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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Abarth at 2017 Geneva Motor Show

Abarth at 2017 Geneva Show

Abarth fans visiting the 2017 Geneva Motor Show were treated to several new editions to the Abarth model lineup. The new Abarth 595 Pista, Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR special and the Abarth 124 Spider Scorpione.

Abarth 595 Pista
The new Abarth 595 Pista is the latest special edition of the 595 series. For those who don't remember, the Abarth 595 replaced the 500 series last year and pay homage to the original Abarth 595 that debuted back in 1963. That Fiat Abarth 595 took the normal Fiat 500 to an extreme level, doubling the horsepower of the standard car and modifying the trim.

The new modern Abarth 595 carries on the tradition. Pista means "track" in Italian and the 595 Pista has 160 hp compared to the standard 145 HP in the regular 595. Additionally, the 595 Pista has drilled and slotted rotors, Koni FSD shocks all the way around and the Dual -Mode Record Monza exhaust. Interior and exterior trim are also upgraded.

Abarth 595 Pista

Abarth 595 Pista Rear

Noteworthy is the titanium exterior trim and the ability to choose the color of the grille trim and mirror covers. The Abarth 595 Pista is available in five paint colors with contrasting details: Campovolo Grey, Gara White, Abarth Red, Record Grey and Scorpione Black.

Abarth Telemetry system

One of the neat features of the Abarth 595 Pista is the Abarth Telemetry system which lets you to load famous racing circuits, like Monza, and Spa-Francorchamps into the GPS and allows you to record your track times and sessions. You can then view and analyze them later to improve your performance.

Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR

Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR
Abarth also showed off their limited edition Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR. The Abarth 695 series is the top of the pecking order in the Abarth lineup and features more performance than the 595 series and offers unique trim. The Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR commemorates Abarth's partnership with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team. For the third year in a row, Abarth is the Official Sponsor and Official Car Supplier of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team which will be competing in the 2017 FIM MotoGP World Championship.

Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR and Bike

Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR Plaque

The new Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha comes exclusively in Pista Grey paint, and only 695 hatch and 695 convertibles will be made. The arrival of this limited edition car coincides with the unveiling of the Yamaha XSR900 Abarth motorcycle, which also comes in the same Pista Grey with red trim as the car. Both the car and bike share some of their features such as a good helping of carbon fiber and Akrapovič ultralight exhaust systems.

Abarth 695 Yamaha XSR Rear

The 695 XSR Yamaha sports a 165 HP T-Jet engine, Koni FSD rear shocks and Eibach springs, 17'' Supersport alloy rims with Matte Black finish, Satin Chrome accents on handles and badge supports, red details on bumpers and mirrors, red brake calipers and drilled brake rotors. If desired, a tuning kit is available to bump the power to 180 HP and improve handling with Koni front struts with FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) valving. Braking is also upgraded with drilled Brembo 305x28mm floating front rotors and high-performance Ferodo HP 1000/1 pads.

Abarth 124 Spider Scorpione

Abarth 124 Spider
Abarth is riding high on the excitement caused by the arrival of the Abarth 124 Spider last year, but it's not resting on its laurels. At Geneva, Abarth unveiled the new Abarth 124 Spider Scorpione, a decontented Abarth Spider but with all the performance features of the standard car. This is great news for purists or those who want performance without frills. The Abarth 124 Spider Scorpione is available in two colors: "San Marino 1972 Black" with "Forgiato Grey" details or "Turini 1975 White".

Abarth Tuning
In Europe, Abarth offers an extensive tuning and accessories program for their different models. At the show, Abarth displayed three conversion kits they have for the Abarth 595.

Abarth Transformation Kit

The "160HP Tune-Up Kit" increases engine power from 145 to 160 HP. The package also includes Koni shocks all the way around and Eibach lowering springs, Ferodo brake pads and "Abarth Elaborazione" exterior badge. Abarth supplies the kit in their conversion box - the traditional wooden crate, just like they did in the 1960s.

Abarth offers a "180HP Tune-Up Kit" for their 595 Turismo that takes this car from 165 to 180 HP. The 595 Turismo is a higher spec car in the 595 range and is geared towards luxury along with increased performance. The Tune-Up kit included Koni front struts (the Turismo already has them in the rear), Brembo floating front brake rotors with red calipers, Ferodo brake pads, "Abarth Elaborazione" exterior badge along with the wooden conversion crate.

The last kit on display was the "Record Monza Exhaust System Kit" This Dual Mode muffler has a valve that bypasses the muffler when the engine speed goes over 3,000 rpm. Its name honors Carlo Abarth's speed record he personally set at Monza race track in 1965. It also comes in its own special box which any Abarth enthusiast would covet.

Record Monza Exhaust System Kit

Besides these kits, Abarth offers a full range of tasty accessories: ultralight Esseesse white and titanium rims, mirror caps, pillar liners and carbon fiber dashboards, gear knobs, kick plates and pedal boards made of aluminum and carbon fiber.

Abarth owners in North America may lament that Fiat USA doesn't offer the same extensive line of accessories as they do in Europe, but that should not hinder too much. The vendors on the Fiat 500 USA Forum have you covered. All the accessories listed above and then some can be had through the vendors on the forum.

Images and source: FCA

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fiat at The 2017 Geneva Motor Show

Fiat 500 60th Anniversary

The Fiat display at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500 and highlighted the latest special editions of the Fiat brand.

Fiat 500 60th Anniversary
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the debut of the Nuova Fiat 500 on July 4, 1957. To commemorate that event, Fiat has introduced a 60th-anniversary special edition. Available as a convertible, the Fiat 500 60th Anniversary sports a new two-tone paint job known as Dolcevita: Three-layer White for the lower body and Pastel Ivory for the hood and pillars. A gray and burgundy pinstripe separates the upper and lower colors.

Fiat 500 60th Anniversary Dash

The interior also has retro details and color scheme, with seats in ivory leather with contrasting burgundy seams, a neat vinyl covered burgundy dash and unique dual-color car mats. A special "560" logo is included which is a red "6" and "0" inside the familiar 500 logo. Neat.

Other features included in the Fiat 500 60th Anniversary Special Edition

  • Chrome mirror caps
  • Special 16" lightweight alloy wheel
  • Vintage Logos
  • Unique 560 logos on B-pillar, chrome door sills
  • Numbered limited edition nameplate on center console
  • Leather gear stick knob and steering wheel
  • 7" UconnectTM Radio Live touchscreen system with Bluetooth, Satellite navigator and USB and AUX IN ports;
  • 7" TFT,
  • Automatic climate control,
  • Fog lights
  • Rear parking sensors.
  • Speed Limiter and Cruise control
  • Apple CarPlay support
  • Android Auto integration
  • Rain & Dusk sensor
  • Bi-Xenon headlights
  • Tinted rear windows and
  • Beats AudioTM

Engine choices are the 500's base 1.2L with 69 HP, the 0.9L TwinAir with 85 HP or the 95 HP 1.3L 16v Multijet II turbodiesel. The Fiat 500 60th Anniversary is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission (6 speed for TwinAir models) or the automated manual Dualogic gearbox with paddle shifters. There is no word if we'll get the 60th Anniversary here in North America.

Fiat 500X S-Design in Alpi Green

Fiat S-Design Series
Fiat unveiled their sporty S-Design series at this year's show. The new S-Design is a high style, sporty trim level that will be available starting off on the 500X and Tipo 5 door models.

Fiat 500X S-Design

The 500X S-Design shown had new matte Alpi Green paint and distinctive "18" alloy wheels.

The 500X S-Design also features the following trim with a burnished finish:

  • Side moldings
  • Door handles
  • Front spoiler
  • Taillight trim
  • Liftgate handle
  • Mirror caps

Fiat 500X S-Design Interior

Inside the 500X S-Design, you'll find dark colored trim along with special S-Design upholstery with copper colored 500 logos.

Fiat Tipo S-Design

The Tipo 5-door S-Design shown was finished in Metropoli Gray, and Piano Black trims, new diamond pattern 18" alloy wheels and body colored door handles. The interior also gets special treatment with trim changes.

Fiat Fullback Cross

Fiat Fullback Cross
Fiat is showing off their compact pickup truck they sell in various markets. Built on the Fiat 500X/ Jeep Renegade Small Wide 4X4 platform, this sporty pickup is around 208 inches long, 72 inches wide and 70 inches tall or just a tad bigger than a late model Ford Ranger. The vehicle shown has a 2.4-litre common rail turbodiesel engine and develops 180 and 317 lbs-ft (!) of torque. Top speed is 111 mph. Two transmissions are offered: a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. The All-Wheel-Drive Fullback Cross has a Torsen center differential that can be locked and along with an electronic locking rear differential (E-Locker) when the going gets rough.

Sadly, it is unlikely we will ever see the Fiat Fullback Cross here in the US.

Fiat 124 Spider Europa

Fiat 124 Spider Europa
The new limited edition 124 Spider Europa celebrated the launch of the original version by Pininfarina at the Geneva Show some 36 years ago.

Fiat Spider 2000 w/ four-spoke alloys

Painted in Passione Red, this well equipped Spider sports silver rear view mirror caps and a set of the highly desirable, 17" four-spoke alloy wheels, developed by Mopar as a tribute to the original Spider's. A numbered plaque on the center console and the 124 logo on the front grille round out the package.

Fiat 500S

Other Fiats Highlighted
The Fiat 500S is a sporty version of the 500 in Europe. The car has a distinctive look, with unique front and rear bumpers, built-in fog lamps, spoilers and side skirts. An exclusive "Satin Graphite" trim finish on door and trunk handles, mirror caps and wheel trim look good and would be a great addition to the NAFTA cars...

An interesting bit of trivia is in the last six months, the 500S models have accounted for about 15 percent of 500 sales in Europe.

The Fiat 500L has been the best selling in its segment every year since it was launched in 2013. At Geneva, Fiat displayed a fully equipped 500L Trekking complete with Traction+ and a 520 Watt Beats Audio entertainment system.

The Fiat 500L has the interior room of a full-sized car with the economy of a subcompact. The US 500L is one of the best values in family cars with the Trekking model now featuring a new lower price plus Fiat has added $1,700 worth of increased content over last year.

Images and source: FCA, brochure: authors

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Register Now For The 2017 Fiat FreakOut!

Fiat FreakOut Concours Car Show

Registration for the largest Fiat event of the year has just kicked off! Called the Fiat FreakOut, the annual event is the national convention of Fiat Club America (FCA) and is now in its 34th year. The Fiat FreakOut is a multi-day event filled with fun activities and friendly Fiat enthusiasts. This year's FreakOut is being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and promises to be something special.

Fiat Spiders at Fiat FreakOut

The busy five-day event starts on Wednesday, July 19th and runs through Sunday, July 23rd. Scheduled are scenic drives, dinners, games, and get-togethers, including a Private Sunset Cruise at the legendary Road America race track, plus Fiat vendors and a Concorso/Concours auto show that should not be missed.

Homebase for the 2017 Fiat FreakOut is the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel, and there is a special room rate available. Get your reservations in early!

Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
375 South Moorland Road
Brookfield, WI 53005

Register for the Fiat FreakOut by going to the Fiat Club America website.

Discuss the Fiat FreakOut on the Fiat Club America Forum hosted on the forum.

2017 Fiat FreakOut Promotional

Cream City 500 Club
This year's FreakOut is hosted by the Milwaukee chapter of Fiat Club America. The Cream City 500 Club (CC5C) is a staple of the local Fiat community and beyond and is very active with events and drives. It also has a great blog and Facebook page which is worth checking daily.

The creative and talented Amado Rodriguez, also known as Amacento to the online Fiat world, founded and runs the Cream City 500 Club and is known for his unbridled Fiat enthusiasm and promoting the Fiat brand. He and his team put together the fantastic itinerary seen below. Helping with this year FreakOut is Sean Kane, nephew of the late Damon Kane who was a beloved FCA member remembered for his great cruises and scenics drives. This year's FreakOut shows Sean carries on Damon's grand tradition.

The Cream City 500 Club has partnered with the local Fiat dealer - Palmen Alfa Romeo-FIAT and the exotic sports car dealer - Reina International Auto and are both major and generous sponsors of FFO17.

Just three years old, the well run and organized local CC5 Club was able to put together a winning bid for the national Fiat FreakOut convention, which should be an inspiration to local Fiat clubs everywhere.

2017 Fiat FreakOut Logo


Note: This year we are dividing planned activities into Sportivo (high energy) and Normale (laid back). We want to offer varied options while mining the long held FIAT tradition of introducing a (both) Sporty and Economic range of vehicles.

There is F-U-N to be had by all!

19-23 July (Early Arrivals welcome 17-18 July)

Milwaukee, WI a/k/a Brew City a/k/a Cream City

Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
375 South Moorland Road
Brookfield, WI 53005

19 July, Wednesday
Optional Event Activities:

  • Veloce Indoor Speedway  (Pay at the track upon arrival)
  • Tee Aire Range and Mini Golf
  • Breakout Escape Game
  • Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts
  • Pop’n’Spot Gourmet Popcorn Shop
  • Fox Brook Park
  • Dinner on your own

20 July, Thursday

  • Sportivo: Holy Hill Basilica, Wisconsin/Wisconsin Auto Museum back roads romp. Join us for a fun drive, through some Wisconsin back roads, to famed Holy Hill and the Wisconsin Auto Museum (Historic WI).
  • Normale: Our inaugural FIAT GeoDash (think: “The Amazing Race”) locale scavenger hunt (Historic Milwaukee)

21 July, Friday
  • Sportivo: Join our caravan to a FIAT Club America-only Sunset Cruise at the legendary Road America race track.
  • Normale: Don’t worry if you arrive a little late Friday or your car can’t make it the trek to Road America. FIAT Club America has you covered. Milwaukee Food-City Tours will be serving the [inter]national FIAT S.p.A. community with their Pizza Bus rides around our fair city.

22 July, Saturday
Concorso: MItchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. A.K.A. “The Domes of Milwaukee”

More information at

Experience a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and special floral gardens all in one afternoon and an amazing lighting display in the evening!

The incredible diversity of plantlife you will encounter reminds us all of the Earth’s unique diversity of plant and animal species so very vital to our own survival.

Come to the deserts of Africa, Madagascar, South America and North America in the Desert Dome where one of the world’s finest collections of cacti, succulents, shrubs and arid-land bulbs grow. An Oasis of Pampas Grass and desert palms beckons as paths lead you past many plant oddities with intriguing geometric forms, subtle coloration and unique adaptations to hot, dry habitats.

Stroll the jungle-like trails of the Tropical Dome and see a rich diversity of plants from the rainforests of five continents. Showy flowers, fruits, nuts, spices and a multitude of orchids and bromeliads surround you as you’re drawn toward a rushing waterfall in this paradise. Be sure to look for the colorful birds that call the Tropical Dome their home. Enter a themed floral exhibit filling the Floral Show Dome with gardens of color. Five seasonal displays each year will delight you with their beauty and will serve to inspire your own gardens.

Then, we will reconvene at the Milwaukee-Brookfield Sheraton for our awards banquet.

23 July, Sunday

  • FIAT Club America Brunch/Raffle at Milwaukee-Brookfield Sheraton
  • Sportivo (optional): post-FreakOut Windy City Miata Club AutoX event in (IL)
  • Normale (optional): Harley Davidson Museum tour (Milwaukee)

Stay Tuned for more details!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The itinerary below is actively being tweaked at this time – and IS LIKELY TO CHANGE. 

Make sure you visit the Fiat Club America FreakOut page, the CC5C Facebook page or the OFFICIAL 2017 Fiat FreakOut forum thread for updates.

Images: Author, CC5C and Fiat Club America

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Fiat Sales For February 2017

Fiat Brand sales for February 2017 were flat, being nearly identical to the month before. Fiat sold a total of 2,145 cars in February compared to the 2,164 cars reported in January. Fiat sales so far this year are running 14% behind last year's despite having another car (the 124 Spider) added to this year's model lineup. Sales of the 500L MPV have dropped substantially which has more than offset the new 124 Spider's sales this year.

Some good news is sales of the Fiat 500 hatch and Cabrio models were up 1% in February compared to the same month a year ago. Sales of the 124 Spider were up 26 % compared to this January.

February Fiat News Recap
The Fiat 124 Spider grabbed headlines last month being named Best Cars for the Money in the Sports Car category by U.S. News & World Report as well as gaining a spot on the “Hagerty Hot List” for 2017. Hagerty, the global leader in collector car insurance, says the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is one of 10 vehicles this year that stand out as the likeliest to grow in value and appeal to classic car enthusiasts. also acknowledged the 124 Spider as one of the 12 Hottest New Cars For 2017.

Speaking of the 124 Spider, detailed what's new with the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.

Alfa Romeo fans were treated to three Superbowl ads introducing the exciting Giulia model to more than 100 million people watching the game.

Fiat Brand Sales in the United States, January - February 2017
Fiat 500Current MonthLast YearVol ChangeCurrent YTDLast Year YTDVol Change













Sources: FCA US LLC.
Images: FCA and author