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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fiat and Jennifer Lopez Controversy: Much Ado About Nothing

I'm not the only one who thinks the Jennifer Lopez / Fiat "controversy" is ridiculous

With twelve million viewers watching as a Fiat 500c took center stage during a Jennifer Lopez performance on the American Music Awards, there is no denying the Lopez / Fiat collaboration has garnered a lot of interest.

Naturally, with all this attention, the haters on the Internet have had to manufacture some kind of controversy to justify their existence. What they managed to come up with is a stretch even for the most unabashed mudslinger. The supposed affront centers on Lopez not being the one driving the car in her Fiat commercial.

The commercial, labeled as a dramatization, features Lopez talking about her affection for the Bronx while she is driving a Fiat 500c through the streets of the borough. To accommodate Lopez's schedule, the shots of the drive around the New York locations were filmed by a stand-in, while Lopez filmed the others in LA. This is common practice in TV make believe land, however, this is just enough fodder for media types with ulterior motives to express feigned outrage that Ms.Lopez didn't spend a day flying across the country to film a 60 second drive around the block.

That there are naive people out there paying attention to this is not too surprising in itself, but for the "mainstream" news outlets to actually pick up and devote time to this non-story is pretty ridiculous. Man, things must be slow in the news business.

Thankfully, clear thinkers and journalists like Anderson Cooper see through the smoke screen.

Video: CNN

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Hits Fiat and Abarth Stores

US Fiat 500 Store
The Fiat Store is stocked with chic Fiat 500 merchandise. Order now and show the world you have good taste.

It's Cyber Monday, and you just got done buying cool gifts for other people, well now it's your turn. The Fiat and Abarth online stores have announced Cyber Monday deals. The Fiat Store is offering free shipping, and the Abarth Store is discounting, so drop what you're doing, and check them out.

Fiat 500 Abarth Store
The US Fiat 500 Abarth is due out in March, but that doesn't mean you have to wait to stock up on some Abarth swag. You know you want all this stuff, so do it while it is on sale.

Don't neglect yourself!

Inside the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth: Design

In this post, we'll explore the key design elements of the US Fiat 500 Abarth with the help of the official Fiat USA press release:

  • New 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth builds on the Abarth brand’s tradition of exterior and interior design enhancements added only for performance gain 
  • Its aggressive exterior is specifically designed for aerodynamic efficiency, improved down force and maximum system cooling 
  • No-nonsense enthusiast’s cockpit provides all that is required for performance driving, as well as everyday driving comfort and convenience
  • Iconic Abarth shields pay homage to the brand’s racing heritage 
Auburn Hills, Mich. , Nov 16, 2011 - The aggressive styling of the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth embodies the Abarth brand tradition in full – purposeful and intentional details all designed to improve the car’s performance, while enhancing the clean and simple design language of the Cinquecento.

“From the outside, the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is designed with the essence of a pure-Italian performance car – functional, purposeful and high-emotion exterior design enhancements, all stylistically blended to improve aerodynamics, engine cooling and road-holding grip,” said Roberto Giolito, Head of FIAT and Abarth Style. “Inside, we surrounded the driver with a sporty and technical styled ‘cockpit,’ encapsulated with the performance equipment and exclusive details to make the 500 Abarth a world-class performance machine.”

Aggressive, functional styling
The new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth takes the city-friendly proportions and iconic Cinquecento cues of the new Fiat 500 hatchback model further, with a stylistic approach to exterior aerodynamics and highperformance functionality.

To improve aerodynamics — while creating the necessary engine compartment space for the all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine — the Fiat 500 Abarth’s front fascia is more pronounced and pushed 2.7 inches (69 mm) ahead of its signature “whiskers and logo” face, recalling the Abarth stylistic treatments from vintage 850 TC and 1000 TC models.

Continuing the Fiat 500 Abarth’s unique front aerodynamic design treatment, the signature “Abarth” shield floats on a finned surface that serves as an additional air intake. Below, the “triptych” of air intakes consists of three inlets with broader openings than the Fiat 500. For a more aggressive look, a blacked-out fascia accent integrates projector-beam fog lamps and helps direct air for engine cooling.

Twin “nostrils” are precisely positioned on the front fascia to maximize airflow in and out of the two engine intercoolers (both intercoolers are visible through the “nostril” inlets).

More aggressive Abarth-designed side skirts provide a vertical and athletic profile, while highlighting the iconic curves of the Fiat 500 Abarth.

Abarth-designed 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels, or optional 17-inch lightweight forged-aluminum wheels, fill the flared wheel arches and provide ventilation for the performance brake system. In addition, both wheel designs allow visibility of the lacquered Rosso (red) brake calipers.

From the rear, a large liftgate-mounted spoiler extends the roofline of the Fiat 500 Abarth and improves the vehicle’s aerodynamic behavior by creating additional down force.

Below, the two-piece Abarth-styled rear fascia accentuates the road-holding stance of this high-performance 500 and optimizes airflow output with its black-accented rear diffuser. In addition, symmetric, twin exhaust cutouts deliver a powerful look, while large concentric “double tip” exhausts provide a tuned sound and Abarth-exclusive look.

Bold exterior elements
Paying homage to the brand’s racing heritage and vintage Cinquecento-based 595 and 695 Abarth models, iconic Abarth shields are once again positioned on both driver and passenger rear-quarter panels and feature a “shot through” Rosso-Bianco-Verde (red-white-green) tri-color arrow.

For even more Abarth style, optional bodyside exterior decals pay homage to the historic models and provide the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth with a track-ready look. Available in Rosso, Nero and Bianco, the signature Abarth triple-stripe logo runs horizontally along the lower bodyside and dissipates into a gradient rearward. Rosso, Nero or Bianco exterior mirror caps also are included to match the stripe.

For maximum customization, the Abarth-designed 17-inch forged-aluminum wheels are available in Hyper Black or optional Bianco paint.

Enthusiast-designed cockpit
Expanding on the no-nonsense design and high attention to detail found on the 2012 Fiat 500, the new Fiat 500 Abarth features a performance-designed cockpit with unique appointments.

The interior design theme of the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is an artistic blend of clean lines and functional performance appointments. An Abarth-designed steering wheel features a thick rim, perforated leather and flat bottom to provide the look, feel and increased roominess desired during at-the-limit

For easier operation, and to keep the driver’s eyes on the road ahead, the Fiat 500 Abarth’s steering wheel includes cruise, audio and BLUE&ME™ Handsfree Communication technology controls.

Behind the steering wheel, the Fiat 500 Abarth features a large concentric instrument cluster with 160-mph speedometer, tachometer and trip computer. For a touch of sophistication, the instrument-panel cluster brow is wrapped in Nero leather with Rosso accent stitching.

Unique to the Fiat 500 Abarth is the addition of an analog turbo-boost gauge with integrated LED shift light in the center that illuminates to optimize gear changes.

Integrating the latest in portable vehicle navigation on top of the instrument panel, the available TomTom® navigation with BLUE&ME™ Handsfree Communication technology features a 4.3-inch touchscreen display.

Below the instrument panel, Abarth-designed aluminum pedal covers feature Nero rubber trim for a decidedly racing look, while the Nero leather shift knob with Rosso accent stitching provides a precise feel of the shifter.

Unique Abarth-styled front performance seats feature a one-piece design with large side bolsters, racing-harness pass through, accent stitching around the perimeter and integrated side-thorax air bags.

The Fiat 500 Abarth’s rear seat is designed to be comfortable for two adults and delivers the high-quality, comfort and craftsmanship executed on the front seats. To highlight that this hatchback is roomy, the rear passengers’ upper seatbacks are raised and bolstered for added back support.

For a contemporary and technical look, the Fiat 500 Abarth features the center stack, radio and climate control system, as well as the headliner and pillars finished in Nero, while the four-passenger seating is available in Nero (cloth or leather) or Rosso/Nero (leather) color combinations.

Intelligently designed cabin provides maximum interior space
Thanks to careful analysis of the interior space, designers of the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth made an amazingly roomy and capable cabin within its city-friendly size. With built-in storage spaces, including two in the instrument panel, map pockets in the door panels and another below the center console’s shifter bezel, this high-performance Cinquecento can quickly and conveniently store mobile devices and travel gear.

In addition, the luggage compartment is spacious, providing a maximum of 26.8 cubic feet for gear with the rear seats folded.

Source: Fiat USA

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fiat 500 Black Friday Deal

US Fiat 500 Pop

Well, it's Black Friday but you slept in and didn't make the 5AM sales, that's OK, you didn't need that stuff anyway. What you really want is a new car and Fiat has some deals that will salvage your day.

Fiat USA is offering a great lease plan and low 1.9 % financing on a new 2012 Fiat 500 Pop. For $199 a month, you can drive a Fiat 500 Pop loaded with Italian style and filled with a level of standard equipment that is, quite frankly, unheard of in this segment:

Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
Tilt Steering Column
Air Conditioning with Micron Filter
Speed Control
Remote Keyless Entry
Sentry Key Immobilizer
Body-Color Power Heated Mirrors
Electronic Stability Control
Hill Start Assist
Bi-Function Halogen Projector Headlamp
AM / FM / CD / MP3 Radio
BLUE&ME(TM) Handsfree Communication with USB Port
Steering Wheel-Mounted Audio Controls
Auxiliary Audio Input Jack
Chrome Exhaust Tip
Driver and Passenger Front Seatback Pockets
Driver Height Adjustable Seat
Driver Seat Memory
Electric Power Steering
Front Floor Mats
Front Reading / Map Lamps
Front Seat Reactive Head Restraints
7 Air Bags
Plus much more...

For details on this sale, call one of participating Fiat Studios below:

Criswell FIAT of Gaithersburg, Maryland - 1-888-878-2488

FIAT of Austin, Texas - 1-877-908-3428

Bergstrom FIAT of Milwaukee, Wisconsin - 1-888-616-5893

FIAT of Tysons Corners, Virginia - 1-888-716-2490

FIAT of Fredericksburg, Virginia - 1-888-904-4977

Palmen FIAT of Kenosha, Wisconsin - 1-888-379-0295

or go to the Fiat USA website here to find your nearest dealer.

The good news is that this isn't just a Black Friday deal, so don't worry if you can't make it today, but this offer will be expiring soon - take advantage of it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

US Fiat 500 Abarth Video Storms YouTube

US Fiat 500 Abarth

The debut video ad for the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth hit YouTube last week and within this short time gathered more than 1 million views! The ad called "Seduction", has gotten attention from all around the world and features the menacing Fiat 500 Abarth and Romanian model Catrinel Menghi.

The ad explores, in a smart and sexy way, what goes on inside a man's mind the first time he sees the new Fiat 500 Abarth on the street. Here is the video... sit back and enjoy the daydream...

“The Fiat 500 Abarth. You’ll never forget the first time you see one.”

US Fiat 500 Abarth performance

The “Seduction” digital spot was created in partnership with The Richards Group.

With thanks to Chrysler Media

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fiat tuner 500 Madness at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Fiat 500 by 500 Madness

If you are going to the LA Auto Show this week to see the new US Fiat 500 Abarth, make sure you stop by the 500 Madness display. Boris and Rachel from 500 Madness have put together a fantastic display highlighting just some of the upgrades you can do to a Fiat 500.

Fiat 500 modified by 500 Madness
500 Madness modified this Fiat 500 Sport with some tasteful upgrades.

Fiat 500 Carbon Fiber Dash by 500 Madness
500 Madness has a carbon fiber dash for the Fiat 500. It features a gloss finish and looks striking. Shift knob, shift boot and peddles by the Italian company Black add the perfect touches.

Fiat 500 carbon Fiber Mirror Caps
Carbon fiber mirror caps.

US Fiat 500 with Magneti Marelli Wheels
Magneti Marelli wheels with 500 Madness lowering springs.

Fiat 500 USA HID kit from 500 Madness
500 Madness has patented a special HID kit for the US Fiat 500 that features the simplest installation. No drilling, routing wires or finding a place for the external ballast required. Just install the bulbs, plug them in and...

...put the cap back on. It can't get any easier than that!

US Fiat 500 wide body kit from 500 Madness
500 Madness has a wide body kit installed on this US Fiat 500c. The kit is very high quality and is guaranteed to transform your Fiat 500 into a head turner.

US Fiat 500 Prima Edizione by 500 Madness
500 Madness bought a Fiat 500 Prima Edizione as soon as they came out in order to begin test fitting components made specifically for the US Fiat 500.

US Fiat 500 Pop by 500 Madness
500 Madness works closely with Fiat Studios so accessories can be installed right at the dealership. This Fiat 500 Pop is an example of what can be done in a day or so.

The tasteful upgrades include wheels and lowering springs.

Shift knob with matching shift boot and handbrake cover personalize this Fiat 500 Pop, turning it into a unique, eye catching ride.

Make sure you stop by the 500 Madness booth and talk about what can be done to your Fiat 500!

Can't make it out to LA? Check out their website and give them a call:


Below is a link to an album with more pictures from the 500 Madness display at the 2011 LA Auto Show:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Visit the Abarth Store Online

Abarth Store Online

While you are waiting for the US Fiat 500 Abarth to be available sometime in March, make sure you go to the official Fiat Abarth Merchandise store and look through all the fabulous accessories available.

Don't forget to sign up for the updates and specials!

Video of the Fiat 500 Abarth on Kimmel Live!

The Fiat 500 Abarth showed up at Jimmy Kimmel Live! the other day. See what happened...

Jimmy Kimmel Live! is broadcast on ABC weeknights at 12 a.m EST.

US Fiat 500 Abarth in Action

It's time for a little Fiat 500 Abarth day dreaming. Take a look at this video and see what the US Fiat 500 Abarth looks like on the road. This car will make a run to the corner store an event...

Look for the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth at your nearest Fiat Studio in March 2012.

Video: Chrysler Media

New Head of Fiat Brand for North America Named

Timothy Kuniskis - New Head of Fiat Brand North America

Monday, Chrysler named a new Head of the Fiat Brand for North America. Timothy Kuniskis takes over for Laura Soave, who left the Company to pursue other opportunities.

Kuniskis is a veteran Chrysler employee with a strong background in dealer operations and marketing. Kuniskis most recently served as Director for both the Chrysler Brand and Fiat Brand Product Marketing.

We look forward to Tim Kuniskis' leadership in these areas as Fiat USA has finally reached its goals of having 130 Fiat Studios opened in the United States.

Laura Soave - Outgoing Head of Fiat Brand North America

Finally, on behalf of her many fans that visit this site, I would like to publicly thank Laura Soave for all her hard work in re-establishing the Fiat Brand back into the United States. I would also like to thank her personally for her graciousness and thoughtfulness and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Fiat 500 Steals the Stage at the American Music Awards

The 12 million viewers of last night's American Music Awards were treated to a view of the Fiat 500 during a performance of Jennifer Lopez's hit 'Papi'. Lopez's spectacular stage show prominently featured the Fiat 500 - exposing it to a huge demographic. It couldn't get any better than that.

Additionally, the new commercial for the Fiat 500 by Gucci was aired, topping off a great night for Fiat USA.

Images: Chrysler Media

Fiat 500 Abarth Images from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

US Fiat 500 Abarth

The Fiat display at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show is striking and shouldn't be missed. On display, of course, is the new 2012 US Fiat 500 Abarth plus the Fiat 500 Gucci and the Fiat 500 Carbon edition SEMA show car.

Fiat 500c Cabrio

The 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show runs from November 18 through November 27, so there is still time to check out the new Fiat 500 Abarth and all the other lovely things at the show.

US Fiat 500 Abarth in Grigio

If you can't make the show, I've included at the end of this post a slideshow with 70 pictures taken at the Fiat booth.

Fiat 500 Carbon edition