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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fiat 500L Earns Top Safety Pick!

Fiat 500L IIHS Crash Test

The 2014 Fiat 500L has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick rating. The Fiat 500L's performance in front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests achieved the highest-possible ratings.

The IIHS testing simulates a 40 MPH front moderate-overlap impact, a 31 MPH side impact, a roof-crush consistent with a rollover, and a 20 MPH rear collision capable of causing a whiplash injury.

The double A pillars contribute immensely to the strength and rigidity of the Fiat 500L's passenger compartment. Notice during the crash the door opening is barely deformed and the windshield doesn't break!

In each of these tests, the Fiat 500L recorded the highest-possible rating of “good.” This is consistent with crash test performed by Euro NCAP, the organization that assesses the safety performance of cars sold in Europe. The Fiat 500L achieved a 5 star crash rating - the highest Euro NCAP gives out and the best in class performance.

The roomy and versatile Fiat 500L is aimed towards families with active lifestyles who don't settle on ordinary transportation and appreciate European design and driving dynamics. Italian family cars have a tradition of being roomy, fun to drive and safe. Early in the 1960s Fiat took a leading role in pioneering safety advances in its market segment. Back then, safety features like controlled collapsibility and rigid passenger compartments were rare and only available on expensive cars. Fiat brought these innovations to the mainstream market, and by 1969, all Fiat passenger car bodies were able to maintain a minimum crash survival space for their occupants in any impact situation at any speed up to 30mph.*

Fiat 500L Driver Seat Crash Test Result
The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained very well.

Moderate Overlap Front Impact Test at 40 MPH

  • Overall evaluation GOOD
  • Structure and safety cage GOOD

Fiat 500L driver side crash test dummy

Smeared greasepaint indicates where the dummy's head hit the window frame and head restraint during rebound. Head accelerations from these hits were low.

Injury Measures
  • Head/neck GOOD
  • Chest GOOD
  • Leg/foot, left GOOD
  • Leg/foot, right GOOD
  • Restraints and dummy kinematics GOOD

Restraints and Dummy Kinematics

Dummy movement was well controlled. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the window frame in front of the B-pillar.

Injury Measures

Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity. Head acceleration from the window frame hit was low.

Fiat 500L IIHS Side Impact Test


Side Impact Test at 31 MPH

  • Overall evaluation GOOD
  • Structure and safety cage GOOD

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Driver Injury Measures
  • Head/neck GOOD
  • Torso GOOD
  • Pelvis/leg GOOD
  • Head protection GOOD

Fiat 500L driver dummy's head
Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side airbags.

Rear Passenger Injury Measures
  • Head/neck GOOD
  • Torso GOOD
  • Pelvis/leg GOOD
  • Head protection GOOD

Note: Side crash test ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side airbags.

Injury Measures

Driver — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Passenger — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Head Protection

Driver — The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof and a side airbag that deployed from the seat.

Passenger — The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof.

Head Restraints and Seat Whiplash Test

  • Type: Manual cloth seat
  • Overall evaluation GOOD
  • Dynamic rating GOOD
  • Seat/head restraint geometry GOOD

Important: Head restraints and seats ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

Roof Strength Rollover Test

To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes.

Vehicles only need a strength-to-weight ratio of 1.5 to meet the federal regulation. The Fiat 500L roof can withstand nearly 6 times its weight.

Overall evaluation GOOD
Curb weight 3,317 lbs
Peak force 19,557 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.90

Roof strength test ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.

Car Rating Peak force (lbs) Strength-to-weight ratio
Fiat 500L
2014 models
Good 19,557 5.90
Kia Soul
2014 models
Good 15,304 5.27
Mini Countryman
2011-13 models
Good 14,829 4.97
Nissan Juke
2011-13 models
Good 13,191 4.46
Ford Fiesta hatchback
2011-14 models
Good 13,142 5.05
Honda Fit
2012-13 models
Good 12,894 5.02
Toyota Yaris
2007-12 models
Acceptable 9,072 3.78
MINI Cooper
2007-13 models
Acceptable 8,810 3.44

Here is a look at just some of the 40 safety and technology features standard on the Fiat 500L designed to mitigate the impact of collisions:

•Advanced multistage air bags, which inflate with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact; unique to the Fiat 500L is a design that includes tethers to shape the air bag (standard)

•Full-length side-curtain air bags, which extend protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers; each side air bag has its own impact sensor that triggers deployment on the side where an impact occurs (standard)

•Driver’s-side knee air bag, which deploys with the driver’s advanced multistage air bag; located below the instrument panel, it is designed to properly position the occupant during impact and offer additional lower leg protection (standard)

•Seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, which provide enhanced protection to the driver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts; each side air bag has its own impact sensor that triggers deployment on the side where an impact occurs (standard)

•Reactive head restraints, which deploy in the event of a rear collision by minimizing the gap between the heads of the driver and front passenger and their respective head restraints (standard)

•Three second-row head restraints (standard)

•Seat belt pretensioners, which remove slack from the seat belt system to reduce forward movement of the occupant’s body, thereby maximizing the system’s efficiency; activated by impact sensors (standard)

•Digressive load limited retractors, which regulate force exerted on the occupant by the seat belt and then gradually releases seat belt webbing in a controlled manner; system features a digressive load limiter for the driver and the front passenger (standard)

•Three-point seat belts for front occupants; all rear seating positions have lap and shoulder belts (standard)

•Energy management system of three front load paths designed from high-strength steel manage vehicle crush and minimize cabin intrusion

•Crumple zones designed to deform during an accident to absorb energy from an impact, which decreases transfer of that energy to occupants

•Safety cage body structure, which protects occupants by managing and controlling energy in the event of an impact (standard)

•Side guard door beams, which provide occupant protection during a side impact

•Daytime running lamps for additional forward illumination; improves vehicle awareness

Read more:

Sources: IIHS, Fiat USA
*The New Fiat Guide by Jan P Norbye 1969

Friday, October 18, 2013

Alfa Romeo 4C Sets Record at Nurburgring

Alfa Romeo released a video of its new 4C sport car setting a record laptime at the Nürburgring circuit. Driven by the expert driver and journalist Horst von Saurma, the Alfa Romeo 4C completed one lap of the Nordschleife section in just 8'04'', a record for cars under 250 HP.

This time beats a slew of more powerful cars. Take a look at how the Alfa Romeo 4C stacks up against the competition:

8:04 - Alfa Romeo 4C, 240 PS
8:05 - Porsche Cayman S, 325 PS (sport auto 06/13)
8:05 - BMW M3, 420 PS (sport auto 12/07)
8:05 - BMW M5, (5th Gen)560 PS (sport auto 09/12)
8:05 - Mercedes CLK 63 AMG Black Series, 507 PS(sport auto 03/08)
8:05 - Ferrari 575M Maranello F1, 580 PS(sport auto 12/02)
8:05 - Porsche 997 Carrera S, (WHEELS 06/04)
8:05 - Porsche 997 Carrera S, 355PS(sport auto 05/05),
8:06 - Porsche Cayman R, 330 PS(sport auto 10/10)
8:09 - Honda NSX-R, 320 PS(sport auto 08/02)
8:10 - Chrysler Viper GTS, 411 PS(sport auto 10/97)
8:10 - Porsche Cayman R, 330 PS(sport auto 10/10)
8:10 - Porsche Boxster S, 310 PS (
8:11 - Porsche Cayman S, 295 PS(sport auto 07/05)
8:12 - Porsche 993 Turbo (sport auto 03/97)
8:41 - Lotus Elise SC, 220 PS (AutoBild sportscars 08/08)

The Alfa Romeo 4C is expected in the US during the second quarter of 2014.

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Fiat 500L Spare Tire Kit Available

Fiat 500L Trekking

Good news for Fiat 500L owners. The Fiat 500L Spare Tire Kit is finally available. The Fiat 500L Spare Tire Kit's part number is 82214046 and includes tire, wheel, jack and all hardware required for complete installation. Suggested retail price is $395 and can be ordered from your Fiat Studio today.

Fiat 500L Spare Tire
Fiat 500L Spare Tire


Spare tire image by forum member n00dle

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fiat Gets Ready for SEMA: Fiat 500L to be Shown!

Fiat 500L by Mopar Concept

Mopar released a teaser image of a new Fiat 500L concept car they will unveil at this year's SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show at the Las Vegas Convention Center Nov. 5-8. Personalization is the hallmark of Fiat ownership, and there is no better place than SEMA to showcase what can be done with your Fiat. Since the launch of the 500 in 2011, Fiat has been a huge hit at SEMA actually winning the Hottest Sport Compact Car Award that year. Each following year, Mopar, the parts and accessories arm of Chrysler, has unveiled Fiat concept cars that have been hits with the crowds attending the event.

According to the image shown, it looks as the Fiat 500L will be highlighted at this year's show. Mopar has been steadily adding new accessories to the full Fiat 500 lineup and has recently released a line of accessories for the Fiat 500L. Don't be surprised to see these featured on whatever 500L is on displayed. While we don't know precisely what the Mopar 500L concept car will be, you can expect something cool and maybe a little wild!

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Fiat 500 Titanium show car
Fiat 500 Titanium show car

Fiat 500 Cafe Racer
Fiat 500 Cafe Racer

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Can't Miss Fiat Fall Events

Fiat 500 Event

Fall is here and there is plenty to do if you are a Fiat enthusiast. Fiat 500 owners all over the country have get-togethers and events planned throughout the season. Below are just a few, but make sure you visit the event and regional forums to find more fun happenings near where you live.

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Fall FIAT on the Dragon event October 11-13
Coming up this week are two events that shouldn't be missed. The first is the Fall FIAT on the Dragon event at Deal's Gap on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Located here is a stretch of two lane road known as the Tail of the Dragon, which packs in 318 curves in its eleven miles making this one of America's the best roads.

The weekend will start Friday evening, October 11 at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Norcross, GA and runs through the weekend with a stop off at Atlanta's Annual Italian Car Day

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Atlanta’s Annual Italian Car Day!

Saturday, October 12th, 2013, 10 AM to 3 PM

Atlanta’s Italian Car Day celebrates its 17th year of Italian automotive style; exhibiting private collections of the finest exotic Italian cars at Lillian Webb Park, 5 College Street in historic downtown Norcross, GA. The event includes the car show, marque awards, a raffle and silent auction. New dealer cars, vendors and merchandise will be on display to add excitement.

Saturday, October 12th, 10 AM to 3 PM, (Show cars should arrive before 10 AM)
Downtown Historic Norcross, GA at Lillian Webb Park, northeast Atlanta.
Show vehicle registration $25 at gate, spectator admission free, lunch on own
Post show reception at Landmark Fiat of Atlanta from 3 PM to 5 PM

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FIAT Club America SOCAL Chapter Upcoming Events, 5th Avenue Auto showcase

Join The FIAT Club America SOCAL Chapter for the 5th Annual Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase presented by car2go San Diego (FAAS) on Sunday, October 13, 2013 from 11:00am to 4:00pm and get up close and personal with some of the most iconic automobiles in history! This free to view event will feature 150+ high-performance automobiles along Fifth Avenue between E and L Street, ranging from the traditional classics to the lavish contemporary luxury vehicles.

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Fiat 500 on display

FIAT Club America SOCAL Chapter Upcoming Events, Best of France and Italy Car Show

The FIAT Club America SOCAL Chapter will be attending the Best of France and Ital Car show in Woodley Park in Van Nuys CA on November 3rd. From 9am - 4PM. This is one of the best car show and events to attend here in Southern California. The FIAT Club will have a special FIAT Car Club Corral. Please RSVP with Sean Russell.

Come join us at Woodley Park, Van Nuys for a day with the best of French and Italian motoring machinery. This a non-judged show, from the rough restoration project to the serious concours offering.

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VIR Full Course Track Day Monday Nov. 4!!!

The Phil Wicks Driving Academy will be running a one-day event on the Full Course at VIRginia International Raceway on Monday November 4. If you want to learn how to really get the most out of driving your Abarth and have a blast doing it at one of the greatest road courses in the world, sign up by going to

At the website you'll learn more about Phil Wicks and his incredible range of experience. He'll be doing the classroom instruction at the event, and will also spend some time on the track.

Cost for the event is $350 per car and there are limited spaces left available. Go to the website or call Phil at 314.330.6449 or 803.699.4691.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

First Modified FIAT 500L at Motor Trend Auto Show

Fiat 500L Madness Edition

Our friends at 500 Madness have wasted no time tricking out the new Fiat 500L and created a show car that highlights just some of what you can do to this versatile, fun car. The MADNESS Edition 500L features a huge list of modifications and accessories:

MADNESS 500L Lowering Springs 1.2" drop
MADNESS Dual Exhaust (Prototype)
MADNESS Hi Flow Intake (Prototype)
MADNESS ECU (new improved version)
SMD Interior Light Kit
Color Matched Interior Dash and Gear Shift Trim (White)
Custom 500L Gear Shift Boot by BLACK
Window Tint
Roof Tint
All Chrome removed and redone in matching White
All Badging removed and redone in matching White
Trim and Accent Pieces removed and redone in Gloss Black
PTP Turbo Blanket
Turbo Actuator
Upgraded Throttle Body
Stubby Antenna
MADNESS Custom Floor Mats (coming soon)
Wheel Stud Conversion
Wilwood Custom Brake Kit (modified by us to fit the 500L)
Custom Team Dynamics 18" Wheels made exclusively for MADNESS for this application

The Fiat 500L modified by 500 Madness can currently be seen at the Motor Trend Orange County Auto Show held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, October 3rd - 6th. Make sure you check it out!

Fiat 500L modified by 500 Madness

Below is the official press release:

Industry's First Modified FIAT 500L Highlighted at The Motor Trend Auto Show

  • 500 MADNESS, the largest provider of aftermarket parts and accessories for the FIAT 500 and 500L, adds boost in power and response for an improved experience.

Signal Hill, CA October 03, 2013 500 MADNESS, the leading innovator and provider of aftermarket parts and accessories for the FIAT 500 series, will be showcasing the industry’s first modified FIAT 500L, the MADNESS Edition 500L, at the Motor Trend Orange County Auto Show. You can visit the 500 MADNESS team and see the all-new MADNESS Edition 500L, located in the center of the main hall, next to Lexus, Acura and Honda, starting Thursday, October 3rd - 6th 2013.

“Our goal was to create a 500L that is both functional and fun,” stated Boris Tilim, principal at 500 MADNESS. “We were not interested in turning a 500L family car in to a race car. We were looking to modify the car in a way that kept it reliable and usable as a stylish family vehicle while giving it the feel and look of a performance car.”

At the Motor Trend Orange County Auto Show, 500 MADNESS will display a number of customized vehicles, including the new MADNESS Edition 500L. The new MADNESS Edition 500L includes modifications to the engine, the interior and the exterior of the automobile.

“Nearly two-thirds of consumers who are in the market to purchase a new vehicle will consider the availability and scope of accessories before making a vehicle-buying decision,” Tilim stated. “At the show in Orange County, we will showcase our capabilities and communicate that MADNESS offers proven, quality-tested parts and accessories for the new wave of FIAT vehicles.”

MADNESS Edition 500L
The new FIAT® 500L brings more interior space, more doors, more passengers, more fun and more life. Featuring expansive views with minimal obstructions of the outside world, and clever technology like the Uconnect® System for the inside, the FIAT 500L is sophisticated, fun and defined by exceptional contemporary Italian design.

To enhance the original stock design, the team at 500 MADNESS first went to work on the suspension. MADNESS Edition Lowering Springs were installed to improve the handling of the car and to also give the car a more aggressive stance. Then the team at MADNESS enlisted the assistance of Team Dynamics and had them create a custom 18” wheel for the vehicle. High performance tires were also added to complete the handling upgrade.

Next the team at 500 MADNESS focused on the stock brake system. The stock brakes were replaced with a custom made Wilwood Brake Kit, a high quality, high performance braking system for street and race cars alike.

Next, 500 MADNESS concentrated on extracting more power from the factory motor. The goal was to increase usable power and offline response. 500 MADNESS chose to go with many of their current proven performance additions that have become very popular with the FIAT 500 ABARTH and FIAT 500 Turbo owners.

The stock 500L is rated at 160HP. The MADNESS Edition 500L is currently reaching 200HP with reliable, bolt on performance parts. MADNESS was able to achieve that gain by installing their MADNESS Engine Module, custom intake system, revised throttle body, custom pulley and a custom exhaust system. In addition an adjustable throttle module was also installed to help eliminate “throttle lag.” The end result was a significant boost in power and response.

Then, to set the MADNESS 500L apart from the rest, the team paid particular attention to the exterior details of the vehicle. From chrome trim to model name badges, nothing was left untouched by the painter's brush. Exterior details that generally get overlooked, were either color matched to the vehicle, or painted in a gloss black. The end result was a more aggressive look and feel to go along with the functionality and fun of the MADNESS Edition 500L.

All the parts and accessories used in producing the MADNESS Edition 500L are available individually from 500 MADNESS. For more information on the MADNESS Edition line of FIAT vehicles or 500 MADNESS, please visit or call 562-981-6800.

About 500 MADNESS
500 MADNESS is the largest U.S. provider of FIAT 500 aftermarket parts and accessories. With over 1,000 different products in stock, 500 MADNESS helps provide FIAT 500 owners and customizers with everything they need to customize their vehicle.

Based in Signal Hill, CA, MADNESS AUTOWORKS serves as the home to both 500 MADNESS and SMART MADNESS, the largest in stock inventory of parts and accessories for smart cars in the world. Founded in 2008, MADNESS AUTOWORKS has over 2,000 accessories that are ready to ship, helping drivers and customizers build the perfect smart car for their exact needs and specifications abroad or on site at their Signal Hill, CA facility. For more information please visit:
Madness Autoworks
500 Madness
Smart Madness

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Alfa Romeo 4C Full Specifications

Alfa Romeo 4C cornering

Here is a look at the full specifications of the new Alfa Romeo 4C. You'll note that these are for the European version of the 4C, the US model is due out sometime during the second quarter of 2014. The US version of the Alfa 4C is expected to weigh about 220 lbs more than the European version (2,172 vs. 1952 lbs) due to federal crash standards and equipment changes. We'll have the US specs for the Alfa Romeo 4C posted as soon as they are available.

Alfa Romeo 4C Technical Specifications

(European version)

Alfa Romeo 4C Engine

Type: 1750 cc, aluminium, 4 cylinders, turbocharged
Position: Central
Orientation: Transverse
Displacement (cm³): 1742
Maximum power kW (HP-EC) at rpm: 177 (240) 6000
Maximum torque Nm at rpm: 350 between 2200 and 4250

Alfa Romeo 4C DNA Switch

Type: Evolved Alfa DNA
Positions: All Weather, Natural, Dynamic, Race

Alfa Romeo 4C Suspension Cutaway

Gearbox: Alfa TCT with dual dry clutch,
paddle controls and Launch Control
Number of gears: 6 + R
Drive: Rear
Differential: Electronic Q2

Type: Carbon fibre monocoque
Front suspension: Double wishbone
Rear suspension: Evolved MacPherson
Front brakes: (mm) Dual-cast, perforated, self-ventilated 305x28 discs with
Brembo fixed 4 piston calipers
Rear brakes: (mm) Perforated, self-ventilated 292x22 discs
Standard front tyres: 205/45 R17
Standard rear tyres: 235/40 R18

Alfa Romeo 4C Structure

Steering box: Rack and pinion

Acceleration: 0–100 km/h (secs) 4,5
Braking distance: 100 - 0 km/h (m) 36
Top speed: (km/h) 258
Maximum deceleration when braking (g): 1,25
Maximum lateral acceleration (g): 1,1

Unladen weight (kg): 895
Fuel tank with Fast Fuel (litres): 40

according to Directive 1999/100/EC
Consumption (l/100 km) urban cycle: 9,8
Extra-urban cycle: 5,0
Combined cycle: 6,8
CO2 emissions (g/km): 157
Environmental classification: Euro 6

Alfa Romeo 4C Interior

Number of seats: 2
Length (mm): 3989
Width (mm): 1864
Height (mm): 1183
Wheelbase (mm): 2380
Luggage compartment capacity (dm³): 110

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fiat 500 September Sales Dip

Fiat 500T

Fiat 500 sales for September took a sizable dip, ending 18-consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth. Overall sales of the Fiat 500 were down 24 percent last month compared to the same month last year. Especially hit hard were 500 Hatchback and Cabrio sales, which recorded a 49 percent sales slump. However, it should be mentioned that September 2012 was the best selling month ever for the 500. Last year's sales were also helped by aggressive year end incentives that curiously haven't yet happened this year. Still, 500 Hatchbacks and Cabrios sales have slowed over the past few months and need a good jolt to get back on track.

Fiat 500L sales also took a disconcerting hit in September and recorded a 16 percent drop compared to last month. Fiat Studios point to a varied product mix and the inability to get certain colors having hurt sales.

Auto sales in general for September are expected to be down somewhat due to many factors including weaker consumer confidence and the current uncertainty around the federal debt situation. Lowered gas prices also have not helped small car sales.

Whatever the reason for this decline in sales, expect Fiat to redouble their efforts in October and come up with something to inject some excitement and bring traffic into Fiat Studios. New models, such as the 500 Cattiva will be hitting dealerships and don't be surprised if you see more social media contests, enhanced incentives and other promotions to kick in this month.

Fiat 500 Sales in the United States - Jan - September 2013
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTD TotalLast Year YTD TotalVol Change
Sept 2013






August 2013






July 2013






June 2013






May 2013      4,051  4,003     +1%        17,562        16,702  +5%
April 2013      3,899  3,849      +1%        13,511        12,699   +6%
March 2013      3,807  3,712      +3%         9,612          8,850   +9%
February 2013      3,302  3,227      +2%         5,805          5,138   +13%
January 2013      2,503  1,911     31%         2,503          1,911   +31%

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