The Fiat FreakOut is the largest Fiat event of the year. Make plans now so you don't miss it!
The Fiat 500X has an advanced All-Wheel-Drive system. See how it outperforms the competition.
A look at how the new Fiat 124 Spider stacks up against the original
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
FIAT 500, FIAT 500L, Fiat 500X AND FIAT 500 ABARTH SPECS
Thursday, May 31, 2012
There is an important software update for 2012 Fiat 500 owners with the optional Fiat Blue&Me Tom Tom navigation device. This mandatory software update is required in order for the Fiat Blue&Me Tom Tom to maintain a GPS satellite connection. Fiat USA has setup a page with easy to follow instructions on how to do this. While you are at the Tom Tom site, make sure you update your maps. This will ensure you get the most out of your Fiat Blue&MeTom Tom.
Below is a video on how to install the critical software update:
Below is a video on how to tell what Tom Tom device you have:
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Attention Fiat enthusiasts! The premier Fiat event of the year has just been announced and is something you cannot miss. The largest Fiat club in America - Fiat Lancia Unlimited - will hold its annual convention in Virginia on August 2nd to August 5th, 2012.
The convention, called Fiat FreakOut, is in its 29th year and is the largest gathering of Fiat Group cars in North America. This year's event will be held at Wintergreen Resort in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and features a host of activities spread over the four days.
Fiat Freakout kicks off Thursday, August 2nd with a track day at Virginia International Raceway that will be hosted by the Phil Wicks Driving Academy (veteran racer Phil Wicks was a works driver for Fiat Abarth – Radbourne Racing!). Other events include a great concours car show, coordinated scenic drives through the gorgeous Virginia country side including the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, visits to historic sites and lots of socializing in a relaxed atmosphere.
FFO12 Schedule General Outline:
- Wednesday, August 1st, 2012:
- Early Bird Arrivals, check in 4PM
- Wintergreen Resort (WGR) Family Activities (on own)
- Sleep Inn – Danville, VA night before VIR Track Day
- Thursday, August 2nd, 2012:
- Virginia Intl Raceway School & Track Day
- WGR Evening Patio Reception (dinner on own)
- Friday, August 3rd, 2012:
- IAP Open House & Free Lunch
- Wine Tour Afternoon Drive
- Welcome Party – WGR outdoor terrace
- Friday Night Movie & Kids movie
- Saturday, August 4th, 2012:
- FFO12 Concours Show @ WGR
- Concours Lunch @ WGR
- Afternoon Drive
- Awards Banquet
- Late night lot party
- Sunday, August 5th, 2012
- Monticello Drive
- Closeout informal dinner @ WGR
Make sure you register early! Here are important links:
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
It ain't easy being an Alfa Romeo enthusiast in America. Here is a car company with the greatest heritage, the greatest emblem and has produced some of the greatest performance cars ever and all you can do is just watch from the sidelines while the cars are sold everywhere else but the USA. Frustrating for sure, BUT there are plans for the storied marque to return this country. Alfa Romeo fans are right now saying "yeah, sure..." and "I'll believe it when I see it". Can't blame them, they've heard it all before. Well now comes news that should tweak that carefully guarded pessimism. Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. (Fiat) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint development of a new Alfa Romeo roadster based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.
Fiat and Mazda will develop two distinctly different vehicles, each with their own style and powered by engines specific to each brand. The sharing of the next generation platform will cut development costs, but also speed the reentry of an Alfa Romeo Spider into the US by 2015. The new Alfa Romeo Spider is expected to be manufactured at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan factory.
The Mazda MX5 has developed into a highly capable vehicle over its 21 year heritage and has become the best selling roadster of all time. There is talk of the next generation MX5 weighing as little as 2,000 lbs, so combining this lightweight chassis with say, the 235 HP turbocharged and direct-injected 1750 TBi inline-four that powers the top of the line Alfa Romeo Giulietta, gives you an idea of the performance potential this new Alfa Romeo Spider could have.
This agreement also hints that Fiat and Mazda may partner together in the upcoming future:
“This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand. By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship,” said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.
A new lightweight, high performance Alfa Romeo Spider would be something to celebrate, and may just break Alfa enthusiasts out of their perpetual pessimism. Let's hope everything stays on track...
Quote from Fiat Group Press
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I posted the first pictures of the Fiat 500T here in March. Now, more Fiat 500T news and rumors have begun surfacing from various sources. The 2013 Fiat 500T is a 500 Sport with a detuned 500 Abarth 1.4L engine. The engine makes 135 HP, or the same as the European Abarth 500.
This car would be slated between the $17,500 Fiat 500 Sport and the $22,700 Fiat 500 Abarth. The figure of $19,000 is often mentioned, again, this is not official, but is a logical assumption.
Transmission will be the heavy duty C510 from the 500 Abarth, but without the equal length driveshafts that the Abarth has . Done, no doubt, to save some money and probably not deemed totally necessary due to the the 500T's lower horsepower figure.
There is also a rumor that the C510 gearbox will sport a sixth gear, however, that would be quite a coup and would mean there is a redesign of a chassis reinforcement that had previously precluded the fitment. This would also guarantee a sixth gear coming for the 500 Abarth for the 2013 model year. We'll have to watch this closely, and personally, I am thinking the long awaited 6 speed Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT) making its debut is a more likely scenario. A very interesting rumor indeed.
Other mechanical news is the car will have a single exhaust pipe and not the dual pipes the 500 Abarth has.
Fiat 500T preliminary engine output specifications:
Maximum Power (EEC)
100 kW @ 5000 rpm
135 HP @ 5000 rpm
Maximum Torque (EEC)
180 N·m @ 1750 rpm
133 ft. lbs. @ 1750 rpm
Remember, this is all very preliminary. Stay tuned...
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Abarth is unveiling the new Abarth 695 Maserati Edition at the thirtieth anniversary of the Mille Miglia road rally, May 16 -20. If this car sounds familiar, it is because originally this new tribute model was to make its public debut at the 82nd Geneva Motor Show, March 8 - 18, but it was pulled at the last moment, without comment.
The new Abarth 695 Maserati Edition pays homage to its sister company Maserati, and has been thoroughly massaged in keeping with Maserati's high performance and luxury car standards.
The car starts as a Fiat Abarth 500C cabrio and gets the full 'Tributo' performance treatment. Mechanical upgrades include; uprated engine tuning to 180 horsepower, brakes with larger, 305 mm drilled front discs clamped by 4 piston Brembo calipers, Koni dampers, and exclusive 17x7 "Neptune" wheels. An electrically-operated manual Abarth Competizione gearbox with steering wheel control and Abarth "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust complete with hexagonal exhaust tips round out the performance package.
Besides outstanding performance, a car labeled "Maserati Edition" must also promise exclusive luxury and details. This new Abarth doesn't disappoint and captures the elegance of Maserati with distinctive exterior and interior trim.
The exterior features the unique Maserati paint color Pontevecchio Bordeaux complemented by a grey cloth top, Xenon headlights and special "Maserati Edition" badging.
Inside, the collaboration of Maserati and Abarth is in full effect. The seats are upholstered in supple sand beige Poltrona Frau ® leather with "695" embossed into the headrests and the rear side panels and door panel inserts are treated to a stylish flocking effect. Trim includes a matte finished carbon fiber dashboard, black leather steering wheel, aluminium pedals and sill plates, and a carbon fiber kick plate with customised "Abarth 695 Maserati Edition " graphics.
The Abarth 695 Maserati Edition is an exclusive vehicle with only 499 being produced. It and the other limited edition 500 Abarths can be viewed on the new Abarth website called abarthspecialties.com, that debuted during the Geneva Motor Show in March. The new site covers all special edition Fiat 500 Abarth models from the "Opening Edition" in 2008 to the current models and beyond.
Abarth 695 Tributo MASERATI Technical specifications
1.4 16v Turbo MTA 180 HP Engine
• 4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cm3.
• Power: 180 HP (132 kW) at 5500 rpm.
• Maximum torque 184 lbs-ft (250 Nm) in sport mode at 3000 rpm.
• Supercharged with Garrett 1446 turbo
• 5 gears, C510 gearbox family with gear paddles on steering wheel
• Abarth Koni front shock absorbers with FSD valve
• Abarth Koni rear shock absorbers with FSD valve
• Lowered ride.
• Electric power steering with “sport mode”
• Floating, perforated and self-ventilating front brakes ø 305 mm × 28
• Perforated rear brakes ø 264 mm × 22 mm
• TTC - Torque Transfer Control
• 7×17" alloy rim Tyres: 205/40 R17"
• Euro 5 EEC-F5 standard
Emissions of CO2 • 151 g/km
• Urban consumption (l/100 km): 8.4
• Combined consumption (l/100 km): 6.5
• Extra-urban consumption (l/100 km): 5.4
• Max speed >225 km/h.
• Acceleration 0–100 km/h: <7 secs.
This article is an updated repost of the story I did on the 695 Abarth Tributo Maserati back in February.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Last month, Fiat USA's Facebook page hit 500,000 likes. To celebrate this accomplishment and to thank its fans, Fiat USA started a contest called 'Spin to Win' that will be giving away a new Fiat 500 Sport to one of ten lucky fans. Additionally, if you were one of the first 500,000 people to like the Fiat USA page, you are eligible for $500 off a new Fiat 500 or Fiat 500c.
The Fiat USA's Facebook page has been running fun games and contests over the past few months. These popular contests, along with attention getting TV commercials, have been successful in ramping up brand awareness and have translated to big sales gains since the beginning of the year.
Make sure you visit Fiat USA's Facebook page here to enter the contest. Good Luck!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Here is an update on how the upshift light on the US Fiat 500 Abarth works. Previously, I posted a story on how the European Abarth 500 Turbo Boost Gauge and shift light works (read here). On the American 500 Abarth, the upshift light is implemented differently from the Euro Abarth. The upshift light on the US 500 Abarth is a “drag racer’s” shift light – it illuminates 0.3 sec before you hit fuel cutoff, regardless of being in Normal or Sport mode.
The upshift light on the European 500 Abarth operates as a “drag racer’s” shift light only in Sport mode and as a fuel economy reminder light in Normal mode. Speculation attributes the change to the traditional US driver's dislike of fuel economy reminders constantly blinking.
Below is a chart of the recommended upshift speeds for maximum fuel economy published on page 202 of the North American Fiat 500 Abarth owner’s manual.
Courtesy of Chrysler LLC
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
MotorWeek, American television's oldest running automotive news magazine, has done a first impressions review on the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth and it looks like they've been stung:
"...what impressed us most about the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is the $22,000 price tag. You don’t have to be on “The Price Is Right” to figure out that that’s a steal. We can’t think of another car packing this much performance for that low of a price."
"...Granted, embracing the Abarth tuned 500 will take a wholesale change in how an American enthusiast views performance cars. But, if you can make that jump, you’ll love every minute and every mile in the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth."
A full Road Test of the Fiat 500 Abarth will air on episode #3136 which begins airing on May 10, 2012. For a complete listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “Find Your Station” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings on Velocity cable channel. Don't miss it!*
*conflicting info shows that the Fiat 500 Abarth road test may air on episode #3137 next week, so be prepared.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
True to its Italian heritage of building sporty cars, Fiat is the leader in the Touring Car-B Manufacturers' Championship. A Fiat 500 driven by Jonathan Start won the inaugural Touring Car -B Spec race last weekend. In fact, Start, in his No. 00 Fiat USA/SRT/Carbotech Fiat 500, won the first two races of the three races held that weekend.
The recently created B-spec racing series is an affordable way to race late model cars. The series features sub-compact cars, such as the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Mazda2, and Nissan Versa. Its double win means that Fiat is leading the the Championship with 22 points, followed by a tie between Mazda and Ford with 16. Honda has 15 points, while Kia has scored 3.
On the racetrack the 101 HP Fiat 500 beat; the 138 HP Chevrolet Sonic, the 120 HP Ford Fiesta, 117 HP Honda Fit, 138 HP Kia Rio, and 122 HP Nissan Versa. Remember this when someone says the Fiat 500 is slow!
- April 27–29, Miller Motorsports Park (co-headliner, NASCAR West). Tooele, Utah (Rounds 1, 2 and 3 for Touring Car B-Spec).
- June 1–3, Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, (with IndyCar). Detroit, Mich. (Rounds 4, 5 and 6 Touring Car B-Spec).
- June 22–24, Mosport International Raceway (Pirelli World Challenge Headliner). Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (Rounds 7, 8 and 9 Touring Car B-Spec).
Read more about Fiat's impressive start of the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championship Series below:
Fiat 500 B-Spec Leads World Challenge Touring Car-B Standings After Inaugural Race Weekend
- Jonathan Start wins first two of three races at Miller Motorsports Park
- Start leads the Touring Car-B class after opening weekend
Tooele, Utah , Apr 30, 2012 - In the first ever Touring Car-B class races in the Pirelli World Challenge, Jonathan Start, of Caledonia, Mich., drove his specially-prepared Fiat 500 to two consecutive Touring Car-B race wins on Saturday, April 28 at the 2.2-mile Miller Motorsports Park West Course configuration.
Start completed the inaugural race weekend with a fourth place finish in race No. 3 on Sunday, April 29, just missing the podium after a race-long duel at the front of the pack.
Race No. 1 Summary - Saturday, April 28
In an exciting debut race for the new series, Start, in his No. 00 Fiat USA/SRT/Carbotech Fiat 500, battled with the top competitors from Ford and Mazda before taking the lead late in the 17-lap race and going on to finish out in front by 2.171 seconds.
With the race No. 2 grid being based on finishing order from race No. 1, Start took off from pole position at the green flag and led every lap to the finish, taking a 1.392-second victory to sweep the doubleheader.
“At the end of the day, it’s two wins in the first round of World Challenge TCB, and I’m happy.”
Jonathan Start began the finale race of the opening weekend in third spot in class and quickly became part of a four-car scrum made up of Start’s Fiat, a Honda Fit and two Ford Fiestas. The battle raged for much of the early part of the race, with Marie's No. 45 Honda Fit trading the lead with Capaldi's No. 86 Ford Fiesta every other lap for the first four.
Press Release: Chrysler Media
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Fiat 500 Abarth. More than just a cool emblem on a fast car, the 500 Abarth is a descendant of legendary performance cars and championship racers. Now, you can drive your 500 Abarth to the grocery store and that will be fun, but you'll miss out on the considerable capabilities of this car. To keep this from happening, Fiat includes "The Abarth Experience", a full day of high performance driving instruction with every purchase of a new Fiat 500 Abarth.
Owners will learn from professional high performance driving instructors how to exploit all the performance of the Fiat 500 Abarth, in a safe and controlled race track environment.
The Abarth Experience Itinerary:
- Abarth Autocross — Horsepower. Handling. Brakes. Speed.
- Abarth Head-to-Head Challenge — Two Drivers. One Track. Who Will Triumph?
- Abarth Driving Dynamics — Learn Precision Skills from a Seasoned Professional.
- Abarth Performance Drive — Show Us What You've Got!
Registration for The Abarth Experience is now open. You need to have taken delivery of your 500 Abarth to register and have your VIN handy.
See you on the race track!
Images of the new Fiat 500X crossover have begun surfacing on the internet. The illustration shows curvaceous, almost coupe like body work and contrasts with the more upright Fiat 500L. The sporty styling is sure to go over well with Fiat fans, some of whom have been lukewarm at best over the 500L's practical design queues.
The Fiat 500X crossover is based on the the chassis used by the upcoming Fiat 500L. The Fiat 500L is a much larger car than the regular Fiat 500 (162.9 versus 139.6 inches) and uses the all wheel drive capable, widened chassis of the Fiat Punto and Alfa Romeo MiTo models. Preliminary info says the Fiat 500X will be even larger at approximately 165.4 inches.
Fiat 500L design sketch. The new Fiat 500X crossover seems to pick up on the sporty nature of this sketch and runs with it...
Fiat 500X was to be built at Fiat's Mirafiori factory in Torino, Italy, however later reports point to production being shifted to the Melfi plant in central Italy. Production is rumored to begin at the end of 2013 with North American introduction sometime in 2014.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Fiat USA reports that April sales for the Fiat 500 have broken another record. A total of 3,849 Fiat 500s were sold last month, beating the previous month's record total of 3,712 units. This is the third straight month of record sales for the 500.
Fiat has continued to ramp up its marketing and promotion of the Fiat 500 with high profile, edgy ads featuring Charlie Sheen and the the beautiful Catrinel Menghia grabbing the public's attention. Fiat is also hitting social media hard with Facebook contests and events, such as "FIAT Drive for the Fans" (read here), "Abarth Wants You" (read here) and "Score a Scorpion" contest (read here). Keep an eye on Fiat USA's Facebook site this month as they have something in the works.
With the Fiat 500 Abarth hitting showrooms and the streets this month, expect to see an exciting May.
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In our quest to bring the very best information, vendors and dealers to Fiat owners here in America, Fiat500USA.com is happy to announce the well known European tuner, TMC Motorsport, has come on board as a sponsor of the Fiat 500 USA Forum.
Based in the UK, TMC Motorsport has hands on experience tuning the Fiat 500 Abarth and wants to bring its expertise here to American 500 Abarth owners. Below is a little background on TMC Motorsport to better acquaint yourself with the company. Afterwards, make sure you check out their website and stop by their forum and say hello.
TMC Motorsport was started in 2005 by owner Daron Brown, having been involved in the tuning industry for more than 15 years. Since the conception of plug and play tuning devices in 1996 we have actively worked to advance the technology of these devices to provide very similar results to ECU remapping without making permanent changes to the vehicle.
This type of system is now very popular amongst new car owners with concerns about losing their warranty by making permanent changes to their car. Also, since 2009, many new cars have security locked ECU’s and can’t be remapped without breaking open the ECU to program directly to the processor inside with soldered cables. These units now account for more than 70% of our business and are sold around the world.
Abarth themselves offered the Esseesse upgrade kit, which included upgraded brakes and wheels and a power hike to 160 bhp, but the price tag was quite high and many owners could not afford to do it and were looking for cheaper but high quality alternatives. This is where we saw a niche in the market to supply parts at an affordable price but still giving top quality brand names.
Just recently the Abarth 500 has been launched in the US and Canada, initially in quite small numbers and with some minor body changes, additional safety features, and the Abarth Punto Evo 1.4 MultiAair engine, which is more powerful with just over 160 bhp in stock form, has more torque than the older 1.4 T Jet engine and produces lower emissions. This engine is a real piece of engineering genius, having won engine of the year for two years in a row, and in the Abarth 500 will make the perfect match of performance and economy.