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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fiat 500 Tops in JD Power's APEAL Awards

Fiat 500 Hatcback and Cabrio

The Fiat 500 took top honors in its class in the JD Power's APEAL Awards. The J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) test study examines what owners like about their new vehicles after 90 days of ownership. APEAL is based on eight categories of vehicle performance and design: engine/transmission; ride, handling and braking; comfort/convenience; seats; cockpit/instrument panel; heating, ventilation and cooling; sound system; and styling/exterior.

Fiat 500 Dashboard

The Fiat 500 was scored as having the best overall performance and design; features and instrument panel, and style in its class. Competitors in the City Car category soundly beaten by the Fiat 500 included the Chevrolet Spark, Scion IQ and Smart FourTwo.

JD Powers APEAL Ratings by Category - City Car
Overall Performance and DesignPerformanceComfortFeatures and Instrument PanelStyle
Fiat 500       *****      ****   ***       **********
       ***        ***    ***       ***  ***
Scion IQ       **        **     **       **   **
Smart FourTwo       **        **  *****       **  **

***** Among the best **** Better than most *** About average **The rest

The Fiat 500 has won many awards, but this JD Power award is particularly important because it shows that Fiat owners are happy with the design and performance of their car, which is what ultimately matters the most.

Source:JD Power

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Italian Car Designer Fabrizio Vacca at Fiat Freak Out

Fabrizio Vacca, lead interior designer for the new Fiat 500L flew in from Fiat's headquarters in Torino, Italy to attend this year's Fiat Freakout held last week. The friendly and personable Vacca spent much time talking with Fiat fans during the event and held a presentation during the awards banquet. He gave an overview on the rich history of Fiat family car design and where the new Fiat 500L fits into this heritage. Below is the presentation for those who missed it.

Above is an interview where Vacca gives his impressions on the Fiat FreakOut. On behalf of the all the Fiat enthusiasts at the event last week, I would like to thank Fabrizio Vacca for visiting this year's show and for his graciousness.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Win a Fiat 500 with McDonald's MONOPOLY Game!

Fiat 500c Cabrio

Here's a good reason to go to McDonald's besides a Happy Meal; Fiat is giving away cars! That's right, now you can leave McDonald's in style in a brand new Fiat 500. For the second year in a row, Fiat has teamed up with America's favorite fast food restaurant to give away twenty-six new Fiat 500 vehicles to winners participating in McDonald's MONOPOLY game. Up for grabs this year are three different Fiat 500 models including the Fiat 500L, 500 Hatchback, and 500 Cabrio. Entering is easy, head on down to your local McDonald's or, if you have a more discerning palate, go to and enter online.

Your chance to win a Fiat 500 in the MONOPOLY game at McDonald's runs from July 16 through August 12 in restaurants and online through August 26, 2013. Go for it!

Details below:

Participants have two ways to enter to win a Fiat 500 vehicle:

• In-restaurants: The 2013 MONOPOLY® Game at McDonald’s® is available at participating McDonald’s restaurants starting July 16 through August 12, or while supplies last. Players can peel Game Pieces from select menu items to instantly win one of ten Fiat 500 vehicles or collect property sets for a chance to win one of fifteen Fiat 500 vehicles, cash prizes up to $1 million (payable $50,000/yr for 20 yrs, without interest) and many other exciting prizes.

• Online Sweepstakes: Starting July 16 through August 26, players (13 yrs and older) can enter McDonald’s Game Piece codes at for one entry into the Online Sweepstakes for the chance to win a 2013 Fiat 500 Cabrio.

The MONOPOLY Game at McDonald’s is open to residents of the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and Saipan. For complete details and Official Game Rules, visit

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PLAY/WIN A PRIZE. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE CHANCES OF WINNING. Internet access & valid email required for Online play. Games open to residents of the 50 US, DC, Guam, Saipan & Puerto Rico. In-Store begins 7/16/13, ends 8/12/13, or while supplies last. *Odds based on Game Pieces (each has 2 Game Stamps); mostly food prizes. Online Game is time seeded, begins 7/16/13 at 12:00:00 a.m. EDT, ends 8/26/13 at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT. Must be 13+ to play Online. Games subject to Official Rules avail. at participating McDonald’s restaurants and; see for restrictions, prizes/claim details, ARVs, odds and no purchase play. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: McDonald’s USA, LLC, Oak Brook, IL 60523.

©2013 McDonald’s. MONOPOLY TM, ® & © 2013 Hasbro.

Details from FIAT USA

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 Fiat FreakOut Wrap Up

2013 Fiat FreakOut

The 2013 Fiat FreakOut has just wrapped up and was an outstanding success. Fiat enthusiasts from around the country, Canada and even Europe showed up at  Long Island, New York, home of this year's FreakOut, to take part in the four day celebration of Fiat Group cars. Fans were treated to rare cars, including Fiat Dinos, a Lancia Apppia, an Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato and 8C Competizione coupe, to name just few. FreakOut Photo Album

Between scenic drives, cruises and cocktail parties, attendees had the opportunity to talk with the Nicole Longhini, Fiat 500L Product Marketing Manager and Fabrizio Vacca, Senior Interior Designer of the 500L. Vacca, who flew in from Torino, Italy just for the show, gave a presentation on the new Fiat 500L with an overview of the history of Fiat family car design and where the 500L fits in.

First row at 2013 Fiat FreakOut

Fiat FreakOut was started in 1983 - the same year Fiat stopped selling new cars in the US - by  Bobb Rayner and a handful of Fiat enthusiasts. They formed a club called the Fiat Lancia Underground that later became Fiat Lancia Unlimited. Over the past thirty years, this Fiat club has evolved into the largest in North America with the Fiat FreakOut the largest gathering of Fiat enthusiasts in the nation. For carrying the Fiat banner and supporting the brand while Fiat was absent from the US market for 28 years, the Fiat Lancia Unlimited club was rewarded by Fiat in 2010 by being offered the first batch of Fiat 500s off of the production line.

Spiders at 2013 Fiat FreakOut

This year marked a name change for the club, which is now called Fiat Club America. Whatever the club is called, though, it is still built upon being a friendly and welcoming community of Fiat Group car enthusiasts, just as it was in the beginning.

Next year's Fiat FreakOut is being held in Chicago. Become a part of it and join the Fiat Club America!

Panorama photo courtesy of Fiat Club America