Search This Site

Friday, July 30, 2010

New logo unveiled to celebrate Fiat 500 introduction in the U.S.

The Fiat Yamaha Team reveals new logo to celebrate Fiat 500 introduction in the U.S.

Fiat Automobiles and the Fiat Yamaha Team revealed to the world the new livery for the 2010 U.S. MotoGP race. The special graphics, commissioned by Fiat Automobiles and shared with Yamaha Motor Racing, celebrate the upcoming introduction in the U.S. of the most famous Fiat vehicle, the Fiat 500.

Worldwide fans of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the two riders of the Fiat Yamaha Team, were given a chance to become active participants in the creation of the new livery by submitting photos of their smiling faces through a special website. The special graphics would incorporate 500 fan photos on each motorcycle and a selection of photos on the riders’ leather racing suits.

The response was immediate, and in only 15 minutes, the 500 available spots on Valentino Rossi’s bike were reserved. It took only a few more minutes to also cover all of the spots on the Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo’s bike. It was the work of famous designer Aldo Drudi to integrate these images with a special glittered “stars and stripes” version of the Fiat 500 logo, which is prominent on both of the bikes, the riders’ suits and the team’s official clothing.

The initiative was inspired by the Fiat 500 Millesima recent online activity at, which was created to celebrate the production of the first 500,000 units of the new Fiat 500 in only 31 months from its launch. For this occasion, a unique Fiat 500 show car was also covered with the smiling faces of 1,500 owners, celebrities or fans that in one way or another made the Fiat 500’s success possible.

In North America, the modern generation of the Fiat 500 will be introduced at the end of 2010 and will offer customers uncompromising safety, fuel efficiency from its 1.4-liter MultiAir™ four-cylinder engine, individualization options, quality and advanced technology, all wrapped in iconic Italian style.

Courtesy Fiat Group Press

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Fiat Mobile Experience

The neat thing carefully cultivated about the Fiat 500 is the ownership experience. It starts before you even purchase the car. Here's an example, it's called the Fiat Mobile Experience.

Making it's debut at the Fiat Lancia Unlimited car clubs 2010 national convention (the Fiat Freak Out), the Fiat Mobile Experience is a mini café and Fiat merchandising store combined. Refreshments are served on one side and Fiat branded clothes and accessories are sold on the other side of this high style kiosk like structure.

The structure is quite elegant and striking (especially considering it's humble origins which you can read about below), and the Fiat merchandise features sophisticated Italian design.

The Fiat Mobile Experience is a nice way of introducing people to the 500's fun and sophisticated lifestyle. Keep an eye out for it at an event near you.

Here's the official Fiat North America press release on the Mobile Experience:

The Fiat Cinquecento ‘Prima Edizione’ announcement was made during the national annual convention organized by Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited, North America’s largest enthusiast club for owners of Fiat Group Automobile vehicles. This year, the convention – commonly known as the “Fiat Freak Out” – was held in Asheville, NC.

Fiat North America was the title sponsor of the annual convention, which featured displays of more than 100 well-preserved Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo vehicles.

During the event, Fiat North America debuted the ‘Fiat Mobile Experience’ – a unique display that hosts both a café station and a Fiat brand merchandise store.

Fiat fans attending the convention were able to enjoy complimentary gelato, espresso and cappuccino served by baristas. Visitors were also able to browse through and purchase various Fiat-branded merchandise items in a unique store area, finished in Fiat red and white colors and staffed by Fiat merchandising specialists.

The Fiat Mobile Experience display is constructed from a re-purposed auto-shipping container and will be seen at other future Fiat shows and exhibitions in North America.

Press release courtesy Fiat NA

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prima Edizione Frequently Asked Questions...

*for illustration purposes, not the Prima Edizione

This FAQ was provided by Fiat NA to clients who signed up to reserve a Fiat 500 Prima Edizione during the Fiat Lancia Unlimited car clubs national convention last week. Members of the car club (the largest Fiat club in the US) attending the convention were exclusively given the first chance to purchase a new Fiat 500 in appreciation for 27 years of loyalty to the marque.

Remember, there are still cars left, so go to and sign up to get notified when the order bank opens back up!

Q: When will I be notified of dealer locations and pricing?

A: Dealer location and pricing will be announced by no later than December 31, 2010.

Q: When will my Fiat 500 Prima Edizione be available for pick-up?
A: The delivery is expected to be made no later than March 13, 2011. However, delays in manufacturing and shipment are possible due to quality control and other reasons. If delivery is not possible, you will be notified of the new date at which time you will have the option to accept the new date or decline for a full refund per the terms of your retail sales agreement.

Q: Where will my Fiat 500 Prima Edizione be available for pick-up?
A: Vehicle availability is limited to select authorized dealers in select states only. Fiat cannot guarantee that an authorized dealer will be located in a convenient location to you or even your state.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of vehicles I am able to reserve?
A: Yes, the limit is one per household. The potential buyer must also provide a unique email address as well as mailing address.

Q: Can a reservation be transferred, traded, or resold?
A: No. Your name, as listed on the reservation, must match the name on the new vehicle delivery report.

Q: Does the $500 reservation fee count toward the final purchase price of the vehicle?
A: Yes, the reservation costs are applied to the final purchase price.

Q: Is the $500 reservation fully refundable?
A: Yes, the reservation will be refundable at any time up to the date of purchase.

Q: Is it possible to order my Fiat 500 Prima Edizione with an automatic transmission?
A: No. The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione is only available with a manual transmission.

Q: What order are the vehicle numbers reserved in?
A: The numbers will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Q: Does the location of the mailing address provided affect my eligibility?
A: Yes, reservations must be placed under a U.S. mailing address. Addresses outside of the U.S. will not be accepted for this program.

Q: I live in Canada, when will I be able to reserve my vehicle?
A: Please visit and place your name on the mailing list for more information. You will be notified if and when a reservation program becomes available in Canada.

Q: The first round of reservations has been filled, when will this program be available again?
A: For information regarding future reservations please sign up to “learn more.”

Q: What do I do if all 500 vehicles are sold out?
A: Enter your name and email address in the “Priority List” and you will be notified if one becomes available.

Q: What type of warranty will Fiat offer?
A: Warranty information will be available at a later date.

Q: I have changed my mind, is there a way to retract or cancel my reservation?
A: Should You choose to cancel your reservation, your Reservation amount of Five Hundred Dollars ($500) will be completely refunded by visiting the web site and selecting the “Cancel Reservation” option. Reservations can also be canceled by calling 1-888-CIAOFIAT where a customer service representative will process Your refund on Your behalf. Cancellations can be made up until the time that a purchase agreement is signed.

Q: Is there a way to change my vehicle configuration after placing my reservation?
A: Changes can be made when the dealer contacts you to finalize the order.

Q: I am interested in making a reservation, when will this be available again?
A: You may sign up to be notified of future promotions and offerings at

Provided by an anonymous source ;)

Fiat North America CEO wows them in Asheville

Head of Fiat North America, Laura Soave, took time off of her busy schedule to visit the Fiat Lancia Unlimited (FLU) car club's national convention in Asheville, North Carolina this past weekend.

For those of us lucky enough to talk with her, she impressed us with her energy, enthusiasm and passion to bring Fiat back into the country.

Not an aloof corporate type, Ms. Soave took a genuine interest in what the enthusiasts had to say about the marque.

Here are some highlights of the brief conversation we had:

Good news for Fiat fans is she is committed to growing the brandThe American version of the 500 will be more refined, but will still retain it's iconic European looks

As for the Abarth, she could have had just the engine, but wanted the whole package

The Fiat 500 transcends many demographics, from kids just out of college to retirees

Canadian followers of this blog will be happy to hear that there is a little competition between Soave and Sergio Marchionne (who has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship) on which country, the US or Canada, will buy the most 500s

With her extensive experience in marketing, coupled with a strong background in customer relations, Soave is the perfect choice to lead the return of Fiat to the North American Market.

Thank you for your loyalty...

During the closing ceremonies of the FLU convention, Soave made a surprise announcement that members of the club would be given the first opportunity to place reservations and select their vehicle build number for the unique Fiat Cinquecento ‘Prima Edizione’ (First Edition) model. A total of 500 of these collector-edition Fiat 500 models will be sold in the United States.

“The Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione was developed especially with the Fiat fans in mind,” Soave said. “For over a quarter of a century, the members of this Club have kept the spirit of the Fiat and Lancia brands alive in North America through their unique and passionate support for true Italian design. We really value their loyalty, and the Prima Edizione is our gift of appreciation to these fans on behalf of Fiat North America.”

The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione will be exclusively available in three colors: Bianco (White), Rosso (Red) and Grigio (Gray). These limited-edition Fiat 500 models will be equipped with a manual transmission and will feature an exclusive Prima Edizione badge. Each of the 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will feature a sequential VIN and badge according to production order.

Fiat North America will also offer other Fiat fans the opportunity to reserve their Prima Edizione model, up to a limit of 500, via a special website that will be made available at a later date through

Parts adapted from Fiat NA press release

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random pics from the Fiat Freak Out...

I just got back from the Fiat Freak Out in Asheville. What a great time. I'm sorting through some 800 photos and a bunch of notes and will get them up asap.

In the meanwhile, here are some random shots!

Thanks! Chris....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alfa Romeo history on video

Here are video highlights of Alfa Romeo's 100 year history. No sound, but it's great to see the cars in action.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fiat500USA Tuner Report: Pogea Racing GmbH

Pogea Racing GmbH, a noted high end Audi and Mercedes tuner in Germany has created a 268hp Fiat 500 Abarth. This is an upgrade over their previous over the top 500 Abarth with 233hp.

Pogea Racing has acquired one of the rare 500 Abarth Ferrari Dealer Edition cars. Two hundred of these special edition 500 Abarths were made for Ferrari dealers loaner cars. They featured special red paint and silver F430 Scuderia stripes, new Sabelt seats, the Esseesse kit, a special red leather insert on the steering wheel at the 12 o'clock position and an exhaust with a special bypass valve (much like the F430's).

Abarth 695 “Tributo Ferrari”

Note that this is different from the similar Abarth 695 “Tributo Ferrari”. The Abarth 695 adds a 180hp upgraded engine and a special MTA gearbox with paddle shifters.

Pogea racing has bumped the power on their Ferrari Dealers Edition 500 Abarth by 100hp with the addition of a bigger turbo, different intercooler and a host of other changes.

Besides this 268hp monster, Pogea Racing offers a chip tuning service available for the Fiat 500 starting with the 500's 1.2 liter 8V and 1.4 liter 16V engines. The results of Pogea Racing's tuning of the 1.4 liter 16V is the stock 101hp goes to 112hp and the stock torque from 131Nm to 146Nm. This is for a resonable 299,00€.

For the 500 Abarth, things are even hotter. The 135hp of the stock 500 Abarth goes to 169hp and the torque from 206Nm to 269Nm with the Pogea Racing Stage 1 kit, which retails for 429,00 €. Stage 2 tuning brings the 500 Abarth up to 171hp and 288Nm for just a little more.

Pogea Racing also offers Romeo Ferraris chip tuning and the original Esseesse software update. You can check out their website here.

Below is the press release on their 268hp 500 Abarth:

The mighty Italian...

When there is a new project at Pogea Racing, one can be absolutely sure that everything is well studied to the smallest detail.

The hardest part of the development process was to avoid using a separate Tuning Box Unit. Unlike other “tuners”, Pogea Racing starts with the OEM ECU of the Fiat 500 Abarth, instead of relying on a separate controller unit.

Pogea Racing develops the software data to work directly with the vehicle’s ECU. This assures that instructions that are sent from the ECU direct all normal functions of the car properly. An auxiliary unit cannot control all functions, and will ignore the vehicle’s ECU’s commands. Herein lies the principal difference between Pogea Racing’s development and other Tuners.

Pogea Racing chose a very rare model, the Fiat 500 FERRARI DEALERS EDITION of Abarth. The standard engine is already relatively strong, coming with 165PS and 230Nm. Pogea Racing increases the performance of the small Italian model by adding 100hp on top of the standard engine, producing 268PS and 330 Nm total power. The Pogea Racing model was also measured and developed on one of the most modern all-wheel drive dynamometers.

To get this power out of the mighty Italian car, they changed the exhaust system and replaced it with a larger stainless steel exhaust system, modified downpipe, and a new catalytic converter. The tailpipes can be chosen by the customer from many available Designs.

Power comes from the new hybrid turbocharger from Pogea Racing. Currently, there are two turbocharger variants that the customer can choose from.

To add cooling to both the intake air, and to lower the combustion temperature, a modified Intake cooling system was created. A center-mount, larger, more efficient intercooler replaces the two smaller original intercoolers.

Additional air is being pumped into the engine compartment to cool the accessories via the carbon fiber parts of the Assetto Corse. Fuel injection is optimized by changing fuel pressure valves and using upgraded Bosch fuel injectors.

For increased stopping power Pogea Racing upgraded the OEM Brake system with their 4-piston brake assembly. This detail is very important to Pogea Racing, and they developed a brake system with identical weight to the OEM brake system, but about 1,8m reduced braking distance when compared to the OEM brakes.

You can round up the entire kit with TÜV Approval and with an optional warranty for engine, turbo, and transmission. Pogea Racing completes its tuning work exclusively at their headquarters in the center at the Bodensee.

Apart from the performance cure Pogea Racing also offers Assetto Corse Parts as legal TÜV Approved Parts dealer in Germany for the current models. The parts come directly from the factory in Italy.

So now your Fiat can become optically at least a large Ferraristi, or even an image of the 100 PS Assetto Corse.

Pogea Racing has other services; leather work, individual suspension systems, and carbon fiber parts can also be part of your individualization.

Now there is one tuning company which makes just about everything for your little Italian. And the most important thing is – this Kit works on all 1.4TJET Engines, and not only on Fiat, also on the Alfa-Romeo! Prices for the smallest change begin at 3400€.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Eduard Pogea

With thanks to Herr Pogea

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Don't miss the Fiat 500 on display in Asheville, North Carolina

Here's a reminder, Fiat North America is displaying a couple of Fiat 500s at the Fiat Lancia Unlimited car clubs national convention in Asheville, NC. You can read more about it here and here.

The convention, called the "Fiat Freak Out", starts July 8th and runs until the the 11th. The Fiat 500 display is scheduled for Friday, the 9th and Saturday the 10th. Check with Fiat Lancia Unlimited for details (FLU website here).

Don't miss this chance to see the 500! I'll be there taking photos and enjoying a great time with fellow car enthusiasts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Fiat dealers being selected in the US starting today

Fiat 500 "Pop Up Store". Fiat is very innovative in marketing their brand in Europe

The big news today is that Chrysler is beginning to select dealers to sell the new Fiat 500! As I've reported before on this blog, only select Chrysler dealers will become Fiat dealers. The best of the best, these Fiat dealers will be located in key areas targeted for their potential growth in the small car segment.

What I particularly like is the Fiat dealers will have separate facilities with a dedicated sales and service staff.

Chrysler will announce these new Fiat dealers in two months, during September!

Without further delay, check out the official Chrysler press release:

Chrysler Group LLC Begins the Process of Establishing Fiat Dealer Network

Select group of dealers will be chosen for U.S. Fiat dealer network

Fiat dealers to be located in markets targeted to the small-car segment

Fiat dealers will be located in up to 41 states

Dealers in targeted markets will be sent application guidelines and proposal deadlines this month

July 5, 2010 , Auburn Hills, Mich.

Chrysler Group LLC has begun the dealer selection process for the reintroduction of the Fiat brand in the United States.

The Fiat brand in the U.S. will feature the New Fiat 500, which recently celebrated the 53rd anniversary of its introduction in Europe. Dealers will begin selling the iconic Fiat 500 late this year and the Fiat 500 Cabrio in 2011.

Chrysler Group expects to select dealers in about 125 markets identified for growth potential in the small-car segment. Fiat dealers will be located in approximately 41 states.

“The Fiat dealer network will be appropriately sized to serve the market opportunity,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our vision is to establish a dealer network that will reflect and enhance the brand’s reputation for innovation and fun, and will offer a unique, personalized customer experience.”

Chrysler Group will send Dealer Application Guides to dealers in the identified markets containing specific Fiat dealer requirements and instructions on submitting a proposal. The guide presents details on facility, sales strategy, accessory sales, service and parts departments, training curriculum and financial requirements.

Dealers must demonstrate how they will market, sell and service Fiat vehicles with a new customer service model. Basic guidelines include.

This video is a little bizarre, but check out this Fiat dealer's facility.

Location – The majority of dealerships will be located in the identified markets

Eligible Dealers – Proposals from Chrysler Group’s best performing dealers will have preference in the identified markets

Dealer Performance – Chrysler Group will evaluate interested dealers on volume performance, minimum sales responsibility accomplishment, capitalization and overall Dealer Standards score. In addition, the company will individually evaluate the proposed facility and customer handling metrics.

Fiat Facility – A completely separate facility will be required to represent the Fiat brand.

Fiat Team – A separate Fiat team will be required to sell and service the Fiat brand.

Fiat Standards – Fiat standards will be unique from existing Chrysler Group Dealer Standards.

Financial – Dealer candidates will have to show that they have the financial resources necessary to support the introduction of the Fiat brand.

Dealers in the target markets will be invited to attend a meeting in Chrysler Group World Headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. Chrysler Group plans to officially announce its U.S. Fiat dealer network locations in September.

With thanks to Chrysler Media

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Abarth 500C video

Here is a video road test of the Fiat Abarth 500C from France. Although it's in French, there are some great detail shots of the car. (Hint: Watch in High Definition for best quality).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Busy weekend: Fiat 500's 3rd Birthday, new online Fiat Store opening and TwinAir debut all on July 4th

Fiat 500 intro on July 4th, 2007

This July 4th marks the Fiat 500's 3rd birthday. To celebrate, Fiat will open a new online store and held a contest on The launch of the 500 in 2007 was quite spectacular, you can view the original launch videos here and while you're at it, watch last years birthday celebration here.

Other big news is the new 2 cylinder "TwinAir" engine will make its debut on July 4th. The TwinAir produces the lowest CO2 emission of any gasoline engine available. You can read more about the TwinAir here.

Below is the official press release on the latest weekend happenings:

The new Fiat Store opens: from 4th July, the coolest items are purchased online

From 4th July, the world of Fiat and 500 will be even closer to Community members, Facebook fans (more than 100,000 today and counting) and all enthusiasts with the new Fiat Store, a site entirely dedicated to Fiat and 500 product online shopping (

With its cool, captivating graphics, the store has a clear white and red interface for making finding the items you want even more pleasant. Simple and straightforward to navigate, the Fiat Store opening has inspired the creation of unique designer items and a series of collections that simply cannot be missed.

It is the right place to confidently buy all the items branded Fiat and 500 you want: merchandising and licensing products, accessories for all Fiat cars and items specifically designed and created for the 500.

All items for sale have quality, Italian flair and stylishness in common and are divided into four sections to assist searches and to introduce the entire collection as conveniently as possible.

The categories - "500 World", "For You", "For your Friends" and "For your Car" - contain other 130 products: clothing, accessories, gift items, models, leather goods, special items and more than 200 accessories for your Fiat.

The opening of the Fiat Store will celebrate an important date: it is both the anniversary of the 500 and the debut of the 500 TwinAir, the new model equipped with a revolutionary 85 HP (900 cc) turbo two-cylinder engine with the lowest CO2 emission of a petrol power unit (92 g/km with a Dualogic robotized gearbox and 95 g/km with manual gearbox) without skimping on performance or driving pleasure. An exclusive product-icon dedicated to the new Fiat 500 TwinAir and made by Independent Ideas will be available to all store users.

Designed to promote and sell exclusive, original items meeting the high quality standards required by the Fiat Group and to fight counterfeiting, the online store will be complemented by links to the Official Fiat web site, to Web Communities and to Fiat Clubs, in addition to Facebook and other social networks, like Twitter and Friendfeed.

Always during the birthday celebrations, Fiat 500 fans will be able to enjoy themselves with the “happy roads” initiative. Users on will be able to choose among 4 different playlists their favorite songs and “sing-along” with a new interactive player. The 4 playlists are named after the 500 trim levels (rock, lounge, pop and sport) and follow the user’s mood. Recording a video will also be possible: the nicest and funnier ones will be uploaded on the website, voted by the users and shared on Facebook. When a video gets up to 10 votes, the author wins the possibility to download the playlist tracks he selects on his 500 Blue&Me Pen, to sing along in the car.

Turin, 1st July 2010
With thanks to Fiat Group Press