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What's new in the Fiat 500 world

New 2018 Fiat 500 is Even More Fun to Drive

The new 2018 Fiat 500 now comes turbocharged, making it the most powerful car in its class. All the details here.

Fiat 500X Safety Systems Explored

The Fiat 500X is available with an astounding 70 safety features and systems. Here is the complete list and what they do.

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Model Changes

What's new for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.

The Roomy Fiat 500L

The Fiat 500L has the room of a full-sized car within its subcompact dimensions. Learn more about this versatile car

We cover Alfa Romeo!

All you need to know about Alfa Romeo

Abarth 695 Series

Read up on the European 695 Series and get inspired to modify your 500 Abarth

Ride of the Month Contest
Your One Stop Fiat 500 Shop!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider Brochures

1971 Fiat 124 Sport Spider

While we are waiting for the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider to arrive at Fiat Studios next summer, here's a look back at the iconic original Spider with the help of some original period brochures.

I've owned two early 70s Fiat 124 Spiders and driven and worked on countless others. Sophisticated, comfortable and good looking, these were very refined cars in their day. Still are. They are a masculine car with a genuine performance heritage spelled A-B-A-R-T-H.

The Fiat 124 Abarth Rally is one of the most attractive cars ever produced. But more than just a beautiful car, it had a serious competition pedigree. Use the link below to read more

The original 1966 124 Sport Spider came with a revolutionary twin-overhead cam engine created by the legendary ex-Ferrari engineer Aurelio Lampredi. Car enthusiasts should note that before the Fiat Twin Cam engine, double-overhead camshaft engines were the exclusive domain of only expensive cars. Lampredi's design with its igneous yet simple valve actuation and economical belt drive camshafts enabled this high-performance engine architecture to be feasible in less expensive cars.

Lampredi's design with its ingenious yet simple valve actuation and economical belt drive camshafts paved the way for this high-performance engine architecture's use in nearly all modern cars. These Fiat engines could easily turn 7 - 8,000 rpm which totally surpassed their British competitors low revving, push-rod engines.

In addition, the adoption of a five-speed gearbox and four-wheel-disc brakes as standard equipment set the pattern for all sports cars that followed.

It is probably more accurate to say that the original Mazda Miata has more in common with the Fiat 124 Sport Spider than any British roadster of the day.

1971 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Brochure

Road Test Magazine said of the original Fiat 124 Spider:

"What the Fiats offer is this: they take the roughness out of owning a sports car once and for all. They're quiet, comfortable smooth and easy to get in and out of. "

1971 Fiat 124 Spider Brochure

" ...A sense of extreme lightness comes when you drive the car....they don't tire you out so much as you might expect in a car in this class to. Here's one sports car you can jump in and take off cross country and know you're going to arrive relaxed and comfortable..."

"...Everything seems well thought out, neat, where it should be, with big round dials for speedometer and tachometer, handy switches and covered gear shift lever; it seems as if this car should be in a higher class..."

1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Brochure

Specifications of the 1974 Fiat 124 Spider show it had a 1756 cc twin overhead cam engine, 5-speed gearbox, and four-wheel disc brakes. This car outclassed the antiquated British roadsters competition in every way.

1975 Fiat 124 Sport Spider Brochure

In 1975, Fiat changed the elegant chrome bumpers to these much larger ones to meet US bumper specs. No matter, the 124 Spider's design was strong enough to pull it off.

1975 Fiat 124 Spider Specs

The 124 Spider elegant interior features genuine wood, comfortable reclining bucket seats, and sexy Veglia Borletti instruments.

1977 Fiat Retail List Prices

The Fiat 124 Sport Spider was never a cheap car. In 1977, it cost $6,250 or more than twice that of a base Fiat 128. For perspective, an average car was about $4,300 and a Corvette was around $9,000.

1976 Fiat 124 Spider

Designed by Pininfarina and debuting in 1966, the Fiat 124 Spider looked good then and still looks good now, some fifty years later.

1976 Fiat 124 Spider Specs

One handed convertible top operation was a revelation in 1966. This car set the standard for convertible top operation we use today.

1979 Fiat Spider 2000 Brochure

In 1978 Fiat upped the engine size from 1756cc to 1995cc and the Spider 2000 was born. While the exterior looks nearly the same, Fiat significantly upgraded and enhanced the trim, functionality, and performance of the Spider for the next decade.

1979 Fiat Spider 2000 Specs

The Fiat Spider 2000 featured many upgraded systems like a modernized electrical, and available electronic fuel injection. An automatic transmission was also offered as well as power windows.

1980 Fiat Spider 2000

The larger 2-liter engine of the Spider 2000 changed the character of the Spider from a lean athletic sportscar to a more mature and torquey grand tourer.

Fiat Spider 2000

1981 Fiat Spider 2000

The 1981 Fiat Spider 2000 brochure highlights the available creature comforts such as power windows, leather upholstery, and automatic transmission.

1981 Fiat Spider 2000

In 1983 Fiat, the third-largest car company in the world at the time pulled out of the United States. However, the Fiat Spider 2000 would continue to be sold. The design company Pininfarina, who had previously built the body and shipped them to Fiat for final assembly, eventually took over the complete manufacturing of the Spider in 1981 and worked out a deal to continue selling the Spider under the name Pininfarina Spider Azzura. These were manufactured and sold until 1985 when Pininfarina switched its assembly line over to manufacture the Cadillac Allante.

1981 Fiat Spider 2000 Turbo
The 1981 Fiat Spider 2000 Turbo was the first turbocharged convertible available in the United States.

All told, nearly 200,000 Fiat 124 Spiders were made between 1966 - 1985. More than 170,000 Spiders were sold in the United States between 1968 and 1985 of which approximately 8,000 remain on the road.

Fiat 124 Spiders at Fiat FreakOut

Learn more:

Images: Abarth image courtesy FCA NV, Brochures from author's collection

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fiat 500X Transmission Software Update

The Fiat 500X features an available ZF Friedrichshafen nine-speed automatic transmission. Designated the 948TE, the sophisticated transmission boasts excellent start-up acceleration and an outstanding up to 16 % improvement in highway fuel efficient compared to a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. Reduced overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels are also hallmarks of the 948TE, and the transmission is used by numerous car companies ranging from Honda to Jaguar/Land Rover.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been steadily tweaking and refining the performance of this impressive transmission with a series of software updates or reflashes. These are usually automatically applied to customer cars when brought into routine service while under warranty coverage or if a concern is expressed. The latest software update dated December 5, 2015, offers improved transmission shift enhancements for sand and snow mode.*

In addition there are other tweaks and refinements included in the update.
  • Reduced harshness of 1-2 upshifts.
  • Improved accelerator pedal response in Sport and TractionPlus modes.
  • Reduction in RPM flare at engine start.
  • Improved idle performance when shifting into DRIVE or REVERSE following
  • a cold start.

Some of these improvements may have been included in previous updates, and some owners may not even notice any difference in performance at all depending on how they drive and their driving conditions, but it is always a smart idea to run the latest software. It is another good reason to stop by your Fiat Studio. While you are there, go to the parts department and check out the latest accessories and swag, and maybe have a cappuccino!

Contact your Fiat Studio for more information and to see if this software update applies to your car or if you have any questions or concerns. Use the following Technical Service Bulletin for reference:

Fiat 500X Transmission Shift And Drivability Enhancements

Fiat Technical Service Bulletin 21-024-15 REV. C

2016 Fiat 500X

NOTE: This Fiat technical service bulletin applies to vehicles built on or before October 24, 2015 (MDH 1024XX) equipped with a 2.4L Engine (Sales Code ED6), 948TE Automatic Transmission (Sales Code DFH) and **3.734 Final Drive Ratio (Sales Code DME)

This bulletin involves reprogramming the Transmission Control Module (TCM) with the latest available software.

Read more:

*This information is provided for discussion purposes only. You should always contact your dealer for up to date information and to answer any questions. The dealer will be able to tell you what if any bulletins are applicable to your car.

Images courtesy of FCA NV.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fiat Star Wars and Year End Sale Commercial

A Fiat 500e Star Wars inspired showcar was displayed at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Seduced by the dark side or drawn to the light? That is the question in the latest Fiat commercial. Fiat has teamed up with Lucas Films to cross promote the Fiat Year End Blockbuster Sales Event and the latest Star Wars movie debuting December 18.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is highly anticipated, just like a Fiat year end sale. The Year End Blockbuster Event gives 0% financing for 75 months+ on 2015 Fiat 500 hatchback and Abarth models. Other Fiat models are also on sale, plus, Fiat Studios have their own special deals going on. This is a great time of year to buy, but hurry because the offers only last until 01/04/2016, so see your dealer now.

Contact these Fiat Studios for more info:

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fiat 500 Sales for November 2015

Fiat at the 2015 LA Auto Show

Going by the numbers, overall Fiat brand sales were down 2.6 percent in November compared to the same month last year. However, if you factor in that November 2015 had two fewer selling days than November 2014, and using the average daily selling rate, results in Fiat's November's sales actually being up around 6 percent.

2016 Fiat 500L Urbana

Fiat 500 and 500L sales have been impacted by the subcompact market tanking due in part by low gas prices and consumers flocking to crossover utility vehicles. A lack of 2016 models while Fiat clears out 2015 inventory may also be a factor. Still overall year-to-date sales of the Fiat 500 have beat many of its competitors:

Fiat 500 YTD sales: 23,583
Hyundai Veloster sales: 21,999
Mitsubishi Mirage sales: 20,253
Scion Tc sales: 15,483
Toyota Yaris sales: 16,402
Volkswagen Beetle sales: 21,356

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth in Celeste Blue

The Fiat 500X crossover recorded 1,833 sales in November, its second best month ever since its arrival on the market in late May. Available with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, it will be interesting to see how 500X sales do this winter.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider in Azzurro Italia

November Fiat News

Fiat's debut of the fantastic new 124 Spider easily tops the news this month. Fiat introduced the new roadster to a standing room only crowd at the 2015 LA Auto Show, and it was easily one of the most anticipated debuts of the show (along with he new Alfa Romeo Giulia).

2017 Fiat 124 Spider in Bianco Gelato

Styled in Italy by a design team led by a former Pininfarina designer, the new Fiat 124 Spider pays homage to the iconic Spider of the 1960s. It is the modern interpretation of the classic Italian roadster, which melds ultra-fun driving characteristics with sophisticated styling.

Alfa Giulia QV Debut at LA Auto Show

And speaking of anticipated debuts, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio reveal was easily the most exciting event at the LA show. Alfa pulled out all stops with a display of legendary classics culminating in an exhaust serenade by a $10 million Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale during the Giulia QV's unveiling.

2016 Fiat 500X Mobe Show Car

Along with the 124 Spider unveil at the LA Show, Fiat displayed the new 2016 model range including the 500X Mobe show car.

The Fiat 500 also reached an impressive milestone in November: The 1.5 millionth Fiat 500 rolled off the European assembly line last month. The Fiat 500 also earned a Best Buy designation from Consumers Digest for the fifth time in the Subcompact category. Additionally both the 500 and the fully-electric 500e made Strategic Vision’s “Most Loved Vehicles in America” list.

Fiat 500 Sales in the United States, January - Novenmber 2015
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTD Last  YTDVol Change



































































Images: Spider in Bianco Gelato courtesy of FCA US LLC.  All others are from author
Sources: FCA US LLC and Automotive News

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fiat at the 2015 LA Auto Show

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat gave its fans a special treat at this year's LA Auto Show. The new Fiat 124 Spider made its triumphant return to the market after a thirty-year absence. The unveiling was a standing room only event, as reporters and enthusiasts grabbed all available seats nearly an hour before the car's debut.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Debut

After Olivier Francois, Global Head of Fiat had concluded his entertaining presentation, the new Spider was swamped by attendees and the special press kits Fiat had created for the debut were immediately snatched up - destined no doubt to become instant collector's items.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Press Kit

Fiat 124 Spider Press Kit

Classy, civilized and sexy, the new 124 Spider brings the European roadster experience back to a new generation. Felix Kilbertus, Design Manager of the new 124 Spider and ex-Pininfarina lead designer, oversaw the creation of the new car, which takes design inspiration from the iconic classic yet moves the design forward into the modern era.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Display

Judging from the excitement generated at the debut, the new 124 Spider promises to be a big hit when the car arrives at Fiat Studios next summer.

2016 Fiat 500 in Rhino Paint

Besides the Spider, Fiat's show display highlighted the updated 2016 model range. A Fiat 500 Easy model was shown in a new paint color called Rhino (dark gray). The 500 Easy model slots between the Pop and Sport model and features updated trim including FCA's award-winning Uconnect infotainment system.

Fiat 500 Star Wars Show Car

A Star Wars themed 500 suprised fans of the film genre.

Fiat 500X Mobe Show Car

There were three 500X models on display. The most exciting was the 500X Mobe concept that highlights what the Mopar accessories catalog and some creativity can do.

2016 Fiat 500L Urbana

The 2016 Fiat 500L Urbana special edition is now available with a new Red Roof option. The fantastically roomy 500L has received many updates since its introduction, including enhanced comfort front seats, suspension upgrades, and a new automatic transmission. The 2016 model year brings different color choices.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth in Celeste Blue

The 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth is available in new exterior colors - Rhino (dark gray), Grigio Cenre (light gray), Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Pearl Yellow) and sharp looking Celeste Blue (light blue) that was on display at the show.

Couldn't make it to the LA Auto Show? This slideshow has over 150 images for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Alfa Romeo Giulia QV at The LA Auto Show

Interior shots of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio that made its North American debut at the 2015 LA Auto Show.

Inside the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Posted by on Friday, November 20, 2015

The Alfa Romeo QV was a huge hit at the LA Auto show. Here is the car right after its press introduction.

New Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Posted by on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A look at the Alfa display at the LA Auto Show.

At the Alfa Romeo display at the LA Auto Show.
Posted by on Thursday, November 19, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2017 Alfa Giulia QV Specifications

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Full Specifications
All dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted.
Information shown is correct at time of publication and is subject to change.*

Vehicle Type: D-segment sedan, rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Assembly Plant: Cassino Assembly Plant, Piedimonte San Germano, Italy
EPA Vehicle Class: Mid-size car
Production Date: Late second quarter 2016 as a 2017 model

Layout: Longitudinal front engine, RWD
Unitized construction
High–strength steel
Aluminum fenders and doors,
Carbon fiber hood and roof, aerodynamic appendixes, driveshaft
All–aluminum suspensions

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Engine

Availability: Standard
Type and Description: 90-degree, V-6, direct injection bi-turbo
Displacement: 176.4 cu. in. (2,891 cc)
Bore x Stroke: 3.40 x 3.23 (86.5 x 82.0)
Valve System:
Chain-driven DOHC with intake and exhaust continuous camshaft
4 valves per cylinder roller finger actuated with
hydraulic lash adjusters
Mechanical cylinder deactivation on right bank
Integrated IHI single-scroll turbo manifold with
water charge air cooler
Maximum turbo boost pressure: 35 psi
Fuel Injection: Gasoline direct-injection, side mounted
Max injection pressure: 200 bar
Cylinder head and cover: aluminum alloy with integrated cam carrier
Crankcase: closed deck aluminum alloy with wet steel liner
Bedplate: aluminum alloy with integrated blow-by control reed valves
Crankshaft: super-finished forged nitride steel with single con-rod pin
Piston: forged aluminum cooled with twin oil jets
Compression Ratio: 9.3:1

Alfa Giulia QV Engine Dyno Specs

Power (SAE net): 505 hp (377 kW) @ 6,500 rpm (174.6 hp/liter)
Torque (SAE net): 443 lb.-ft. (600 N•m) @ 2500-5500 rpm
Redline: 6,500 rpm
Max. Engine Speed: 7,250 rpm
Fuel Requirement: Premium unleaded, 91 octane (R+M)/2
Weight: just over 441 lbs (200 kg)
Engine Assembly Plant: Termoli, Italy

Top speed mph (km/h): 191 (307)
Acceleration 0 – 60mph (97 km/h) 3.8 seconds
Nurburgring race track lap time: 7 minutes 39 seconds

Start&Stop System
Urban cycle consumption: 18.4 mpg (12,8 l/100 km)
Extra–urban cycle consumption: 38.6 mpg (6.1 l/100 km)
Combined cycle consumption: 27.6 mpg (8,5 l/100 km)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 198
Environmental classification: Euro 6

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Interior

Availability: Standard with the 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo
Gear Ratios
1st: 4.055
2nd: 2.396
3rd: 1.582
4th: 1.192
5th: 1.000
6th: 0.872
Reverse: 3.678
Differential: double-clutch torque vectoring type
Final Drive Ratio: 3.090

Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio AlfaLink Suspension

Front: Double wishbone with semi-virtual steering axle
Rear: AlfaLinkTM design with vertical rod

Type: Rack and pinion with Variable Electric Assist

High-performance Brembo brake system Standard on Giulia Quadrifoglio
Rotor size and type: 14.2 x 1.26 (360 x 32) vented
Caliper size and type: Four-piston aluminum monoblock calipers
Rotor size and type: 13.8 in x 1.1 in (350 x 28) vented
Caliper size and type: Four-piston aluminum monoblock calipers

Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio Rear Brake

Ultra-high-performance Brembo Carbon Ceramic
Material (CCM) brake system Optional on Giulia Quadrifoglio
Rotor size and type: 15.4 x 1.3 (390 x 34) two-piece, vented carbon ceramic matrix
Caliper size and type: Six-piston aluminum monoblock calipers
Rotor size and type: 14.2 x 1.1 (360 x 28) two-piece, vented carbon ceramic matrix
Caliper size and type: Four-piston aluminum-monoblock calipers
Braking distance: 62 - 0 mph= 105 ft (100 – 0 km/h 32 meters)

Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio Dimensions

Wheelbase: 111 (2.820)
Track, Front: 61 (1,550)
Track, Rear: 62.5 (1,589)
Overall Length: 182.6 (4,639)
Overall Width: (not including mirrors) 73.7 (1,873)
Overall Height: 56.1 (1,426)
Curb Weight, lb. (kg): 3,360 (1,524)
Weight Distribution, percent F/R: 50/50
Ground Clearance: 3.9 (100)
Trunk capacity: 480 liters
Fuel Tank Capacity, gal. (liter): 15.3 (58)

Drag coefficient (Cd): 0,32
Lift coefficient (Cl): –0,1 ***
Negative downforce measurement at 186 mph (300kmh): 220 lbs***

Alfa Giulia QV Dimensions

Availability Standard Giulia Quadrifoglio
Size and type
P245/35ZR19 (93Y) XL
Pirelli PZero Corsa (AR) BSW three-season high-performance
P285/30ZR19 (98Y) XL
Pirelli PZero Corsa (AR) BSW three-season high-performance

Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio 19" Alloy Wheel

Availability: Standard on Giulia Quadrifoglio
Type and material: 19-in. forged alloy, Bright Silver
Size 19 x 8.5-in. (front)
19 x 10-in. (rear)

Availability: Optional on Giulia Quadrifoglio
Type and material 19-in. forged alloy, Dark Gray
Size 19 x 8.5-in. (front)
19 x 10-in. (rear)

Availability Optional on Giulia Quadrifoglio
Type and material 19-in. cast and Fluoform alloy, Bright Silver
Size 19 x 8.5-in. (front)
19 x 10-in. (rear)

Availability Optional on Giulia Quadrifoglio
Type and material 19-in. cast and Fluoform alloy, Dark Gray
Size 19 x 8.5-in. (front)
19 x 10-in. (rear)

*** With Alfa Active Aero activated
*Preliminary specs of European pre-production car
Images courtesy of FCA.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione Announced!

124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso

Fiat has given enthusiasts the chance to own a very special 2017 Fiat 124 Spider. The first production run of 124 vehicles will be offered as an exclusive version called the Prima Edizione Lusso.

Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione

This limited-edition 124 Spider will be individually numbered with a commemorative badge and available only with the exclusive Azzurro Italia (blue) exterior paint as shown at the Spider's debut at the LA Auto Show. This color will only be offered on Spider Prima Ediziones so once these 124 cars are gone it won't be available again.

Special-Edition 124 Spider Prima Edizione model includes

  • Limited-Edition Azzurro Italia paint
  • Commemorative Prima Edizione badging
  • Saddle leather interior
  • Lusso luxury package
  • Limited-edition 124 Spider swag, including wearables and poster

124 Spider Prima Edizione Interior

Owners who purchase a Prima Edizione will also receive limited-edition swag, including wearables and a poster.

Fiat Spider Prima Edizione

For more information about ordering a Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione, interested customers can sign up for updates at the Fiat USA website.

Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione

The all-new Fiat 124 Spider will arrive in Fiat studios in North America in summer 2016.

Read more:

Images authors and courtesy of FCA.