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Friday, December 27, 2013

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' Video

Here is the latest video on the new Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' model that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show back in September this year. The Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' celebrates the original Abarth 595 that debuted 50 years ago on September 15, 1963. That Fiat Abarth 595 took the normal Fiat 500 to an extreme level, doubling the horsepower of the standard car with the elaborate engine modifications that Abarth is famous for. Abarth also modified the trim of the car and the 595 quickly became a status symbol for those who love to drive quick and agile small cars.

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary'

The new car follows in those footsteps quite well. With a 180 HP 1.4 T-Jet engine that is more than double that of the base 500's 69 hp and trim that stands out from even the already hot looking standard Abarth's, the '50th Anniversary' model is a fitting tribute to the original.

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' and original

The Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' edition uses the Magneti Marelli Record Monza variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust that has a valve that opens the exhaust at engine speeds over 3,000 rpm, improving engine performance and giving the car a wicked sound.

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' rear

An Abarth Competizione gearbox is used in the 595 '50th Anniversary'. This is an automated manual gearbox that can shift by itself or shifted manually via the paddle shifters on either side of the steering wheel. The first appearance of the Abarth Competizione gearbox was in 1949 when one of Carlo Abarth's first performance products offered was a competition gearbox with steering wheel controls for the Fiat Topolino.

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary'dashboard

White seats with red leather seating surfaces and 595 emblazoned into the headrests show off the unique interior of the new car. Red dashboard counterpoints the white exterior.

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' interior

The inspiration for the Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' edition is the original 595 from 1963. Abarth worked their magic and increased the displacement of the standard Fiat 500 from 499.5 cc to 595 cc and the power went to 27 HP, more than doubling the stock car's. Along with the substantial performance increase, Abarth wanted to make sure everyone knew this was one hot car, so he added a special grille, badging and offered a host of accessories so you could personalize the car the way you wanted to. Ever wonder why your new Abarth has badges on the sides? It's called heritage! Or as Abarth says the car "looks to the future without betraying its past."

Fiat Abarth 595

Xenon headlights, Brembo 4 piston caliper brakes, 17 inch Magnesium Grey wheels with red liners and special badges and stripes complete the package.

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' wheels

Only 299 of the Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' will be made and, like all Abarth special editions, expect the model to be quickly sold out. Abarth is also starting a promotional campaign celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 595. A digital rally is planned, along with videos, and a phone app that looks like fun. Keep your eye out for these.

Update:  Go here to get the Abarth Sound System Phone App! 

Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' badge

New 2014 Abarth 595 '50th Anniversary' SPECIFICATIONS
Dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted.


Vehicle Type A-segment hatchback
Tychy, Poland


Layout Transverse-mounted front engine, front-wheel drive
Construction Unitized steel body


Type and Description: Inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, turbocharged
Displacement: 83.48 cu. in. (1368 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke: 2.83 x 3.31 in. (72.0 x 84.0 mm)
Valve System: Belt-driven, DOHC, 16 valves
Construction: Cast-iron block with aluminum-alloy head and aluminum-alloy bedplate
Compression Ratio: 9.8:1
Fuel Feed: Sequential Multipoint electronic injection
with fixed geometry turbocharger
Turbocharger: Garret 1446 Fixed Nozzle Turbine
Maximum: Turbo Boost (psi / bar) 22 psi / 1.5 bar
Exhaust: Magneti Marelli Record Monza Dual Mode
Power (SAE): 180 bhp (132 kW) @ 5,500 rpm (131 bhp/L)
Torque (SAE):
Normal: 169 lb.-ft. (230 N•m) @ 2,000 rpm
Sport: 184 lb.-ft. (250 N•m) @ 3,000 rpm
Max. Engine Speed: 6,500 rpm (electronically limited)
Oil Capacity: 3.06 qt. (2.9L) with dry filter
Coolant Capacity: 5.4 qt. (5.15L)
Fuel: Unleaded petrol 95 RON or 98 RON
(Specification EN228)
Performance: Max speed: 140+ mph
0-62 mph: under 7 secs


Five forward speeds plus reverse with
electronically managed electrohydraulic control system


Battery: 250 A, 50 amp/hr

MacPherson suspension, coil spring with KONI Frequency
Selective Damping (FSD) twin-tube shock absorbers and 0.79 (20 mm) stabilizer
Rear twist-beam axle with coil springs with KONI Frequency
Selective Damping (FSD) twin-tube shock absorbers with 0.83 (21 mm) solid stabilizer bar

Type: Power rack and pinion with electric power steering

Rotor size and type: Drilled and vented, multi-section, diameter
11.2 x 1.10 (285 x 28)
Caliper size and type: Brembo Monobloc fixed front calipers with 4 x ø 36/40 mm pistons
Swept area: NA
Rotor size and type: 9.4 x 0.4 (240 x 11) drilled and solid
Caliper size and type: Floating rear calipers with single ø 34 mm pistons
Swept area: 153 sq. in. (984 sq. cm)
Brake Pads: HP 1000 high performance front brake pads

Wheelbase: 90.6 (2300)
Track: Front 55.5 (1409)
Track: Rear 55.2 (1402)
Overall Length: 143.98 (3657)
Overall Width: 64.1 (1627)
74.5 (1893) with side mirrors
Overall Height: 58.5 (1485) to roof
Ground Clearance: 4.0 (1032)
Curb Weight lb. (kg):
Unladen weight (with all fluids, fuel tank filled
to 90% and without optional equipment)lb. (kg): 2359 (1070)
Fuel Tank Capacity: gal. (L) 9.25 (35)

Size: 7J x 17 H2 ET38

Size: 205/40 R17 84W XL

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Fiat 500L with All Wheel Drive Spotted

Spy shots of upcoming Fiat 500 models have been making the rounds on the internet. The latest is a video of a Fiat 500L with AWD undergoing testing high altitude testing in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Speculation is that the vehicle spotted is a test mule for the upcoming AWD Fiat 500X crossover, due to hit production in the third quarter of next year, but could also be an AWD version of the 500L. Since Fiat re-entered the US market in 2011, fans have been clamoring for the company to bring in the Panda 4x4, a car that has an international reputation as a go anywhere do anything car. Fiat has been mum on any news that the Panda is coming here, though.

Fiat 500L AWD rear suspension

There is no secret that the AWD Fiat 500X crossover is coming, however, what other Fiats are coming down the road have been subject to much speculation. Earlier this year, Fiat brand chief Gianluca Italia confirmed the 500X is in the pipeline, but had been quoted as saying "there’s a limit to the number of variants the company can make to leverage the car’s strong identity." And also stated that no further models would be added to the 500 line-up.

2015 Fiat 500X

This is at odds with other reports that Fiat will distill its offerings down to just two nameplates or sub-brands - the Panda and the 500. These two models are the best selling cars in their market segment, and the 500 in particular is a highly profitable model. The Panda lineup would stand for strong value and the 500 would be aimed at buyers wanting a premium experience. This would be quite a change of directions for Fiat, who has been a full line manufacturer of cars for all segments for more than 100 years.

Fiat European Product Plan 2010-2014
Fiat plans from 2010 called for many new models, however, all were canceled except for the Panda and MPV (Fiat 500L) models due to poor economic conditions.

This is in response to abysmal European car sales - the lowest in more than 20 years. Sales across the region have fallen for six consecutive years. Fiat has been particularly hard hit because of its traditional reliance on European and Italian auto sales in contrast to Volkswagen who has a larger international footprint and is taking advantage of better US and Chinese market conditions. Fiat sales have fallen to levels not seen in decades and has been saved from total disaster with strong sales in Brazil and in the US through its alliance with Chrysler.

What is even more alarming is the European market isn't expected to recover for maybe another four or five years. Fiat's plan to focus on two of its most profitable cars is the company's way of riding out the storm and breaking even in the most expeditious time frame. Concentrating on the 500 and Panda will also free up resources so Fiat can invest in high margin Alfa Romeo models. It is notoriously expensive to build cars in Italy and these high profit cars are key to keeping Fiat's Italian factories running. All told, Fiat is expected to invest $12.3 billion (9 billion euros)in new models in the coming years.

2013 Fiat Punto
The attractive 2013 Fiat Punto is Fiats third best selling model but is essentially a facelifted version of the model introduced in 2005. Originally the car was to have been redesigned in 2013, but has been put off due to the economic crises in Europe. Fiat sales last year were the lowest since 1979. When asked about the delay, Sergio Marchionne has been quoted in the media saying, "If the Italian market stays as it is, launching the Punto now would be a huge failure, we'd never be able to repay the investment." Latest speculation is the new Punto replacement will be a five door member of the Fiat 500 family. A two door version would be nice, but is not expected.

Besides the 500X, there will most certainly be a larger 500 variant slotted to replace the B segment Fiat Punto. The Punto, which is slightly smaller than a VW Golf, is currently the brand's No. 3-selling model in Europe after the Panda and 500; however, a replacement is now long overdue. The redesigned Punto was scheduled to arrive this year but had been put on hold because of poor economic conditions in Europe. Now company insiders are mentioning that when the new Punto comes out sometime in 2016 it will be badged as a larger 500 model in five door form. Abarth fans looking forward for a new car in the future would love a two door version, but that sadly is not likely. According to sources inside the company, sales of two door hatchbacks have lost their popularity with the public and the investment is difficult to justify.

Abarth Punto Evo

So will Fiat expand the 500 lineup or not? We'll see how all this plays out after the end of the first quarter next year when Fiat reveals its new five year plan sometime in April.

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500L image:
Video: TFL car

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fiat 500 November Sales for 2013

2014 Fiat 500L Trekking

Fiat has reported sales figures for November, and they show an overall drop of 1 percent over last year's sales totals for the year. Breaking down the numbers for November, Fiat sold 2,138 hatchbacks and Cabrios which is a 41 percent drop compared to November 2012 sales figures  of 3,306. Sales last month of the 500L were also off when compared to the previous month - 937 versus 1,296 units. Overall year to date, Fiat sold 39,941 cars this year compared to 40,065 last year and needs to sell 3,831 cars in December just to match last year's ending sales total of 43,772.

Fiat 500L luggage area
Didn't know the subcompact Fiat 500L can accommodate objects nearly 8 feet long or has the interior room of a fullsize car? Don't feel bad, most of America doesn't know either. Critics say current Fiat commercials while fun, are spending too much time focusing on beach parties with Pitbull and not enough time introducing the car to its key demographic.

What sticks in your mind about this commercial? Is it the car or the bikini bottoms and crab? Does it communicate the core values and strengths of what the family oriented 500L is about? What do you think? Tell us on the forum.

Total Fiat sales this year have been running neck and neck with last year's sales totals despite the introduction of the larger 5-door 500L in June. Sales of the 500 hatchback and Cabrio models took a hit when the 500L was introduced. Dealers talked to mention that showroom traffic is not there and point to a national advertising campaign that seems to be missing the mark. The latest ads for the 500L, one of the roomiest and versatile family cars in its segment, focuses on girls in bikinis and does nothing to show off the feature rich 500L. How ads, more memorable for women getting undressed in the back seat of a car, can relate to buyers of family cars is open to debate. Six months into the launch, it may be time to showcase more of the 500L's capabilities.

Sales of some of Fiat's competitors have also experienced a sales slump this year. The improving economy and steady or declining energy costs are factors that traditionally impact small car sales and have no doubt played a role. Below are a few examples of how some of Fiat's competitors are doing this year.

Percentage compared to the previous YTD totals*
  • Kia Soul -2.4%
  • MINI Cooper -4.6%
  • Smart FourTwo -10.3%
  • Scion Tc -16.6%
  • Hyundai Veloster -17.4%
  • Toyota Yaris -24%
  • Mazda 2 -29%

Whatever the reason for the current sales performance, what is clear is Fiat needs to bring more people into the showroom to experience all the unique and award winning 500 and 500L models. When that happens, look for a reversal of the past few months. Don't be surprised if you see some changes real soon.

Fiat 500L Adventurer Concept Car

November Recap
Fiat kicked off November with a splash, showing off customized 2014 Fiat 500L models at the 2013 SEMA Show. The Fiat display this year highlighted what you can do to a 500L with a little imagination and the Mopar Accessory Catalog. Speaking of splashes, a fleet of four Fiat 500 watercrafts escorted the new Italian MSC Divina Cruise Liner on her maiden voyage to her home in PortMiami, drawing much publicity in the important Miami and south Florida market.

Fiat 500 Watercraft and MSC Divina

The 500 also received more honors this month. First up was the 2014 Fiat 500e being named “Best Electric” by Road&Track magazine. The 500e was also named best electric vehicle by Spanish-language automotive radio show, Ruedas ESPN, and “top electric vehicle” in the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s “Drive Revolution” green car competition. Topping off the month was the 500e being named by the Hispanic Motor Press Awards panel as one of Top Ten Cars of 2014 for Hispanic families.

Fiat 500 1957 Edition at LA Auto Show

Fiat at LA Auto Show
Fiat unveiled its new 2014 500 hatchback, Cabrio and Abarth lineup at the LA Auto Show last month. New 2014 Fiat 500 hatchbacks and Cabrios feature several changes designed to enhance the ownership experience. The front passenger seat has been revised and now sits 1 inch (25 mm) lower for more headroom. Additionally, the passenger seat now has seat position memory with the tilt/slide seat handle operating just like the driver's, making it easier to get in and out of the back seat. An arm rest has also now been provided for the passenger. These changes were the response to the most often asked for requests by owners of the 500.

Fiat 500 Sport Interior in Avorio

2014 Fiat 500 Sport models can be had with a new Avorio (ivory) accented interior and new sculpted five-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels are available.

Two new exterior colors have also been added to the lineup: Granito Lucente (granite crystal) and Nero Puro (straight black). These replace last year's Grigio (grey metallic) and Nero (black metallic)) paints.

The 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth models share the same passenger seat modifications and color changes. There is also a new 16 inch multi-spoke aluminum wheel finished in Hyper Nero (black) available as an option.

Fiat 500 1957 Edition and Original

New Fiat 500 Debuts
Fiat also debuted a new version of the 500 at the LA Auto Show. Called the Fiat 500 "1957 Edition," the new car pays homage to the iconic 1957 Fiat 500. Vintage badging, unique steel wheels and exterior and interior colors and trim captures the classic look of the original. Based on the 500 Lounge model, the 1957 Edition borrows the suspension from the 500 Sport and Turbo models for a very nimble and lively driving experience. Look for the limited production 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition to be available sometime in April next year.

Fiat 500 Sales in the United States - January - November 2013
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTD TotalLast Year YTD TotalVol Change
Nov 2013






Oct 2013






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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* Through Oct 2013. Source: Good Car Bad Car