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Friday, December 31, 2010

First Drive of the 2012 Fiat 500

Road & Track magazine has posted a first drive impression of the 2012 Fiat 500 on their site. Rest assured, this positive review will be the first of many here in the US.

Here is a small excerpt:

"...the Fiat 500 is not just a small car, but a very stylish small car, as only the Italians can do it, and New York is a place where flair and hipness are appreciated. Wherever we stopped, people walked up and admired the car—and every one of them knew exactly what it was."

Read more at Road&Track
With thanks to cinquecento, einy and anonymous reader


Frankie said...

Ciao Chris, I really love your blog. It is very interesting even for a reader from Italy!! I can see that you have alot of passion for cars, especially for the Fiat 500. Please keep up your great work and wishing a big success for the re-launch of the Fiat Brand. Buon anno 2011!! By the way why did you write 2012? It's the model for 2011?
Take care.

Anonymous said...

Frankie, happen to stumble on your comment.

The reason it's a 2012 is that it's enough of a redesign, based on the fact that we get the new Panda platform and Fiat is going to sell this variant until the summer of 2012 and bring out the next update/fresh where BOTH Europe and N.A. will get virtually the same car at the same time, so this model will actually run longer than most since it'll be from now until roughly July 2012.

At first I thought it would be a 2011 model too but no.

peterjerome said...

Hey Chris. The full article on the first impression of the 500 on the Road and Track site is very good news. Peter Egan is a highly respected auto (and motorcyle) journalist, who is aware of the scene in Europe.
It was great to see that the Sport does have a genuine and discernable alteration to its suspension. In so many cars at this rung the "sport" model involves body kit, fog lights and a beefier stereo, but nothing that affects the driving experience. Kudos to the marketing department on this one.

Anonymous said...

Chris, do you know why the US is saddled with the 5 Spd Manual transmission rather than the 6 Spd Manual transmission of the 1.4 European Fiat 500?

Chris said...

I've posed that question, but so far haven't heard back. At first, I was a little disappointed not having the 6 speed, but the 5 speed has better acceleration and gearing (the Abarth also has a 5 speed), so that will work for me. I may get some answers by the end of the month;)

Anonymous said...

I too was at first disappointed about the 5 speed instead of the 6 speed. One difference between the Euro 1.4 and the American version is the addition of multi air which has more torque and may exceed the rating for the 6speed gearbox. Since the Abarth also uses the 5 speed, it may be the more rugged transmission. It is common to add a ratio to an existing gearbox by making some of the gears a bit smaller to fit in the same size case. Fiat did this back in the 70's with the X19 when it went from 4 speeds to 5 speeds. This caused a lot of failures of the reverse gear which was made 1/2 as wide to accommodate the 5th speed.
Great site Chris - I check in regularly!
Greg Stidsen, Prima Edizione 323