the 1960's (remember "Unsafe at any speed" by Ralph Nader?) would care enough to give a car that cost less than a VW Beetle, the latest safety engineering made a big impact on me.

In learning about the Fiat company, there is a common thread I have found that the cars all share, it's a respect for humanity and a caring to give everyone, regardless of economic status, the ability to own a car with the latest in engineering, design and safety features...

Ray, sorry for drifting off course there, your story brought back some memories!

In any case, thanks again for your kind words and for stopping by.

Best regards, Chris

Craig said...

I remember reading that the Abarth edition was going to be the first model released in the US. Is this no longer the case?

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody,I would like to know where I can pre-order one with $500 deposit?

Mark Scholz said...

Chris,
Were you aware of the pre-orders taken last week at the Fiat Freak Out event on the east coast? FLU members got the first chance of ordering from the first 500 US-market cars. Supposedly 80 deposits already taken.
http://www.ciaofiat.com/
$500 refundable deposit, as the final details and options are still undisclosed. Must be a FLU member to put down a deposit.
--Mark

Chris said...

Mark Scholz said...

"Chris,
Were you aware of the pre-orders taken last week at the Fiat Freak Out event on the east coast? FLU members got the first chance..."

Hi Mark,
I was lucky enough to be at the FLU convention when Laura Soave announced that and had the good fortune of meeting with her a few minutes after that announcement.

Check out my posts here:
http://fiat500usa.blogspot.com/2010/07/fiat-north-america-ceo-wows-them-in.html

and here:
http://fiat500usa.blogspot.com/2010/07/prima-edizione-frequently-asked.html

You're comment reminds me and I'll make a note on the Launch Post.

Thanks, Chris

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris
three questions
1) When will the cars arrive in the Northern California Area and is there a place I could see one now?
2) How supportive will the dealerships be for the 500?
3) I'm six foot 2+inches and 205 lbs and 67 yrs old I awondering if I am going to be able to get in and out of one of these cars with ease. The Abarth knocks my sox off I'd love to have one of those. I'm driving an 05 Sabru legasy wagon that is a rocket (I love it and it will pass anything on the road except a gas station)

Thanks

Michael M
Oakland CA

Tate Mazer said...

i actually saw two fiat 500's yesterday on the highway near Detroit

Chris said...

Tate Mazer said...
"i actually saw two fiat 500's yesterday on the highway near Detroit ..."

Cool! If you see one , try to get a picture of it, maybe we'll see the North American version.

If you get a picture, contact me through the "Post a Comment" feature here.

Thanks Tate,

Best regards, Chris

Anonymous said...

where is the fiat 500 made that will be sold in america
?

Anonymous said...

hi!! i'm italian;)
my name is stefano
this site is good!
the 500 will be made in Mexico,in Toluca

sorry but my english is bad:(

bye

f said...

Northside Fiat in the Woodlands, Texas has opened our website to everyone. Please visit us at www.houstonnorthsidefiat.com
We are very excited to be a part of Fiat and look forward to assisting you.

Thank you,

Frank Smario
Northside Fiat

Karl said...

It's Dec 31st. Any News?

Anonymous said...

being a one time fiat owner, i am freakishly geeked knowing the 500 will be sold here. i'd love to have one. the multi air engine is a cool piece of engineering and i look forward to what exactly the curb weight and the epa mileage figures are for the car. hopefully under 2300 lbs and over 30 city / 36 hwy mpg...

Anonymous said...

Anyone knows who will be the dealer in the North California (SF Bay) area ?

Anonymous said...

The launch in the Seattle area is looking more & more a hack effort. Ready to buy but if the launch doesn't shape up, I'll start questioning the dealer support (I've owned Fiats & Alfas) and move on to another marque for my replacment car that I need.

Anonymous said...

36 MPG???!!! Big deal. This hardly seems impressive.

Chris said...

Folks easily get more than 36 MPG with this car. Go to the forum and read what the owners really get: Fiat500USA Fuel Economy Forum
Check it out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,
I keep reading where the assumption is that folks in the USA don't want high mileage diesel engines in the small vehicles like the Fiat 500's.

I disagree with that assumption. I'm retired and on a fixed income, the less I have to spend on transportation the better. Getting a diesel engine version of the 500 that would get 60(US)MPG average, would be wonderful! Maybe I could afford to travel a little then. Getting the diesel engine 500 for the same price as the gas 500 would be even better. 60 miles per gallon average "Multi-jet II diesel engine" would be a major improvement over the 30-35 mpg of the gas version of the 500. The EV version isn't realistic for cold weather places, like here in Alaska, and through out the North West, also the cost of replacement batteries is very expensive.

If Fiat can get the diesel engine 500 approved for importation, (past the EPA), I would buy one for sure. With fuel cost rising every day the majority of Americans need some re-leaf and a high mileage diesel Fiat 500 would give it. Fiat should also let all the Chrysler stores order direct from them, not just the metro areas.

Fiat please move forward on bringing the Multi-jet II 60 MPG(US) diesel engine version of the Fiat 500 into the USA! We want this vehicle variant here in the USA now! Any further updates Chris?

Anonymous said...

I would purchase a diesel engine 500 and pay cash for one. Ford makes a small diesel car for sale in Europe that gets 70-80 MPG. I called then to ask why they don't bring them over here, but they brushed me off. So I will never buy another Ford. I hope Fiat would test market the diesel here to see how many they would sell. They would make a lot more money!

erth64net said...

If Fiat brings a manual/stick diesel version to the states, I'm selling my 5+ year old Smart Car.

Anonymous said...

When is this post going to be updated? Car and Driver gave you some props regarding the 500T, but in the same article they said the Abarth 500C is all but confirmed for 2013. I want me an Abarth 500C!!

Anonymous said...

Update the info about the 500T please !!!

Miami Ram said...

ust linked this article on my facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all...



Miami Chrysler