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Sunday, November 28, 2010

More photos of the Fiat 500 at the 2010 LA Auto Show



Once again, our anonymous reader has treated us to more Fiat images. This time, we have photos of the Fiat 500 at the LA Auto Show. The last photo has a link to a photo album with more pictures to enjoy.

Thanks again for sharing!






















From Fiat 500 at the 2010 LA Auto Show


Photos: Anonymous Reader

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Fiat 500 at the 2010 LA Auto Show: A reader's report


We have the good fortune of having a reader write in and report on the LA Auto Show's Fiat display. The reader with the user name of Peterjerome has written in on this blog numerous times and has contributed a lot of thoughtful, interesting comments so I want to thank him for that and also for taking the time to write up this report.


Hi Chris
My wife and I went to LA for opening day of the car show. As you can see from the photos, the FIAT display was very innovative. It was something of a large red and white tube. To enter you passed three 500s; a Pop, Sport, and Lounge. Behind them was a classic 500 that was garnering a fair bit of attention itself.


The three modern cars were the real deal. You could sit in them, open hatches and adjust seats. The new seats seem comfy on first sit. They do fill the snug cabin a bit though. The sun roof that was on the Sport and fixed glass roof on the Lounge went a ways to open up the interior space.


The locals that were at the show were smitten by the 500. They were impressed with the comfort and safety equipment, and the warranty went a long way to calm their concerns with reliability. Like me, they kept stepping back and looking at the shape of the car.


Most of the interest seemed to come from the 40 to 50 something crowd. Every conversation I struck up got around to the subject of what value these cars represent compared to the MINI. In Canada, the starting prices differ by seven thousand dollars. Most observers preferred the interior of the 500 to that of the MINI as well.


The Sport model on show was red. The wheel /tire combination adds to a very attractive package. Supposedly the Sport has a modified suspension. I think the other models are softened a bit for North America and the Sport sports the European stock settings. It would be the one for me if the Abarth wasn't coming. The body colours and interior materials display that will be in the dealers is awesome.


If there were any disappointments it was that the display was somewhat hidden in the large hall. Also, the woman giving the monologue was really having a hard time with it. This was annoying considering the amount of information that people need to learn about this car. My wife said that I could have done a better job. I reminded her that FIAT is from Italy where sex still sells. She agreed that the white dress was getting more attention than the flaws in her speech.

In a nutshell, the 500 is worth the wait. When you see it live you will know what I mean.
=====================================================

Thanks again Peterjerome for sending us that!
Chris

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fiat USA opens online store


The Fiat 500 delivers a new sense of individual expression, opportunity and pride of ownership.In keeping with these ideals, Fiat USA has opened an online store full of lifestyle and apparel accessories called the Fiat Store.



The Fiat Store sells exclusive, high quality products with Italian flair and stylish design.*



Don't forget to sign up on the Fiat Store site and receive special promotions and product news. Just in time for the holidays!



*Some products illustrated are from the European Fiat Store and may not be currently available in the US. Check with the Fiat Store here.

Sources: Fiat USA, Fiat Group Press

2012 Fiat 500 Launch at the 2010 LA Auto Show



If you missed the launch of the 2012 Fiat 500 at the LA Auto Show last Wednesday, November 17, here's the video to enjoy.


Part 1


Part 2

Courtesy of Chrysler Media

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fiat 500 Prima Edizione sells out in Canada


Chrysler Canada: First 500 Special Edition Fiat 500s Sell Out in 12 Hours

*Online reservation system opened to the public yesterday morning, November 23 at 12:01 a.m.
*All 500 of the Prima Edizione Fiat 500s sell out in 12 hours

November 23, 2010 , Windsor, Ontario -
Chrysler Canada announced today that the Fiat 500 Prima Edizione models which became available to the public this morning at one minute after midnight were completely sold out in 12 hours. Five hundred of these limited edition vehicles were offered for sale, each with a unique numbered badge. Canadians secured one of these vehicles with a $500 deposit.

"I don’t think Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Leafs and the Canadians would sell out this fast," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of Chrysler Canada. "Frankly, this just underscores the interest Canadians have in a youthful, stylish and highly fuel-efficient car. The 2008 European car of the year, the Fiat 500, is just that."

The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione is exclusively available in three colors: Bianco (White), Rosso (Red) and Grigio (Gray). Two equipment levels are offered, and the vehicle features the state-of-the-art 1.4-liter MultiAir® engine coupled with a manual five-speed transmission.

Production of the Fiat 500 starts in December and the vehicle will begin to arrive at Canadian Fiat dealerships in early 2011. Consumers who were not able to reserve a Prima Edizione can sign up to become a "Fiat Follower" at Fiat Canada. Followers receive regular news and updates about the Fiat 500, including where to find a dealer in their area.

About Chrysler Canada

Founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, Chrysler Canada Inc. is based in Windsor, Ontario, and celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2010. Chrysler Canada's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep® Wrangler and Chrysler 300.

Chrysler Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler Group LLC, one of the world's leading automotive companies. Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Mopar® vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler’s culture of innovation – first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 – and Fiat’s complementary technology – from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles well-suited to Canadian customer needs.

Chrysler Canada

Press release courtesy of Chrysler Media

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The New 2012 Fiat 500: Overview



“The new Fiat 500 changes the rules of personal transportation and delivers a new sense of individual expression and opportunity.” — Laura Soave

The New 2012 Fiat 500

Beautiful Italian styling combined with timeless functionality, efficient design and innovative technology – these are the attributes that made the original Fiat 500 (Cinquecento) a timeless icon. More than 50 years later, the same qualities make the new 2012 Fiat 500 relevant for an entirely new generation of drivers.



“The Fiat 500 has always been the right car at the right time,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America. “The new Fiat 500 brings something truly unique to a fast-growing segment in America, delivering Italian-by-design function, value and efficiency intelligently tailored for our market.”

Fiat’s successful small-car formula worked then and still works now
Like the original Cinquecento, the new Fiat 500 showcases the brand’s ingenuity to build world-class small cars that ignite a spirit of the times through simple design, beautiful craftsmanship and timeless value. As a result, the Fiat 500 has continued to surprise and delight customers worldwide for more than 50 years.




Satisfying the individual mobility need for Italians and other Europeans after the Second World War, the original Fiat ‘Nuova’ 500 became a catalyst in 1957 for the country of the ‘poor but beautiful’ to be not quite as poor. With almost 4 million examples produced between 1957 and 1975, the small and efficient Fiat 500 succeeded in providing an affordable, comfortable and reliable transportation solution while helping to ignite Italy’s post-war economic recovery.



More than 50 years later, and thanks to its stylistic and modern technological features, the new Fiat 500 represents the spark of another milestone along the lasting process of expansion. And this is where history starts again.

The 2012 Fiat 500 caters to a new generation of Americans who want their vehicle to be as engaging, individualized, ecologically responsible and technologically savvy as they are.



“Like the original Cinquecento a half-century ago, the new Fiat 500 changes the rules of personal transportation and delivers a new sense of individual expression and opportunity. At a time when America is getting back to basics with a fresh awareness of the environment around, the new Fiat 500 identifies with today’s minimalistic attitude and delivers with state-of-the-art eco-friendly technology wrapped in world-class quality, craftsmanship and style,” added Soave.



This modern-generation Fiat 500 offers safety, fuel economy, quality and advanced technology perfectly balanced with iconic Italian style. With its city-friendly four-passenger A-segment size, engaging driving dynamics, all-new fuel-efficient 1.4-liter Fiat MultiAir® engine, state-of-the-art Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology, seven standard air bags and new quality and refinement adaptations for the U.S. market, including an all-new six-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Fiat 500 offers a driving and ownership experience unlike anything available today.



Reminiscent of the original Cinquecento, the 2012 Fiat 500 builds on the vehicle’s global popularity. Since its initial launch in 2007, more than 500,000 Fiat 500 vehicles have been sold in more than 80 countries around the world. The model’s unquestionable popularity is the result of the Fiat 500’s great ability to deliver unmatched personalization options with advanced solutions in terms of quality, engine and passenger comfort. In addition to success on the sales front, the Fiat 500 has earned 60 international awards, including being named the 2008 European Car of the Year.


Press release courtesy of Chrysler Media

Fiat North America President Laura Soave interviewed


Fiat NA President Laura Soave with Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler/Fiat Italy CEO

Here is a great interview of Fiat North America CEO Laura Soave on Autoline Detroit (one of my favorite shows). She answers lots of questions and gives an overview of Fiat's plans in the US.

Check it out here.


With thanks to TK

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fiat 500 Prima Edizione going on sale in Canada


Fiat fans in Canada, set your clocks. On November 23 at 12:01 AM EST, the Fiat 500 Prima Edizione will go on sale.

Go HERE!



There will be two models of the Prima Edizione. A regular Prima Edizione with a slew of standard features....


and a Prima Edizione Speciale with a sliding glass roof and other features (by the way, this car is closer to our US specs).

Source: Chrysler Media

Chrysler Canada names first round of Fiat 500 dealers



Good news for our Canadian neighbors, Chrysler Canada on Thursday named the first 58 dealers who will sell the Fiat 500 starting in 2012.

The Fiat 500 promises to be a big hit in Canada, where the compact, fuel efficient car segment accounts for about 24% of total vehicles sold in Canada.

Below is a list of dealers who will be first to sell the Fiat 500:

Eastern Region

Halifax Chrysler Dodge Fiat, Halifax, N.S.

Brampton Chrysler Dodge Fiat, Brampton, Ont.

Capital Dodge Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Kanata, Ont.

Downsview Chrysler Fiat, Toronto, Ont.

Georgetown Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Georgetown, Ont.

Islington Chrysler Fiat, Toronto, Ont.

Johnston Motor Sales, Hamilton, Ont.

J. Lockwood Chrysler Fiat, Oakville, Ont.

North York Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Toronto, Ont.

Ontario Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Mississauga, Ont.

Oxford Dodge Chrysler Fiat, London, Ont.

Peel Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Mississauga, Ont.

Performance Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, St. Catharines, Ont.

Pinnacle Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Windsor, Ont.

Raceway Chrysler Fiat, Toronto, Ont.

The Remo Ferri Group Of Automobiles, Vaughan, Ont.

Team Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Mississauga, Ont.

Windsor Chrysler Fiat, Windsor, Ont.

Quebec

Automobiles A. Gosselin, St-Nicolas

Capitale Chrysler Fiat Quebec, Quebec City

Automobiles Bernier et Crepeau, Trois-Rivieres

Desmeules Dodge Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Laval

Des Sources Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Montreal

Elite Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Sherbrooke

Excellence Dodge Chrysler Fiat, St-Eustache

Girard Automobile, Repentigny

Holand Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Montreal

J.D. Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Quebec City

Joliette Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Joliette

Kollbec Gatineau Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Gatineau

L'Etoile Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Jonquiere

Levis Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Levis

Longue Pointe Chrysler Fiat, Montreal

Pie IX Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Montreal

Pointe Aux Trembles Dodge Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Pointe-Aux-Trembles

Rondeau Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu

St-Hyacinthe Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, St-Hyacinthe

Saint-Jerome Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, St-Jerome

Trois Diamants Auto, Mascouche

Western Region

Pembina Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Winnipeg, Man.

Steinbach Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Steinbach, Man.

Winnipeg Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Winnipeg, Man.

Auto Clearing, Saskatoon, Sask.

Bridge City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Lethbridge, Alta.

Capital Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Edmonton, Alta.

Crosstown Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Edmonton, Alta.

Derrick Dodge Fiat, Edmonton, Alta.

Eastside Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Calgary, Alta.

Grande Prairie Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Grande Prairie, Alta.

Renfrew Chrysler Fiat, Calgary, Alta.

Sherwood Park Dodge Chrysler Jeep Fiat, Edmonton, Alta.

Carter Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Burnaby, B.C.

Columbia Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Richmond, B.C.

Kelowna Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Kelowna, B.C.

Langley Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Langley, B.C.

Maple Ridge Chrysler Jeep Dodge Fiat, Maple Ridge, B.C.

Marine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat, Vancouver, B.C.

Wille Dodge Chrysler Fiat, Victoria, B.C.


Go to Fiat Canada here

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photos from the Fiat 500 Preview Event


One of my readers, with the user name of Sam500, was kind enough to send me photos from the Fiat 500 Preview Event the other day and I wanted to share them with everyone. He says: "...The event was amazing, with a very enthusiastic crowd!"



You can view the photos here.

Sam500 is very active in the Fiat500USA forum here on this blog, and I would like to thank him for his contributions there and for these photos.

Thanks Sam,
Chris


Images:Sam500

Friday, November 19, 2010

The New Fiat 500 Commercial



A new Fiat commercial. I have been waiting 27 years for this...


Go to FiatUSA

Fiat 500 Preview Event: A Reader's Perspective



A fan of my site has sent me a note with his impressions of the Fiat 500 Preview Event held Tuesday night, November 16, 2010. I was so impressed with his report, I asked if I could publish it. Along with his candid comments, he has taken 100 pictures of the event and has generously allowed me to share them with you. He has requested to remain anonymous, but we all owe him our thanks:

Chris,

First off, thanks for the great site. I check in almost daily for all the latest news on all things Fiat 500 related. Your tireless efforts are much appreciated by all of us who are starved for info.



I live in Orange County, about 40 minutes south of L.A., and drove up tonight for the party. I am a FLU member and have a reservation for the Prima Edizione, car #**, and thus got an invite to attend tonight's event. I was hoping to get some definitive info about the Prima tonight but unfortunately came away not knowing much more than before (more on that later).



I have owned a MINI Cooper S (2002) and currently own a John Cooper Works GP (2006) (in addition to a 2005 Boxster S). I'm a die-hard MINI fan and have visited the factory in Oxford. Because the 500 will obviously be competing head to head with MINI for sales, I was very anxious to evaluate the Fiat and compare it to MINI at least with respect to fit and finish.



I couldn't get a straight answer whether the cars at the preview were U.S. spec. I was told that the cars had certain features and options which may or may not be offered on the U.S. cars. The door jam contained no manufacturer info as is customary so I could not tell where these cars were built or when. So the comments which follow may pertain to features or qualities that won't apply to U.S. cars. (These appear to be pre-production models-Chris)



I took 100 photos which can be found here .

The lighting was less than ideal and I am hopeless as a photographer so apologies in advance for the mediocre (at best) shots.
(These are some great shots-Chris)


I snapped pics of the dealership, the car color sample, the various wheel options, and of course the cars.





The colors that will be available are as follows:

Rame (an orangish/bronze color)
Bianco (bright white)
Rosso (red)
Giallo (yellow)
Bianco Perla (pearlescent white)
Nero (black)
Azzurro (blue)
Grigio (dark grey)
Mocha Latte (light chocolate)
Verde Chiaro (sage green)
Argento (silver)
Verde Oliva (dark green/olive)
Expresso (dark chocolate)
Rosso Brillante (more of a maroon red)



They had cars representing all three trim lines - Pop, Sport and Lounge. In the photos you can see the variations between these three lines with respect to wheels, chrome accents, door inserts, front and rear grill/facia, seats, etc.



(This report was sent immediately after the event and the day before the official announcement, so pricing and equipment content was not released yet-Chris)


Regarding the Prima, I was able to speak to a high level Fiat rep. I posed the following questions regarding the Prima:

1. What is the price?

She couldn't say. She did indicate that tomorrow after the unveiling, all Prima owners would be sent an email with additional info about the Prima. She said the email had already been drafted and was ready to be sent but not until the official unveiling. So Prima owners should definitely check their email tomorrow for what hopefully will be some detailed and specific info regarding the car. She also said an ad would be appearing in tomorrow's USA Today listing all the U.S. Fiat dealers.



2. To what extent can we option the car other than what has already been indicated (e.g., sunroof)?

She didn't know.





3. What color interior will each of the three colored cars come with? If you ordered white, could you get a red interior?

She didn't know.




4. Will Prima owners have to sign a contract in December as originally indicated?

She said the cars will not be here until after the start of the year so she didn't think a contract commitment would be required prior to the end of the year. When I told her I would be hesitant to sign a contract without first having a chance to drive the car, she totally sympathized and thought that dealers would probably be willing to work with customers and not bind them to anything until they had a chance to see the car and drive it. She said that Fiat wanted to make sure that Prima owners were serious about purchasing as opposed to looking to "flip" the cars for a profit.





5. Will Prima owners have a chance to drive a car before having to commit to a contract?

See above.


6. Will the Prima be on display at the LA Auto Show?

It's not clear but there is a chance a Prima will be displayed.




Miscellaneous Observations:

The round headrests are a hard plastic. I could never tell from pictures if they are padded but they aren't.

The fit and finish on all the cars appeared very high. Definitely up to MINI standards.



The seats in the Sport model were excellent. High grade cloth with vertical panel inserts in the seat and seat backs. The full leather seats in the Lounge were very plush and luxurious and felt very similar to the full leather seats found in the MINI (the leather seats even resemble the leather seats in the MINI). There is great fore/aft adjustment on the seats which can also be lowered and raised. I'm 6'0" tall and had plenty of legroom and headroom.



The telescopic steering wheel has considerable range of motion up and down.

The turn signal and wiper stalks felt a bit chintzy but otherwise the plastics throughout the cabin appeared and felt high grade.



The cabin is definitely smaller than the MINI's but didn't feel claustrophobic by any stretch.

Woe unto those relegated to the back seats!

The engine compartment is extremely tiny but tidy. Very short distance between the base of the windshield and the front of the car which makes for a very small hood.



One of the windshield wipers has a long elbow shape which is sort of strange.

The glass sunroof tilts up or lifts up and moves back over the roof. Inside, there is a mesh screen you can pull across the sunroof opening to reduce sun from beating in, very similar to the MINI's shade.

The stick shift feels great. Not a short snickety throw though. I would say a normal throw very similar to the MINI.



The steering wheel was thick and felt substantial. Great wheel.



The rear trunk lid release is nice but once the hatch is up there is only a small strap to pull the rear hatch back down. An indent on the inside of the trunk lid which you could grasp to pull the hatch down would have been preferable.

The doors closed with a great thud. Felt very good.

Getting in and out is very easy.

No literature was available except for a small flip booklet which shows the three cars in the various colors offered. No specs listed.

There are red brake calipers on the sport model.




The Bose stereo system has round tweeters up near both A-pillars and what is probably a bass speaker in the rear cargo area.

All cars I believe had a rear window wiper which may or may not be standard.
(it is standard-Chris)



That's all I can think of. I came away very impressed but I'm frankly struggling with the Prima decision because the Abarth is, in many ways, a more appealing package IMO that will be here in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps as more info becomes available on the Prima (hopefully tomorrow) it will help me make up my mind.

Continued success with the site!

Ciao,

==============================

Source: With thanks to a fan of this site