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Fiat 500X All-Wheel-Drive System-Explored

A look at the 500X's All-Wheel-Drive system and how it stacks up to the competition

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Model Changes

What's new for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.

Fiat 500L Design

Within its compact dimensions, the Fiat 500L has the room of a full-sized car. See how Fiat did it and the concept and goals of the design team.

We cover Alfa Romeo!

All you need to know about Alfa Romeo

Fiat 500 How To

See how to install a carbon fiber dashboard on a Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

2017 Abarth Track Experience

Bondurant Abarth Spider

Abarth. A legend in the high performance and racing world. More than just fast cars with cool badges, they offer a heritage and pedigree that is up there in the upper level of the automotive pecking order. Abarth spends a great deal of time developing its car to offer a high standard of performance, so much that most will never come close on the street to what the car is capable of. To give owners of a new Abarth a glimpse of the full performance of their car, every new 500 and 124 Abarth comes with a track day driving event called the Abarth Track Experience.


Bondurant Abarth Spider Drifting

New for 2017, the Abarth Track Experience will be hosted by the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. This replaces the Richard Petty Driving School that previously hosted the Abarth Experience since 2012. The new program is similar to the old one and features a one-day session of high-performance driving with professional instruction and time on the track. The most significant difference being in previous years, the event traveled across the country to different venues. The new program will be held at the the Bob Bondurant School located in ‎Phoenix, Arizona.


Bondurant 124 Spider Abarth

The Fiat Trackside program starts the day off with an introduction to the Fiat brand and classroom instruction and then moves to the track where participants will learn skid control, slalom, autocross and team rally cross skills. The day ends with hot laps, where owners ride shotgun while an instructor demonstrates some of the capability of an Abarth with some fast laps around the track.

There is also an optional second day “Road Rally” program that is a 180- to 220-mile rally that takes you for a drive along picturesque Arizona roads and includes a private lunch.


Bondurant 124 Abarth

The new Fiat Trackside and Road Rally programs will be available beginning in November. Owners who purchase or lease a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth or 500 Abarth have one year to participate so make sure you visit the Abarth Experience website to see if your vehicle qualifies.




Source and images: FCA US LLC

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Abarth Spider Racing Heritage Option Released

124 Abarth Spider with Racing Heritage Stripe

The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth configurator has finally been updated to show the optional matte black hood and trunk package. Abarth fans and enthusiast have been waiting for this configurator update ever since the car was announced back in March. Called the Racing Heritage Black Center Band, the $1995 option package consist of hand painted blacked out hood and trunk lids. The paint scheme pays homage to the original 1970s Fiat Abarth 124 Rally. The anti-glare kit on that car did double duty as glare reduction and thermal management to absorb underhood heat.

1970s Fiat Abarth 124 Rally


In Europe, the 124 Abarth is an exclusive, limited production car that costs €40,000 or nearly $45,000. Abarth models are shipped to Officine Abarth where the car gets the optional Racing Heritage painted panels along with the final touches like the installation of an Alcantara interior package, and a Record Monza exhaust in place of the standard Abarth exhaust.

European 124 Abarth Spider


In the US we pay $28,195 for our Abarth Spider, but it still gets the labor intensive, hand painted treatment that makes our car no less exclusive than its European cousin.



The involved process begins when Abarth Spiders are shipped from east and west coast ports to a central Custom Shop facility near Auburn Hills where it is dissembled, and then a master automotive painter applies the matte black paint using the hide the line paint technique that is typical of paint jobs on $100,000 show cars.

Fiat 124 Abarth Spider


An interesting bit of trivia is originally this customization was going to take place on both east and west coast near the ports, but local environmental paint regulations precluded that. Having all the cars painted at one central location has quality control advantages as well as having parts availability at one place.

Look for the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth arriving at Fiat Studios late September and October.

While you are waiting for the Spider Abarth to arrive, read more below and make sure you check out the Fiat 124 Spider Forum for interesting discussions on the car.








Images: Author and FCA US LLC
Update 5/19/2017: added video

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fiat Brand Sales for July 2016



Fiat sold a total of 2,754 cars in July, 210 cars more than the previous month, but lower than the 3,196 cars sold in July 2015. So far this year, the total of Fiats sold in the US comes in at 19,346, down 16 percent over last year's total of 23,118 for the same period.

Sales of the Fiat 500X were up slightly in July compared to last year.

Fiat Studios began receiving their initial shipments of the new 124 Spiders and recorded 480 sales of the new roadster. Inventory levels of the classy 124 Spider will be increasing during the summer, culminating with the arrival of the hi-performance Abarth model towards the end of the season.



August Deals
Fiat is holding a huge Summer Clearance Event this month. With offers up to $1,000s off of various models, low APRs and great lease deals, now is the time to get to your Fiat Studio and buy a car.  Even the Spider has an introductory offer, so don't miss it.

Contact your local Fiat Studio for more info or check out these top Studios:

Palmen FIAT of Kenosha, Wisconsin - 1-888-379-0295
FIAT of Larchmont, New York - 1-888-405-2249
Benson FIAT, South Carolina - 1-888-380-1716



July Fiat News
July 4th marked the 59th anniversary of the debut of the Fiat 500 in 1957. This year the annual party was held on the island of Capri to highlight the new, limited production 500 Riva model. Fiat teamed up with Riva, the famous Italian maker of luxury yachts, to create the special edition 500 Riva.




Last month we talked about driving the new Fiat 124 Spider and its cousin, the Spider Abarth. The new Spider is the modern-day interpretation of the classic 124 Sport Spider introduced to the world 50 years ago. The links below tell you everything you want to know about the Spider, plus make sure you visit the Spider forum, where you will find a lot of interesting discussions.






July also was the month the Fiat Club America held its annual convention called the Fiat FreakOut. This year, the Fiat FreakOut was held near Fiat Chrysler Automobile headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan and was a great success. Fiat enthusiasts from all over the country made their way to the venue. Here is a look at our trip.


Fiat Brand Sales in the United States, January - July 2016
Fiat 500Current MonthLast Year 2015Vol ChangeCurrent YTD TotalLast Year YTD TotalChange  %
July
500
500L
500X
124

    1,097
     227
     950
    480
    2,754

  1,940
   314
    942
    0
  3,196

   -43%
   -28%
   1%
    New
   -14%

    8,857
    2,527
    7,481
    481
    19,346

      15,880
       6,020
        1,218
       0
      23,118

   -44%
   -58%
   514
   New
   -16%
June
500
500L
500X
124

    1,113
     274
    1,156
    1
    2,544

  2,283
   530
    324
    0
  3,137

   -51%
   -48%
   257
    New
   -19%

    7,932
    2,338
    7,464
    1
    17,735

      15,390
       6,076
         332
        0
      21,798

   -48%
   -62%
   2148
   New
   -19%
May
500
500L
500X

    1,553
     334
    1,250
    3,137

  2,614
   1,245
     8
  3,867

   -41%
   -73%
 15K
   -19%

    6,819
    2,064
    6,308
    15,911

      13,107
       5,546
         8
      18,661

   -48%
   -63%
   7.9K
   -19%
April
500
500L
500X

    1,488
     463
    1,094
    3,045

  2,498
   1,258
     0
  3,756

   -40%
   -63%
    New
   -19%

    5,266
    1,730
    5,058
    12,054

      10,493
       4,301
        0
      14,794

   -50%
   -60%
   New
   -19%
Mar
500
500L
500X

    1,490
     533
    1,399
    3,422

  3,276
   1,218
     0
  4,494

   -55%
   -56%
    New
   -24%

    3,778
    1,267
    3,964
    9,009

      7,995
       3,043
         0
      11,038

   -53%
   -58%
   New
   -18%
Feb
500
500L
500X

    1,081
     365
    1,547
    2,993

  2,333
   956
     0
  3,289

   -54%
   -62%
    New
   -9%

    2,288
     734
    2,565
    5,587

      4,719
       1,825
        0
       6,544

   -52%
   -60%
   New
   -15%
Jan
500
500L
500X

    1,207
     369
    1,018
    2,594

  2,386
   869
     0
  3,255

   -49%
   -58%
    New
   -20%

    1,207
     369
    1,018
    2,594

      2,386
       869
         0
      3,255

   -49%
   -58%
   New
   -20%



Figures and sources: FCA US LLC,
Images: FCA US LLC and author