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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

North American Alfa Romeo Dealers Being Notified

Alfa Romeo 4C on Track

UPDATE 3/26: A smaller number of Maserati dealers in certain key markets will also be appointed Alfa Romeo dealers based on meeting certain performance requirements.

Breaking News: Letters of intent are going out to select Fiat dealers letting them know they are eligible for a new Alfa Romeo franchise. Only top performing Fiat dealers, in addition to the handful of Maserati dealers, will make the first round choice to pick up an Alfa Romeo franchise.

After the initial group of Alfa Romeo dealers are selected, the remaining Fiat dealer network will have an opportunity to qualify for an Alfa franchise as long as they achieve the same high performance standards as the original group. A second round of Alfa franchise appointments is anticipated to happen during the fourth quarter of this year followed by another group of dealers having a shot at the franchise at the beginning of next year. Interestingly, there will be no additional Maserati dealers selected after the initial choices or so the plan says.

Alfa Romeo, one of the most storied car marques of all time, will be reentering the North American marketplace after a nineteen year absence. The first model sold will be the acclaimed Alfa Romeo 4C sports car. The mid-engine two-seater will make its North American debut next month at the New York Auto Show. Harald Wester, CEO of Alfa Romeo, said earlier this month during the Geneva Motor Show that the 4C will be launched during the second quarter of this year - literally weeks away.

Alfa Romeo 4C WTCC

The Alfa Romeo 4C has garnered a slew of awards since its introduction last spring.
  • Most Exciting Car of 2013 - U.K.
  • Car/ of The Year - U.K.
  • Best Imported Sports Car - Germany
  • Most Beautiful Car of 2013 - France
  • Best Sports Car 2014 - Portugal
  • Best Sport Car - Spain
  • Coupé of the Year - Poland

The limited production sports car is manufactured at the Maserati factory in Modena, Italy, and is mostly hand made of exotic materials which preclude it being made in large numbers. Preliminary production figures were approximately 3,500 cars total, with about 1,000 going to North America. Recent talk is there may be an expansion of the assembly line to keep up with the expected demand. Billed as the "affordable supercar," pricing for the North American Alfa Romeo 4C has yet to be announced, but in Europe it is slotted somewhere between the base Porsche Cayman and more expensive Cayman S.

Alfa Romeo 4C Architecture

We'll keep you posted as more information rolls in. In the meantime, read the stories listed below to get up to speed on this exciting new Alfa Romeo model:

Attention New Alfa Romeo Dealers: If you have been confirmed for an Alfa Romeo Franchise, please contact this website to be included in the Alfa dealer list.

Use link above or: alfadealer (at)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top Fiat Dealer Celebrates Grand Opening

FIAT of Austin

Our friends at FIAT of Austin, Texas celebrated their grand opening of their new facility this past Thursday. FIAT of Austin holds the distinction of being the top Fiat Studio in the country, selling 2,237 cars since its opening in February 2011. The dealership celebrated the opening of their new larger location with a grand opening event that featured the unveiling of four artist-painted Fiat 500 models.

Lisa Copeland, the General Manager of FIAT of Austin is a passionate Fiat supporter and has championed the brand since its early days. Her enthusiasm and energy are contagious and it is easy to see why her team has achieved such outstanding results. We would like to take this time to congratulate Copeland and her staff at FIAT of Austin for their accomplishments and wish them the very best luck in their new facility.

Read more in the official press release:

FIAT of Austin Grand Opening

FIAT of Austin Celebrates Grand Opening of New Location with Art Reveal

  • New, larger location open for business
  • Sales and service now under one roof
  • Grand opening showcases four artist-painted FIAT models

March 20, 2014 , Austin, Texas - FIAT of Austin, the sales leader since the FIAT brand was reintroduced to the U.S. market in 2011, has moved to bigger and better quarters.

FIAT of Austin now is located at 13040 U.S. 183 North, about five miles north of its original location in The Domain shopping mall. The new FIAT studio is throwing a grand opening celebration today featuring a special reveal of four artist-painted FIAT models.

“We are the No. 1 FIAT brand retailer of all time, and with this move we intend to keep that title,” said Lisa Copeland, General Manager of FIAT of Austin. “We now can expand our sales and staff, and have brought service under one roof.”

The new FIAT of Austin location, along bustling U.S. 183 on the north side of the city, will become an art gallery showcasing the four hand-painted vehicles. Austin artist Sue Ellen Stavrand, who owns Art Driven, purchased three Fiat 500s and a Fiat 500L, and commissioned local Austin artist Cindy Raschke to use the vehicles as her canvas.

These four unique vehicles will be revealed for the first time during today's grand opening celebration . Art Driven partners with the nation’s best artists to custom design and hand-paint automobiles.

Since opening in February 2011, FIAT of Austin has sold 2,237 units. That’s more units sold than any FIAT studio in the country. In addition, FIAT of Austin was the first FIAT studio to sell more than 100 Fiat 500s in a given month, a milestone that earned the studio a personal visit from Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne.

FIAT of Austin accomplished that sales feat in April 2012 when it sold 110 units.

“FIAT of Austin has done a great job for our brand and our customers,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand North America. “The all new state-of-the-art facility will allow them to bring their attention to detail and passion for the brand to even more customers and continue their success story in Texas.”

In its original location in The Domain, FIAT of Austin was right at home amid the mall’s upscale collection of boutiques. But the studio needed room to grow.

FIAT of Austin Cappuccino Bar

In its new digs, FIAT of Austin now has a state-of-the-art facility and 29,000 square feet, up from the restrictive 6,000 square feet at The Domain. Service and parts are now provided at the new location, and there is ample space for inventory. FIAT of Austin is a member of the Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships.

At its new location on U.S. 183, more than 165,000 vehicles a day pass by the new studio, a far cry from 650 at the original location. FIAT of Austin is hiring up to 30 additional sales and service staff at its new location.

“We are expecting awareness of our studio and of the FIAT brand to increase at our new location,” Copeland said. “The key is to maintain our unique, boutique customer experience in our new, 29,000-square-foot studio.”

FIAT of Austin was named by Automotive News as one of the “Best Dealerships To Work For” in 2013,” a title that Copeland has no intention of relinquishing in her new home.

Copeland has set an ambitious goal of selling 1,200 units this year, up from 737 units in 2013, and 937 units sold in 2012, which was best in the nation.

Source: FIAT of Austin, Chrysler Media,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fiat 500L Transmission Recall

Fiat 500L Trekking

April 1: Story updated with revised build dates. Check your MDH (Month-Day-Hour) Code.

Fiat will voluntarily be recalling approximately 19,500 Fiat 500L models equipped with the dual dry clutch automatic transmissions to upgrade their transmission software and/or replace the Gear Shift Module. It was determined that some Fiat 500L models may experience a loss of communication from the Gear Shift Module (GSM) to the transmission which may result in the transmission remaining in an undesired gear range or the park position and/or delayed shifting in certain temperature conditions.

The cause of this issue is the GSM, manufactured Ficosa International, S.A.of Spain. Wide build tolerances within the Supervisor Microcontroller (SMC) inside the Gear Shift Module can allow temperature to affect the data transfer rates. When the data transfer rate of the SMC becomes desynchronized with the Main Microcontroller (MMC), the GSM resets and signals to the transmission may be delayed. This can result in an inability to get the vehicle out of park and/or the transmission not receiving, or there is a delay to receive, the intended gear selection.

To fix the problem, Fiat will replace the GSM or reflash vehicles with updated GSM software as necessary.

Fiat 500L Euro Twin Clutch Gear Shift

Which Cars
The cars affected are Fiat 500L models built between April 3, 2013, through February 14, 2014 (MDH 040300 through 021400)* equipped with the C635 dual dry clutch automatic transmission (sales code DA1). This amounts to approximately 19,500 cars (18,100 in the U.S. and 1,400 in Canada) and according to Fiat, some 20 percent are still in Fiat Studios inventory.

Fiat says an estimated 200 vehicles out of the total may require shift-module replacement to ensure hardware-software compatibility.

Owners of Fiat 500L models affected are expected to begin receiving notification by mail in April. The campaign is called Fiat 500L Recall P06. Owners concerned about the Fiat 500L recall may call 1-800-853-1403.

Additional Information
Here is timeline of significant events leading up to the recall of Fiat 500L.

• On October 23, 2013, Chrysler Vehicle Integration opened an investigation into reports of PRNDL lights flickering and shift delays. Regulatory Affairs was notified on December 2, 2013.
• On January 15, 2014, data from the Gear Shift Module (GSM) supplier showed inconsistent data transfer rates between two in-system microcontrollers with various GSM software levels.
• On January 27, 2014, Chrysler program team began recording vehicle Controller Area Network (CAN) log data from vehicles exhibiting the conditions after they were cold soaked in the environmental chamber.
• The root cause is determined to be wide tolerances of the internal oscillator within the Supervisor Microcontroller (SMC) internal to the GSM, allowing temperature to affect the internal oscillator rate of the SMC.
• When the oscillator rate of the SMC changes, it may become desynchronized with the Main Microcontroller (MMC), causing the GSM to reset and signals to the transmission may be delayed.
• As a result, shift requests made by the driver during this time may lead to vehicles moving in an unintended or unexpected direction.
• The scope of affected vehicles was determined to be all 2014 MY Fiat 500L vehicles produced with GSM software versions 120, 124, and 125.
• The suspect period was established as April 5, 2013 to January 22, 2014 at Fiat Automobile Serbia (Kragujevac- Z) Assembly Plant.
• As of February 20, 2014, Chrysler identified approximately 16 CAIRs, 2 VOQs and 89 field reports related to this issue.
• As of February 20, 2014, Chrysler is unaware of any accidents or injuries potentially related to this issue.
• On February 25, 2014, Chrysler determined, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

Fiat C635 Euro Twin Clutch with MultiAir Turbo

About the Dual Dry Clutch Transmission
The C635 Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT) used on the Fiat 500L was developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) and uses a BorgWarner hydraulic actuation module. At the time of its introduction in 2010 on the Alfa Romeo MiTo, the robust transmission held the distinction of having the highest torque capacity of any DDCT transmission available on the market. The Fiat DDCT was designed to be compact and adaptable to allow its use in a multitude of cars, from the Dodge Dart to the high performance Alfa Romeo 4C sports car.

The advantages of using a dual dry clutch over a wet clutch setup is substantially increased efficiency and the elimination of the heavy and complex hydraulic support systems. The tangible results are significant savings in fuel consumption of more than ten percent when compared to the wet clutch and up to six percent in comparison to manual transmissions. The lightweight yet stout C635 DDCT weighs in at 179 lbs including oil and the transmission control unit and the design has been awarded 23 patents. The transmission is manufactured at the FPT facility in Verone, Italy.

Read more:

NHTSA, Fiat Group Press, Chrysler Media

Friday, March 14, 2014

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Creation Video

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Front

The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider on display at this year's Geneva Motor Show is a one-off, hand made prototype, with the production version slated to arrive the first part of next year. While we are all waiting, here is a video to whet your appetite for this gorgeous car.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Profile

Read more:

Alfa Romeo 4C to Debut at New York Auto Show!

Alfa Romeo 4C Forum

Fiat 500 Abarth Customized on TV Tonight!

Fiat 500 Abarth on Car Fix

Now there is finally something to watch on TV. Tonight on Velocity Channel, a Fiat 500 Abarth gets customized in an hour long special called "Car Fix: High Performance Road Trip." Car Fix’s Lou Santiago and Jared Zimmerman and the women of All Girls Garage (Jessi Combs, Bogi Lateiner and Cristy Lee) teamed up with our friends at 500 Madness to build an Abarth live on stage during the 2014 SEMA Show.

Title: High Performance Road Trip
When: This Friday, March 14th at 8pm on Velocity Channel (Rerun at 11pm)*

Fiat 500 Abarth with Jessi Combs

After you watch the show, make sure you visit 500 Madness to see their full range of accessories and performance parts for your Fiat, and then check out the ever popular Fiat 500 USA's Abarth Performance Forum to keep up with the latest products and discussions.

Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Madness on TV

* The show will also be rerun Saturday at 3am and 2pm. Check listings.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Debuts at Geneva

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The open top version of the Alfa Romeo 4C has debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, going on from the 6th through the 16th of this month. Called the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, the name spider is the traditional name of an open top car in Italy. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider displayed at Geneva is a pre-production prototype, designed by the Centro Stile and hand-made by a team of highly specialized professionals. The new open top Alfa 4C is scheduled to be available in the first part of 2015.

Watch the full Alfa Romeo press conference and unveilings of the Mito and Giulietta QV and 4C Spider!

As with most convertible top cars, there is a weight gain as the chassis needs additional reinforcement to make up for the loss of rigidity when a roof is cut off. Fortunately the Alfa Romeo 4C is made almost entirely by exotic materials, with an immensely strong carbon fiber chassis, so the weight gain has been kept to a reasonable amount. The new Alfa 4C Spider weighs in at less than 2,200 lbs. (1,000 kg,), or an estimated 225 lbs more than the hardtop version (1973 lbs or 895 Kg).

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Windshield Frame

An interesting technical detail is the rear window is replaced by a structure molded in SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) which houses the headrests and roll-bars. Low-density SMC, at just 1.5 g/cm³, is significantly lighter than steel (~7.8 g/cm³) and aluminum (~2.7 g/cm³), as well as being more malleable. According to Alfa Romeo, in contrast to aluminum, SMC does not deform in minor collisions, and is extremely resistant to chemical and atmospheric agents. It also disperses sound efficiently, increasing acoustic comfort.

Aerodynamically, the 4C Spider body shape offers the same downforce as the coupe version, which is important for high speed stability and special attention was paid to minimize cockpit wind buffering for passenger comfort.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Rear

Other design details of the new Alfa 4C Spider are a carbon fiber windshield frame and roll-bar cover, different diameter alloy wheels front and rear (18" at the front and 19" at the rear), and a dual-mode central exhaust system complete with titanium and carbon fiber tailpipes. This system is made by Akrapovic, a well-known high end competition exhaust manufacturer and features a wireless controlled electrically operated valve that bypasses the muffler when so desired.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Headlight

Finally, there is a new, attractive headlight design that we speculate may eventually show up on the coupe version, too.

The Alfa Romeo 4C will make its North American debut next month at the New York Auto Show. The 4C Spider may or may not be on display, but rest assured we will have plenty of images and details on whatever car is at the show!

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Tailpipes

Read more:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Alfa Romeo 4C to Debut at New York Auto Show!

Harald Wester, CEO of Alfa Romeo, announced the North American debut of the new Alfa Romeo 4C will occur at the New York Auto Show next month. The highly acclaimed sports car heralds a rebirth of the brand and spearheads an onslaught of new models to be introduced over the next two years.

The Alfa Romeo 4C will premier on either April 16th or 17th (exact date has yet to be confirmed) and will be launched during the second quarter of this year. We will have a front row seat for this event so stay tuned!

Read more:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New 2014 Fiat 500 Debuts At Geneva Show

Fiat 500 Cult

Fiat is showing off its new 2014 model lineup at the Geneva Motor Show running the 6th to 16th of this month. The 2014 Fiat 500 brings a host of trim and paint changes, plus the introduction of the new top of the line version called the Fiat 500 Cult, and the European debut of the Fiat 500 "vintage 1957" show car. The most significant change is the availability of a new digital instrument panel that may give a clue to what we will see in future Fiat 500s.

Three new body colors will be available on the 2014 Fiat 500 - Lattementa Green, Three-layer White and, exclusive only to the S trim package, Italia Blue. Along with the paint, three new alloy wheels in 15" or 16" are available as standard depending on the trim level. There are also new interiors available in fabric or leather with specific combinations for each trim level.

Fiat 500 Cult dashboard

The new digital instrument panel is standard on S and Cult trim levels and optional on Lounge models. Developed in partnership with Magneti Marelli, the panel features a 7" TFT digital display with speedometer, rev counter, fuel and engine temperature gauges and trip computer. The central section of the display shows an image of the car and reports back information provided by the trip computer, such as distance travelled, instant and average fuel consumption, range, etc. Blue tooth operation and media information along with various warning lights are additionally provided for.

Fiat 500s equipped with the dash mounted TomTom satellite device will also display additional navigation information in the digital panel.

Fiat 500 digital instrument panel

Fiat 500 digital instrument panel

There are five engines available for the European Fiat 500 - the 0.9L TwinaAir in 85 and 105 HP form, the 95 HP 1.3L MutiJet II diesel engine and two 69 HP 1.2L FIRE engines in gas or natural gas.

A Look at the 105 HP TwinAir Turbo
The newest engine is the two cylinder 105 HP TwinAir Turbo now with MultiAir 2. This 0.9L engine is rated at 105 HP at 5,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 107 lbs-ft (145 Nm) at just 2,000 rpm. The TwinAir outperforms the four cylinder 1.4L 16V FIRE engine (100 HP at 6,000 rpm and 97 lbs-ft at 4,250) that was discontinued last year. The concept of the TwinAir is to offer a small displacement, high torque engine that is fun to drive. Other car makers have tried this, but the difference is that Fiat has MultiAir infinitely variable valve timing. This allows a small engine to develop high torque at a low rpm and to maintain that torque throughout the rev range. What is more, MultiAir is tuned to boost torque at part throttle conditions making the car feel lively and stops the need to constantly wind each gear out to achieve acceptable performance.

Fiat 500 105 HP TwinAir Turbo

The updated MultiAir 2 system is an enhanced version of the original that brings about further improvements in terms of efficiency and driving pleasure. Specifically, because MultiAir 2 can decouple and open the intake valves independently from the intake cam lobe, the intake valve opening has been optimized to precisely modulate the amount of exhaust gas recirculated in the combustion chamber via valve overlap, giving the engine internal EGR. Exhaust gas recirculation is important to lower emissions, however; it can have a negative effect on driveability, so the ability of MultiAir 2 to precisely regulate the amount of EGR in the cylinder has a large impact on making a TwinAir equipped car a lively, fun to drive experience. A new low inertia turbocharger also plays a role in this.

The proof is in the performance: 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 10 seconds and a 117 mph (188 km/h) top speed. This is half a second quicker and 4 mph faster than the previous 1.4L four cylinder. All achieved while having among the lowest consumption and emissions in the segment: in the combined type-approval cycle, 4.2 liters of petrol every 100 km (approximately 55 mpg) and 99 g/km of CO respectively.

Fiat 500 Cult Seats
2014 Fiat 500 Cult features new upholstery trim

For maximum efficiency and minimum emissions, the car starts off in ECO mode that limits engine torque to 89 lbs-ft (120 Nm) and power to 98 HP. ECO mode can be turned off via a button on the dashboard, similar to the US Fiat 500's Sport button.

2014 Fiat 500 Cult Seats

Fiat 500 Cult, the New Top-of-the-Range Version
The Fiat 500 Cult is the new top-of-the-range model available hardtop or cabrio configurations. The hardtop roof is one part fixed glass and the other part gloss black paint for a sleek, one-piece look. A new Three-layer White will be available on the cabrio version. Door mirror covers can be had in either chrome or glossy black. There are also glossy black surrounds for the rear light clusters and a new 16" alloy wheel design.

Inside, new leather seats are featured in a choice of black leather (ivory or red inserts), tobacco leather or red leather (both with ivory inserts). In addition to being attractive, the new upholstery design offers improved ergonomics and comfort.


The new 500 Cult is available with the 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet II turbodiesel, the 69 HP 1.2 and 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo petrol engines (both also available with Dualogic robotized gearbox) and the new 105 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo.

The new model is very well equipped. The 500 Cult gets the new 7" TFT instrument panel display, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, fixed glass roof with sun blind, leather seats, leather steering wheel with Blue&Me controls and Dualdrive electric power steering. A CD/MP3 radio and Blue&Me features a hands-free system with Bluetooth technology (voice recognition, steering wheel controls, digital audio file player with USB port).

Fiat 500 Vintage 1957 Show Car
European Fiat 500 Vintage 1957 Show Car

Fiat 500 Vintage 1957 Show Car
The Geneva Motor Show will mark the European unveiling of the Fiat 500 Vintage 1957 show car. This Fiat 500 pays homage to the original Nuova Fiat 500 that debuted on July 4, 1957.

Fiat 500 Vintage 1957 Show Car
Compare the European Vintage 1957 Show Car to the North American production version below.

Note the production car, known as the Fiat 500 1957 Edition, looks similar to the European show car, but has a body side molding and a black antenna. The show car is missing the molding and has a white aerial.

This 500 show car is very similar to the Fiat 500 1957 Edition that is about to go into production in North America. On the outside, the two cars appear nearly identical with two-tone paint (Volare Blue and white roof/spoiler) with white door mirror covers, and 16" vintage style alloy wheels with light blue chrome Retro-style hub caps. Outside differences are the North American production car has a black aerial in place of the all white one used on the Euro show car and a body side molding.

500 Vintage 1957 Show Car Dashboard
The show car features a unique "open-pore wood" style dashboard.

North American 500 1957 Edition Dashboard
The production car sports two-tone door panels and leather steering wheel. A color coordinated leather shift boot and chrome shift knob. Both cars feature vintage looking Fiat badging.

Inside is another matter as the production car has a quite a few changes over the show car, with custom two tone door panels and steering wheel, different shift boot and an upholstery change. The most striking difference inside is that the show car has a curious dashboard that resembles "open-pore wood" while the North American 500 1957 Edition uses a conventional white painted one.

Euro 500 Vintage 1957 Seats
Another look at the interior of the European show car. Two-tone Tobacco and Avorio (ivory) leather seats and wood style dashboard stand out.

The North American production car has Marrone (brown) seats with Avorio (ivory) head rests. The brown seats were a common color theme used in vintage Fiats.

Read more:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

New Fiat 500 1957 Edition Pricing Announced!

2014 500 1957 Edition

Fiat USA has announced pricing of the latest special edition Fiat 500. Called the Fiat 500 1957 Edition, the limited production car celebrates the original Nuova Fiat 500 that debuted 57 years ago on July 4, 1957. Based on the top of the line Fiat 500 Lounge, the 500 1957 Edition adds exclusive trim and features that separate this model from others. The Fiat 500 1957 Edition starts off at $20,400* and is very well equipped with all the standard features that the 500 Lounge model is known for: leather seats, all power conveniences such as windows, door locks, climate control and a six-speaker, 276-watt FIAT premium audio system with SiriusXM Radio just to name a few.

Fiat 500 “1957 Edition" wheels

The Fiat 500 1957 Edition presents a modern interpretation of the iconic model produced between 1957 and 1975. To achieve that, three vintage looking colors - Bianco (white), Verde Chiaro (light green) and Celeste (celestial blue) were selected. The last two colors come with a Bianco painted roof and mirror caps for an authentic retro look. Special 16 inch forged aluminum wheels designed to resemble the steel wheels used on 1950 era Fiats standout. A sport tuned suspension makes the 1957 Edition a nimble handler, just like the original.

Fiat 500 “1957 Edition” interior

The classy looking interior is furnished in high quality Marrone (brown) and Avorio (ivory) leather and is lavished on the seats, shift knob and hand stitched steering wheel. Noteworthy are the unique grey door panels that have Avorio inserts with Marrone leather upholstered armrests. A stylized key fob with Marrone casing and Avorio-painted "1957" graphic is a nice touch. The interior and exterior are finished off with period correct Fiat badging.

Fiat 500 1957 Edition Door Panel and Key Fob

2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition Pricing
List Price

Fiat 500 1957 Edition

Convenience Group (ANF)


Beats Audio (AAX)


Power Sunroof (GWL)


TomTom  Navigation (RSZ)


Fiat 500 1957 Edition Seats

Fiat Studios have just begun taking orders for the Fiat 500 1957 Edition with deliveries beginning in late Spring. Contact the dealers below and get your order in now!

Criswell FIAT of Gaithersburg, Maryland - 1-888-878-2488

FIAT of Austin, Texas - 1-877-908-3428

Palmen FIAT of Kenosha, Wisconsin - 1-888-379-0295

Benson FIAT, South Carolina - 1-888-380-1716

FIAT of Larchmont, New York - 1-888-405-2249

or go to the Fiat USA website here to find your nearest dealer.

2014 Fiat 500 "1957 Edition"

Fiat 500D 1968-72

The Nuova Fiat 500
In the mid-1950s, Italy was recovering from the devastation of World War II and the demand for low cost cars was expanding. Two seater micro cars/bubble cars were becoming popular. These typically would seat 1-3 people and were arguably closer to a motorcycle than a car. Dante Giacosa, Fiat's legendary chief engineer, was tasked with developing a new car that would have the economy of these micro cars, yet have the space for four passengers and offer the drivability and security of a real car. The result was the Nuova 500 and its introduction came at a time when there was a new sense of prosperity in Italy and throughout Europe. The affordable and cheerful Fiat 500 gave families something to aspire for as it offered a taste of La Dolce Vita and became something more than just a car. Nearly 3.9 million Fiat 500s were sold between 1957 and 1975, and it would be fair to say that each one holds a special place in the heart of its owner.

Read more:

* plus $800 delivery fee

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Extreme Abarth 695 biposto Debuts

Abarth '695 biposto'

Fiat is unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show this week a new extreme performance version of its Fiat 500 Abarth called the Abarth 695 biposto. Biposto means "two seater," but it's anything but a trim package. The Abarth 695 biposto is billed as the ‘fastest street legal Abarth ever.’ Starting with an Abarth 695, the company adds a just about everything an Abarth enthusiast would want: front intercooler, Akrapovic exhaust system, Extreme Shox adjustable shock absorbers, MXL digital data logger, Abarth Corsa by Sabelt seats with 4-point seat belts, Brembo braking system, lightened 18-inch OZ rims and rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini.

Abarth '695 biposto' rear

But there is more, upon request Abarth tosses the standard heavy duty C510 transmission and installs an extreme performance transmission modified with dog rings in place of synchronizers enabling a skilled driver to shift without the clutch. A self-locking clutch-plate type differential keeps the 215/35 R18 tires mounted on the unique 18 inch OZ Racing wheels from going up in smoke.

Abarth '695 biposto' rear seat delete

To maximize performance, the car is lightened and forgoes rear seats, xenon headlights, fog lights, climate control, electric windows and radio system. Side windows are made of lightweight yet strong polycarbonate, a material first used on a road car for the rear quarter window of the Fiat 500L. A mean looking body kit from Zender sports new front and rear fascias, sideskirts, wheel arches and spoiler and contributes to a total weight reduction of approximately 176 lbs (2198 compared to 2374).

The engine takes the standard Abarth 695 1.4 liter TJet rated at 180 HP and bumps it another 10 to 190 HP. This gives the Abarth 695 biposto the best power to weight ratio in its class (11.6 lbs/HP or 5.2kg/HP) and the best acceleration, hitting  0 to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds.

Abarth '695 biposto' interior

While we won't see the Abarth 695 biposto here in North America, you can bet it will give Abarth enthusiasts on this side of the Atlantic inspiration to create their own interpretation. Check out the Fiat 500 USA Abarth Forum for a look at some of the hottest Abarths in North America.

Enjoy the full details in the Abarth press release below, courtesy of Fiat Group Press:

Abarth 695 biposto: the ‘fastest street legal Abarth ever’

Abarth '695 biposto' front air dam

• The legendary Abarth 695 makes its return after 50 years: the Swiss Motor Show stages the début of the 'fastest street legal Abarth ever'
• With a 190HP, 997kg 1.4 T-Jet engine, the Abarth '695 biposto' offers the best weight-to-power ratio in its category (5.2kg/HP) as well as the best acceleration from 0 to 100km/h (just 5.9 seconds)
• A fusion of street and race car: it's the road-going reinterpretation of the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse, competitor on the most famous European racetracks
• It's the first road-going car in the world, currently in its category, equipped with H-pattern gearbox with dog rings
• The '695 biposto' inherits the following from the world of racing: front intercooler, Akrapovic exhaust system, Extreme Shox adjustable shock absorbers, MXL digital data logger, Abarth Corsa by Sabelt seats with 4-point seat belts, Brembo braking system, lightened 18-inch OZ rims and rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini
• Breathtaking style for an 'essential' two-seater dedicated to performance: fixed front windows with polycarbonate sliding panels and specific styling kit - bumpers, side skirts, wheel arches and spoilers - with carbon inserts produced by Zender according to the instructions of the Abarth Style Centre
• Performance in complete safety: ABS, ESP and TTC, self-locking clutch-plate differential, racing-derived Brembo braking system and Extreme Shox shock absorbers
• Special kits to ensure maximum customization

Fiat Abarth 695
The Fiat Abarth 695 was the ultimate Nuova Fiat 500 in its era.  The new Abarth 695 pays tribute to this car.

The Fiat Abarth 695 was presented for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in 1964. With 699.5 cc displacement and maximum power of 30 HP, the car reached a top speed of 130 km/h and was appreciated for its agility and versatility, both in town and on mixed routes. The most evident characteristic of the Abarth 695 was the improvement in acceleration: from 60 to 80 km/h in 5.2 seconds.

Fifty years later, Abarth once more chooses Geneva as the stage for the début of the new Abarth 695: 190 HP and 997 kg guarantee that the '695 biposto' can offer the best weight-to-power ratio (5.2 kg/HP) and the best acceleration (0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds) in the category. The result is the fastest street legal Abarth ever built.

"Sunday on the track and Monday in the office." This is the slogan that summarises the philosophy of Carlo Abarth: offering everybody the chance to live out their passion every day, making ordinary products extraordinary and making normal people feel like racing drivers every day. And today the new Abarth '695 biposto' represents the ideal fusion of road-going and race cars, the tradition of racing on a car made for everyday life. From the track to the office. And vice versa.

From its founding to the present day, Abarth has never shrunk from challenges that at times seem impossible: the fastest, high-performance street legal Abarth ever produced is its latest victory. A car bursting with energy, with components typical of race cars adapted for the road.

Abarth '695 biposto' rear diffuser

Every car has always represented a challenge, an opportunity for improvement: Abarth created, starting from the most common mini cars of the era, cars with striking performance, intended "for speedy tourism and sport competitions".

Cars developed following the original Abarth 'formula' which, taking the right dose of well-defined elements, makes the brand unique and recognisable: rarity and accessibility, tradition, performance tuning, Italian style and passion for racing.

Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina

The models derived from the Fiat 600 are examples of how a 'visionary' such as Carlo Abarth could make dreams reality: a genuine factory of speed, Abarth successfully achieved a high level of both refinement in terms of style and performance. A story of products marked by great craftsmanship, with the Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina gruppo 2 1970 being the most advanced and incredible interpretation of the Fiat 600: 100 HP and top speed of 190 km/h.

'695 biposto': the most Abarth of all Abarths
The Abarth 695 biposto is not a Limited Edition, but it is certainly a car for 'special' drivers. For those who can show that they know how to drive it.

The essence of Abarth distilled in a single car that aims straight for the heart, for the very core, of Abarth: the "size", a defining characteristic of Abarth, an Italian "small supercar", and "racing", passion for speed and the challenges that every day brings.

The search for the best materials and technologies, the know-how of Abarth engineers and a 'drop of madness' have always characterised Abarth cars and are the elements that went into the creation of this car: two seats and racing-inspired components for a high-performance car with a natural calling for the track.

The '695 biposto' was conceived as deliberately essential: a car unafraid of shedding the compromises typical of road-going cars to increase performance.

The 'drop of madness' that has allowed Abarth to create a history of successes is clear to see in some elements of the new car, such as the gearbox with dog rings - for the first time on a road-going car, currently in its category - and the fixed front windows with polycarbonate sliding panels (a high-performance technical material used for sports equipment and aeroplane windows due to its flexibility and resistance, supplied by Isoclima, a company with 20 years of experience with the most prestigious partners in the world of racing).

The choice to use racing-inspired parts for a road-going car represents a new victory: the Abarth '695 biposto' is the most extreme 500 ever built. This is demonstrated by the front intercooler, Akrapovic exhaust system, Extreme Shox adjustable shock absorbers, MXL digital data logger, Abarth Corsa by Sabelt seats with 4-point seat belts, Brembo braking system, lightened 18-inch OZ rims and rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini.

Abarth 695 biposto body kit

As in racing cars however, performance come only through selection: sacrificing the superfluous, like rear seats, xenon headlights, fog lights, climate control, electric windows and radio system, to ensure the best possible performance.

An 'adrenaline-charged' car that brings together racing performance and the versatility of a road-going car. And in fact, it's the road-going reinterpretation of the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse, competitor on racetracks throughout Europe and made in the Officine Abarth Mirafiori in Turin: craftsmanship and attention to detail, typical of Abarth's most exclusive cars, meet the best of race car technology.

Abarth '695 biposto' front bumper

Exhilarating performance of a true supercar
A perfect fusion that shows what it's made of starting with the exhilarating performance: with a weight of just 997 kg and the 1.4 T-Jet engine, brought to 190 HP for the first time on a road-going car, the Abarth '695 biposto' is the car with the best weight-to-power ratio (5.2 kg/HP) and the best acceleration (0-100 km/h in 5.9") in the category, reaching a top speed of 230 km/h.

Abarth 695 biposto transmission

It's the very first time that a 'street legal' car, currently in its category, is offered with a gearbox featuring dog rings with controls and disc and clutch self-locking differential derived from racing, making upwards gear changes so rapid that expert drivers don't need to use the clutch. The driver interface is a genuine work of art: an all-aluminium turret with H-configuration gear selection, worthy of a true supercar. This is unique, exclusive content, created from the racing car transmission expertise of Bacci Romano, suited to expert drivers and offered as an alternative to the 5-speed manual gearbox, teamed with 190 HP for the first time.

Abarth's challenge was to find the perfect balance in the formula required to bring a car that guarantees the performance and feel of the track to the road, in accordance with its rules: 'distilling' the essence of Abarth through careful selection of high-performance materials, advanced technology and superior partners.

Abarth 695 biposto exhaust

Everything about the Abarth '695 biposto' talks racing. Starting with the intercooler, positioned at the front with specific pipes inspired by race cars, moving on to the dynamic aspiration filter casing with carbon finish by BMC, world leader in the sector of filters and air intake devices intended for racing, and arriving at the dual-stage exhaust system with titanium tail pipes by Akrapovic, a company which produces competition exhaust systems for Moto GP, Superbike, Supersport, Supermotard, Motocross, Enduro and rally raid.

Pressing the SPORT button on the dashboard completely opens the exhaust valve, contributing to improved performance and enhancing the car with a powerful, unmistakable sound.

Abarth 695 biposto suspension

Supercar performance matched by just as much reliability and safety: ABS, ESP and TTC, disc and clutch self-locking differential and the racing-derived Brembo braking system with front floating, ventilated and perforated discs (305×28 mm) and four-piston one-piece calipers (4×38 mm). The car is also equipped with shock absorbers with hydraulic and height adjustment by Extreme Shox, leading European provider of dynamic solutions for vehicles used from F1 to Rally, as well as 'Le Mans series' and the WTCC.

Its racing impulse is completed by the front fixed windows with polycarbonate sliding panels and, together with 215/35 R18 tyres, lightened 18-inch rims by OZ. This company symbolises Italian manufacturing quality through the creation of excellent products for customising cars and bikes and can boast numerous international successes in F1, Rally, DTM and Indy car. It shares with Abarth Italian taste, racing tradition and certified quality.

Abarth 695 biposto data logger

For real racing maniacs, who always want their performance under control, there's the MLX data logger by AIM Sport, world leader in data acquisition and display technology for motorsport and racing.

All the unique characteristics help to make the 695 biposto the 'most Abarth of all Abarths'.

Abarth '695 biposto' hood bulges

Style: prestigious materials and technical decisions derived from racing
For a balanced 'formula', the aesthetics can't be neglected. This is demonstrated by certain exterior elements - such as the front and rear bumpers, side skirts, wheel arches and spoiler - which are more pronounced, 'muscular' and enhanced by carbon inserts. Made by Zender, a company known for creating high-quality aesthetic design components, according to the instructions of the Abarth Style Centre, these particular aesthetic solutions make the '695 biposto' stand out at first glance.

The bodywork is characterised by a brand-new textured-effect Performance Grey colour, as if the car were created straight from the road, and further enhanced by titanium finishes for the front bonnet trim, door handles and tailgate and rear handle. The metal, known for its resistance, also characterises the hub caps, wheel bolts and water, oil and fuel caps.

Fiat 124 Abarth Rally

The bonnet has a specific design with two bumps, inspired by the classic 124 Abarth, and is made of aluminium, in homage to the cars of the past and as a technical solution to reduce the weight of the car.

The mirror and post covers are made of carbon, as on the most prestigious supercars: this is a particular feature created in collaboration with the historic partner Adler, world leader in the sector of design, processing, production and commercialisation for high-quality plastic materials intended primarily for the automotive sector.

Carbon provides an aesthetic link between exterior and interior, characterised by dashboard fascia inserts, front and rear panels, flat as in race cars, central tunnel cover and handbrake made with this prestigious material.

The choice of prestigious materials and racing-derived technical decisions includes the front trim, where the mat, typical of road-going cars, makes way for an aluminium lining that associates the '695 biposto' both with race cars and the most extreme supercars. The same metal characterises the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals and the driver and passenger side footrests.

Abarth 695 biposto roll bar

The racing spirit of the '695 biposto' is embodied in the rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini, a company renowned for extremely high-precision machining and for structural and weight-reduction solutions, through the use of special alloys, to the extent of being a point of reference in the Automotive, F1 and Aerospace sectors.

Abarth 695 biposto interior rendering

The rear compartment - with no seats - is characterised by a lining in a technical material which, as with the bodywork, recalls the colour and texture of asphalt. An 'anti intrusion' net for securing luggage and the four-point seat belts are also attached to the roll bar, in both cases with a racing flavour and made by Sabelt, major producer of seat belts and seats for race cars in Italy and reference brand for technical clothing and racing sportswear.

The mark of Sabelt is also to be found on the standard seats: they're 'Abarth Corsa by Sabelt' with carbon shell, with upholstery comprising electro-welded Alcantara and titanium-coloured leather with brand-new colours and finishes for an Abarth. The steering wheel is marked by the same colours. Finally, the door handle and oddment net enhance the front door panel and lend the final, emphatic touch to the racing feel of the interior.

Fiat Abarth 124 Rallyes

Customisation kits
Abarth has created a car that seemed impossible. By striving for the essential, it found superlative performance and style. As in 1964, when Abarth put a series of accessories intended to enhance aesthetic and dynamic characteristics as well as safety on the price list at launch for the 695, today Abarth breaks down the offer into three customisation kits.

The '124 Speciale Kit' brings together all the 'resistant and light' materials that characterise the car's exterior: aluminium bonnet with specific design, hub caps and wheel bolts and water, oil and fuel caps in titanium.

Abarth 695 biposto dashboard

With the 'Carbon Kit', you can give the '695 biposto' the look of a supercar in a higher category: carbon is added to the mirror and post covers on the outside, and to the dashboard fascia, front door panel and rear-view mirror on the inside.

For those with racing in their blood, Abarth has designed a 'Pista Kit' with accessories that derive directly from the world of racing, like the digital data logger and the four-point seat belt attached to the seats with carbon shell. The dream of feeling like a racing driver every day, also courtesy of the technical equipment provided: suit, shoes, gloves and helmet of a real Abarth driver, with the chance to personalise them with your initials.

All information on the '695 biposto' will become available in a dedicated section on the official site starting from the day of the world premiere in Geneva.

This is just the prelude of a marketing communication campaign marked by both a highly digital component and an actual "Shakedown" experience tied to Abarth's racing platform and the most important events for supercar fans.

As always, the Abarth Driving Academy will be at the heart of Abarth's strategy with expanded activities and development of specific Courses.

The constantly evolving website will always be updated with all the news on the car and the scheduled events.

Read more:

Abarth 695 biposto dimensions

images courtesy of Fiat SpA