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Friday, June 29, 2012

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth Owners Manual Online

Fiat 500 Abarth Dashboard

Waiting for your Fiat 500 Abarth to arrive and need something to pass the time? Here is a quick link to the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth's owners manual. It is 358 pages, so enjoy!

Can't get enough and need more? Here is a link to the Fiat 500 Abarth User Guide. I have the feeling you're not going to get any work done today! LOL

Source: Mopar Owner Central

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fiat Viaggio Begins Production

Fiat Viaggio - Fei Xiang

The Fiat Viaggio began production today at its new factory in Changsha, China. The Fiat Viaggio (voyage in English, Fei Xiang or flying in Chinese) is the Fiat version of the American designed new Dodge Dart. Fiat has been late entering the Chinese market in a meaningful way and is banking on the new Viaggio to make a big splash. The high style Fiat Viaggio features high content, sophisticated turbo engines and the cutting edge CUSW (Compact US Wide) architecture first seen on the award winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Fiat Viaggio - Fei Xiang

The four-dour, five-seater Fiat Viaggio measures 184.21 inches (4,679 mm) in length, 72.83 inches (1,850 mm) in overall width and has a 106.61 inch (2,708 mm) wheelbase. It is approximately .28 inches longer and .79 inches wider than the Dodge Dart. Engines will be the 1.4 L T-Jet used in the European Fiat 500 Abarth and will have versions rated at 120 HP and 150 HP. The 6 speed C635 dual dry clutch transmission and conventional 5-gear manual transmission will be offered.

Fiat Viaggio - Fei Xiang

The Fiat Viaggio is being produced at Fiat's newest factory using World Class Manufacturing standards, a system devised by Fiat and used in all Fiat and Chrysler plants world-wide to achieve zero accidents, zero defects, zero stocks and zero breakdowns. The factory, located in central China, is a joint venture set up with the Chinese company Guangzhou Automobile Group Co (GAC). Guangzhou Automobile Group Co also has joint manufacturing agreements with Honda and Toyota. The Fiat Viaggio is scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of this year.

Fiat Viaggio - Fei Xiang

Source: Fiat Group Press

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fiat Racing News from Midwest-Bayless

Midwest-Bayless Racing Fiat X1/9

Our friends at Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto have sent us an update on their latest racing activities. Run by Matt and Marnie Brannon, Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto is North America’s one stop source of replacement parts for “classic” Fiat and Lancia vehicles. Additionally, Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto does service, restoration and race prep at their facility; so if you want to update, upgrade, restore or turn you classic Fiat or Lancia into something even more special, this is the place to go.

Midwest-Bayless Racing Fiat X1/9

Matt knows his way around the Fiat X1/9, building show winning street cars and also competitive racing X1/9s. Driving his personally prepared SCCA Fiat X1/9, Matt is one of the nations best known Fiat racers and is having another successful season. Below are his latest racing exploits. You can get the latest updates on his Facebook page and website here:

For Immediate Release:

Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto continues the 2012 SCCA National Club Racing season with very successful outings at Nelson Ledges Road Course and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, completing four sanctioned SCCA National races in 10 days between May 25 and June 2, achieving three podium finishes with a Fiat X1/9 in H-Production class.

Matt and his Fiat X1/9 were solidly in contention at each of the venues, recording two wins at Nelson Ledges, along with a 2nd and 4th place finish at Mid-Ohio.

“The 2012 races at Nelson Ledges and especially the BFGoodrich SuperTour events at Mid-Ohio were great experiences. After winning both races at Nelson Ledges, we qualified on the outside pole both days at Mid-Ohio, in sloppy conditions with a field that included three past national champions. Our Fiat X1/9 led the Mid-Ohio races on both days, but unfortunately a broken exhaust header relegated us to a 4th place finish in Saturday’s race, and tire management problems resulted in a 2nd place finish on Sunday. Even with these issues, the races were some of the most competitive regular season battles we’ve ever had, and we turned our best lap times ever at Mid-Ohio, close to the track record. We really got the car dialed in after making some big changes to the driveline and suspension before the event. This gives us a lot of momentum for the rest of the season” said Matt Brannon, owner/driver of the #22 Midwest-Bayless Fiat X1/9.

Midwest-Bayless is now looking forward to remaining regular season SCCA races leading up to the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto (, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of North America’s largest sources of replacement parts, service, restoration and race prep services for “classic” Fiat and Lancia vehicles. The Midwest-Bayless classic Fiat racing program has top-5 finishes in their last 5 appearances at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, including two podium finishes of 3rd in 2006 and 2nd in 2008.

Midwest-Bayless Racing Fiat X1/9

Fans can follow the Midwest-Bayless racing season progress on Facebook, with live updates from each track, photos, and in-car video uploaded to YouTube!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fiat 500 Again Named One of "10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000"

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 was once again named one of the "10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000" by Kelley Blue Book's editors. Every year Kelley Blue Book assembles a list of the top 10 coolest cars under $18,000. The cars are judged on two factors - fun-to-drive and fun-to-own. For the second year in a row, the Fiat 500 has achieved a podium finish, this year grabbing the number three spot, beating the VW Jetta, Scion IQ, Kia Soul, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, and Mazda 3.

Kelley says:

"Catch even the briefest glimpse of the Fiat 500 and just try not to smile at this Italian-designed cutie that’s tiny in size but massive when it comes to personality."

Fiat 500

The car picked as the number one Coolest Car under $18,000 was the new $16,790 Dodge Dart. Curiously, second place went to the over $18,000 (!) Hyundai Veloster, but hey, it's their list. LOL

Last year, the newly introduced Fiat 500 earned the number one spot (read here).

Source: Kelley Blue Book

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fiat 500 Abarth Road Test on TV

The Fiat 500 Abarth - "A Ferrari it’s not, but somehow it’s almost just as thrilling. And the sound is great, even if it’s not from a V-12." That's what MotorWeek, American television's oldest running automotive news magazine, said after testing the new Fiat 500 Abarth.

MotorWeek put the Fiat 500 Abarth through its paces and came away suitably impressed:

"The Abarth is the most fun we’ve had in a car that costs under $25,000, in some time. So, buy two, they’re small!"

Watch the complete Road Test below:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fiat 500 Cabrio by Gucci - “Best Small Convertible of the Year”

Fiat 500 by Gucci

The high style Fiat 500 has once again gathered a top award.  This time the model is the elegant Fiat 500c by Gucci and the award is for “Best Small Convertible of the Year” named by the Southern Automotive Media Association (SAMA) during its “Topless in Miami” event held on June 14.

The annual “Topless in Miami” event brings together 60 professional automotive journalists  to pick out the best open top cars available. This year the competition was stiff and included: Smart, Nissan Murano Convertible, Nissan 370 Z Roadster, Infiniti G Convertible, Chrysler 200 Convertible, Jeep Wrangler, Fiat 500 Gucci, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Audi TTS Roadster, Volkswagen EOS, Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Mercedes-Benz SL550, Jaguar XKR-S, and MINI Cooper S Roadster.

Fiat 500 by Gucci

When the dust settled, the Fiat 500c by Gucci took top honors for “Best Small Convertible of the Year.” In a press release issued by FIAT USA earlier today, Jaime Florez, President of SAMA is quoted:

“We are glad that FIAT brand is present for a second year at our Topless in Miami event.  We had very strong competitors this year, and the Fiat 500c by Gucci captured the judges’ votes by showcasing how chic style and personal transportation can go hand in hand in a formula that only Italy could create.”

Fiat 500 by Gucci

This is the second time in a row the Fiat 500c has been awarded “Best Small Convertible of the Year” by SAMA. Read about last year's win here - 2012 Fiat 500c Best Small Convertible of the Year

Source: Fiat USA

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth Wheel Alignment Specs

Right out of the box, the Fiat 500 Abarth delivers outstanding performance and driving dynamics on the street or track. It also provides a capable platform for those wishing to take this car to the next level with tuning enhancements up to full race specifications.

Suspension modifying is a popular pastime for Fiat 500 Abarth owners that take their track time seriously; however, because the cars are so new, important wheel alignment specifications have not been readily available. To help the Fiat community, below are the factory wheel alignment specifications for the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth and the 2012 Fiat 500.

Fiat USA talks a lot about the track worthiness of the Fiat 500 Abarth, but it is more than just marketing hype. Looking at the Fiat 500 Abarth's alignment specs, you will notice the wide range of toe and camber service adjustments. This provides garage tuners and racers with an extra degree of chassis tuning ability and is in keeping with Abarth's racing and tuning heritage.

2012 Fiat Abarth Wheel Alignment Specifications
Fiat 500 Abarth Wheel Alignment specs

2012 Fiat 500 Wheel Alignment Specifications
Fiat 500 Wheel Alignment Specs

Read more

Source: Chrysler LLC

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition for Canada

Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition

To celebrate the arrival of the new Fiat 500 Abarth in the Quebec region of Canada, the first 70 Abarths will have a special equipment package. The Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition will feature carbon fiber roof spoiler, mirror caps and side stripes. The headlight trim gets blacked out along with the turn signals and taillights. In the interior, special dashboard graphic elements complete the package.

Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition

Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition

The Canadian Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition made its debut at the Grand Prix Montreal Formula 1 race last weekend, during an event hosted by Fiat called 2012 Little Italy Racing Weekend. The event featured celebrations and fun activities and kicked off a new Fiat marketing campaign for the region. Use the link below to visit the Fiat Canada Facebook page to keep up with the latest activities.

Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition

Fiat 500 Abarth Special Edition flyer

Image Sources: Fiat 500 USA Forum Member Taboo, Fiat Canada

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fiat 500 Abarth Modified by 500 MADNESS


Carlo Abarth was one of the preeminent engine tuners of his time. He built his empire on selling aftermarket performance parts for cars, and this helped fund his passion for racing. So it is only fitting that there is strong aftermarket support for the new Fiat 500 Abarth.

One of the top Fiat vendors in the US with a host of Abarth parts is 500 MADNESS. They have been modifying the Fiat 500 Abarth as soon as the car hit the streets in April and recently put together the MADNESS Edition ABARTH. This special Fiat 500 Abarth highlights just some of the modifications and accessories available for your Abarth. Make sure you check it out!

MADNESS Edition Fiat 500 Abarth

KW v1

Engine Control Module by Magneti Marelli with remote
FIAT 500 ABARTH Performance Exhaust by Magneti Marelli - Bombardone
Prototype cold air intake

Carbon Fiber
Carbon Fiber eyebrows
Carbon Fiber roof spoiler Lester
Carbon Fiber gear shift knob by black
Carbon mirror covers
Carbon Fiber diffuser Magneti Marelli
Stubby Antenna
Carbon Fiber Front lip

Craven short throw shifter
Custom Gear shift Boot by Black
Leather trunk handle by Black
Custom Tail lights

Marelli 17x7 custom powder coated orange
Toyo tires

Call 562-981-6800

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fiat Dealer Gets Top Honors

Passion, enthusiasm and energy.  When you think about Fiat, these qualities often come to mind.  They also come to mind when you think of the best Fiat Studios.  All Fiat Studios are beautiful showcases of contemporary Italian design, but what separates the best are the ones who have embraced the Fiat culture of enjoying and living life to the fullest.

Recently, the FIAT of Austin Studio has achieved a national sales record of being the first Fiat dealer in the country to sell 100 cars in a month.  For months, FIAT of Austin and other Fiat Studios from around the country, have been battling it out for the top honor of breaking that sales threshold.  Others have come close, but in the end, Lisa Copeland, the dynamic General Manager of FIAT of Austin, and her highly motivated staff of professionals, sold 110 Fiat 500s during the month of April. This also makes FIAT of Austin the number one Fiat Studio in the nation, with almost 300 Fiat 500 cars sold in 90 days. congratulates FIAT of Austin, Lisa and her staff for their accomplishments.  We are proud to have them as a sponsor of this site.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fiat 500 Abarth Performance Mods

SLOABARTH's Fiat 500 Abarth
Fiat 500 Abarth modified by forum member SLOABARTH

The Fiat 500 Abarth has only been on US roads for little more than a month and already there is a healthy aftermarket community and support network.  Companies like 500 Madness, Hot FIAT, TMC Tuning and Romeo Ferraris  have performance enhancements and accessories to turn the already potent 500 Abarth into a full out track car, a hot street ride or a comfortable tourer.

The Fiat 500 USA Forum has a full section on Abarth performance modifications. Make sure you visit it and see the latest projects.

Here are a few:
Forum member SLOABARTH's car is anything but 'slow'. See the thread: Started to modify my Abarth today (SLOABARTH's mod thread)

Modified Fiat 500 Abarth owned by atxabarth
Forum member atxabarth's modified 500 Abarth

Member atxabarth's 500 Abarth also gets the treatment:  See the thread: USA customized Abarth

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fiat 500 USA Sales Hit Stride

2012 Fiat 500 in Giallo

Fiat 500 sales for May reached 4,003 cars, setting a record for the fourth consecutive month. This is up 128 percent over last year's May sales of 1,759 cars (Fiat 500 sales began in March of 2011). Fiat sales performance this year has been healthy, with each month setting a record over the last. This lays to rest last year's story of slow sales (see the sales archive link below for the full story on Fiat sales).

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

Helping May sales was the Fiat 500 Abarth, which marked its first full month of deliveries. Dealer orders for the limited production Fiat 500 Abarth officially began in March, with car deliveries beginning in mid- April. At this time, dealer orders for the exciting 500 Abarth have now exceeded the 2012 production run. If you want a 2012 Abarth, contact your local Fiat Studio as soon as possible. There are still some cars filtering into Fiat Studios unspoken for.

Fiat 500 Current Month Last Year Vol Change Current YTD Total Last Year YTD Total Vol Change
4,003 1,759 128% 16,702 3,141 432%
April 2012 3,849 882 336% 12,699 1,382 819%
March 2012 3,712 500 642% 8,850 500 1670%
3,227 0 New 5,138 0 New
1,911 0 New 1,911 0 New