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Archive for the ‘Fiat’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500L S-Design

Fiat adds another name to its line of S-Design models, this time the family-friendly 500L. Based on the crossover-inspired 500L Cross, the aim of the S-Design version is to inject some extra style into the package, like it’s already done with the Tipo, 500X and 124 Spider.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Fiat 500L S-Design Launches in the UK

Starting from next month, the British B-segment MPV buying public can get themselves a hot new Fiat. It’s the updated 2019 Fiat 500L S-Design, boasting an impressive array of special exterior and interior features. It may not be the sportiest car in its class, but the S-Design is probably the least boring. 

And that is precisely because of the S-Design treatment. The 2019 Fiat 500L S-Design comes with matt Donatello Bronze paint paired with black roof and Myron finish accents. The paint job alone sets it apart from all rivals. Then there is the dark tinted rear windows and new exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels with Myron finish. Inside the cabin you will find matt black textured dashboard with copper-coloured “500” logo, plus black techno leather inserts, double stitching and copper “500” logo. you are not going to get bored looking at this car.

The engine, too, is nice and peppy, if a bit under-powered. Fiat 500L S-Design hits UK showrooms with a 1.4-litre petrol engine with 6-speed manual transmission, producing 95hp. But what the car lacks in power, it makes up for with equipment. You get a standard Uconnect 7-inch HD LIVE touchscreen, which is Apple CarPlay ready and Android Auto compatible. The S-Design is also based on the Cross trims, so you get the raised stance and skid plates, side mouldings and wheel arch mouldings from that model as well.






2019 Fiat 500L Range UK Pricing:

Fiat 500L Urban 1.4 95hp £16,710
Fiat 500L City Cross 1.4 95hp £17,610
Fiat 500L Cross 1.4 95hp £18,710
Fiat 500L S-Design 1.4 95hp £18,610

The post 2019 Fiat 500L S-Design Launches in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Gets Juicy New Options

Maybe it hasn’t performed sales-wise as well as they were hoping, or maybe they are just being generous. Either way, the new 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is now available with some truly awesome options. These are designed for the hard-core sports roadster fans, those who enjoy driving for its own sake. 

On the top of the list of cool options for the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth we have the Record Monza Exhaust system. It costs $995, but the stainless steel system makes a great noise, has Dual-Mode technology, with four exits and an aggressive design. So it’s worth it, especially is you take into account the cost of a decent aftermarket exhaust.

The we have the Veleno Appearance Group for 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. The styling kit includes red exterior mirror caps, a red lower fascia lip and a red front tow hook. Inside, Abarth-branded carpeted floor mats and a bright foot rest highlight the signature Abarth racing heritage. Veleno by the way is Italian for ‘poison’ so there’s that. it costs $495 MSRP. Besides that, there is a $295 MSRP “Double Rally Stripe” package available in either white or red; and multi-colored “Retro Stripe” in both white/gray and red/gray combinations.

2019 Abarth 124 Spider starts from $30,000. It is powered by a 164 horsepower and benefits from Bilstein sport suspension, mechanical limited-slip differential, front strut tower bar, and Sport Mode selector.






The post 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth Gets Juicy New Options appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500L and 500X Get Chrome Appearance Package

Just a clarification before we begin, they don’t actually call this new treatment the Chrome Appearance Package but Chrome Appearance Group. But we think that’s stupid,so we’re going to stick with package, which is the form the new options available for Fiat 500L and 500X came in. 

So, the Chrome Appearance Package for Fiat 500X and 500L, what does it consist of? Let’s begin with the Fiat 500L, for which the treatment costs $495. The L’s chrome pack includes front-fascia chrome accents, rear-reflector chrome bezels, body-side molding chrome accents, fog lamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels with black pockets. You can order this pack for models based on the Pop trim, and if you choose a good color, it can make a big difference in the car’s appearance.

As for the more handsome, sportier Fiat 500X, the chrome appearance package is satin, and features satin chrome accents on exterior mirrors, door handles, body-side molding, fog lamp bezels, front fascia, front and rear badges, liftgate handle, tail lamp bezels and satin silver roof rails, plus the Pop trim’s fog and cornering lamps, automatic headlamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The pack costs $395 on all-wheel-drive models or $695 on front-wheel-drive models. But the effect it results in is totally worth the money.

“The Fiat 500X offers all-wheel-drive confidence, five-passenger seating and best-in-class standard torque,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The Fiat 500L is powered by a MultiAir Turbo engine and features a spacious, flexible interior with a nearly 360-degree view. Our new Chrome Appearance Groups give each of these Italian-designed, fun-to-drive vehicles a sleek, refined, custom look.”

The post Fiat 500L and 500X Get Chrome Appearance Package appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500 Spiaggina by Garage Italia and Pinninfarina

Marking the 60th anniversary since the unveiling of the first special edition car based on the model 500 – the 500 Jolly, known as “Spiaggina,” Fiat showcased their new limited edition of the latest Fiat 500. Called the Fiat 500 Spiaggina ’58, the new model is limited to 1958 units. A number which is an homage to the year Fiat showcased the original 500 Jolly, a car adored by rich and famous of the time.

However, apart from Fiat showcasing a rather cool Spiaggina ‘58 production model based on the 500C with a 1.2-liter, 69 horsepower engine, Garage Italia and Pininfarina prepared their own celebration model. It is a better one.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500 Spiaggina ‘58 Is a Birthday Gift for the Cinquecento

There are so many different variants and editions of the Fiat 500 (Cinquecento) that pretty much everyday is a birthday for one of them. This time we’re celebrating the Bday of the 500 Jolly Spiaggina, the first special series of the 500, with the 2019 Fiat 500 Spiaggina ‘58.

Marking the 60th anniversary of the original, the new Fiat 500 Spiaggina ‘58 is a limited edition of just 1,958 cars as an homage to the year the edition was first released. It comes with an exclusive Volare Blue livery, with ivory soft-top, featuring white belt liner and the vintage-design 16-inch alloy wheels. The ensemble is then complemented with chromed door mirror covers, vintage Fiat logos and the chromed “Spiaggina ’58” badge.

Volare Blue is also featured inside the two-tone cabin of Fiat 500 Spiaggina ‘58. It is paired with grey striped base and ivory upper section, plus special floor mats and a steering wheel with a vintage fiat badge. The retro-cool design houses some advanced features though, as the Spiaggina features Uconnect 7-inch HD LIVE touchscreen radio, TomTom navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rain and dusk sensors, automatic air-conditioning and rear parking sensors, all standard. Powering this cute little Italian is a 1.2-litre 69hp petrol engine.








Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat & Abarth brand, explains: “The new “Spiaggina ’58” is our gift to 500 for its birthday and the 60th anniversary of the “Spiaggina”, a real “time machine” incorporating many reminders of the Dolce Vita era, such as the vintage Fiat logos and wheels, the white belt liner, the choice of convertible format only and the two-tone interior. Not to mention a special colour just for this series: Volare Blue. A name and a colour that take us straight back to 1958, to the Sanremo Festival of that year, when a young Domenico Modugno teamed up with Johnny Dorelli to give the first public performance of “Nel blu dipinto di blu”, the famous song also known as “Volare”, the soundtrack for the Dolce Vita years.”

The post Fiat 500 Spiaggina ‘58 Is a Birthday Gift for the Cinquecento appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler isn’t on the Chopping Block Yet; Fiat to Retreat, Become Euro-Only EV Brand

FCA’s investor meeting has taken place, and the official word is that Chrysler will carry on as a North-American.-only brand and Fiat will become a Euro-only EV brand. To take things even further, a company spokesperson has also said that Dodge won’t be killed off either. That’s a pretty bold move from FCA considering how unpopular Chrysler and Fiat have become here. What happens with these brands next, however, will determine whether or not they’ll continue to stick around long term.

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper of the Day: 2106 – 2019 Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 might be a bit unconventional by modern styling trends, but it has its own loyal following. Never has that been more evident than when we look at its sales figures, which have exceeded more than 1.5-million units sold since 2007. Needless to say, it’s an old favorite among its followers and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon. It was updated for the 2016 model year and will probably get a revamp in the near future. Until then, we want to cater to our 500 fanboys out there and declare the Fiat 500 our wallpaper of the day. We’ve hand-picked our favorite, but there’s plenty more in the gallery at the bottom of this page if you find yourself wanting a little more. Go ahead and snag them up – they are free!

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper of the Day: 2017 Fiat 124 Spider

The Fiat 124 Spider name has a rather long life on the market after it was conceived in 1966 but it was killed off back in 1982, and we thought we were never going to see the name again. Then, Mazda decided to put out a new MX-5 Miata and, naturally, that chassis was shared with Fiat, giving the brand the ability to resurrect the name of a classic. Some might consider the 124 a rebadged Mazda, but anyone who knows Fiat knows better. This car has its own style, personality, and history, giving it more than enough to stand out in the crowd as its own model. The problem is that we haven’t given the 124 much love lately, so we decided to give it some screen time as our wallpaper of the day here at Top Speed, and we think it’s worthy of some screen time on your desktop too. So go ahead and pick one. Or pick five – there are plenty in the gallery below the one we hand-picked as our favorite.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 124 Spider S-Design

Revived in 2016, 50 years after its iconic predecessor first hit the streets, the Fiat 124 Spider was the first compact to challenge the popular Mazda MX-5 Miata after many years. Ironically, the Italian roadster sits on the same underpinnings as the Miata, as Mazda and FCA co-developed most of the chassis. But the 124 Spider received its very own styling — some say that it looks more elegant than the Miata — and borrowed its engines from other Fiat models. And unlike the Mazda, it uses turbocharged units too. With less than two years on the market, the 124 Spider lineup has already expanded to include various trims, an Abarth model, and even a racing version. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Fiat launched yet another variant, the 124 Spider S-Design.

If you’re tempted to think about Audi S-Line models, you’re not doing it wrong. The S-Design package is somewhat similar, adding extra features inside and out. The exterior is slightly sportier and boasts an exclusive set of wheels, while the cabin gets extra standard equipment that enhances luxury and comfort. Was another package necessary with so many trims and special-edition versions already available? Not exactly, but this is what keeps the market going and the customers coming into dealerships. Let’s find out more about the S-Design upgrade below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 124 Spider S-Design.

What Makes the Fiat 124 Spider S-Design Special?

  • Polished steel details
  • Exclusive 17-inch wheels
  • Chrome rims
  • Red side sill stripe
  • Standard foglamps
  • Tricolor badge
  • Chrome exhaust pipes
  • Leather seats
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Automatic climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Mp3 radio with USB

2018 Fiat 124 Spider S-Design - image 773134
“The Italian drop-top gets a bit of extra sheen by means of polished steel finish roll bar, A-pillar, and mirror caps”

The S-Design model isn’t exactly easy to spot, so you have to pay attention to a few carefully placed details. For starters, the Italian drop-top gets a bit of extra sheen by means of polished steel finish roll bar, A-pillar, and side mirror caps. The wheels are also exclusive to this model. Measuring 17 inches, the come in a lightweight, twin-spoke design. The rims are wrapped in chrome, adding a dash of elegance to the convertible.

Above the side sills, there’s a red stripe that draws attention to the 124’s low center of gravity and the seating position. It goes well with the white presentation model, but it might not be a good idea on a red car. Hopefully, Fiat offers this stripe in other colors as well. Speaking of which, the S-Design model also sports a tricolor badge on the rear fascia, complemented by dual chrome exhaust pipes. Up front, the foglamps are included as standard equipment.


2018 Fiat 124 Spider S-Design - image 773141
“Inside the cabin, the S-Design comes with a bunch of extra standard features”

Inside the cabin, everything remains familiar, but the S-Design comes with a bunch of extra standard features. Go with this trim and you’ll get leather wrapped seats and steering wheel, automatic climate control, cruise control, and the Keyless Go system. An mp3 radio unit with USB port and four speakers is also included. Safety has been enhanced too, with four airbags included at no additional cost.

The drivetrain remains standard in the S-Design, which is equipped with the same turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine as the regular 124 Spider. Output is rated at 140 horsepower and 240 Nm of torque, which converts to 138 horses and 177 pound-feet of U.S. folks. Both the six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available.


2018 Fiat 124 Spider S-Design - image 773133
“The drivetrain remains standard in the S-Design, which is equipped with the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine as the regular 124 Spider”

As you might have already guessed, performance numbers remain unchanged. When equipped with the manual gearbox, the 124 Spider charges from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 215 kph (134 mph). The automatic transmission makes the roadster a bit slower, with a 0-to-62 mph time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 214 kph (133 mph). The suspension setup is again standard with a double-wishbone layout at the front and a multi-link to the rear. Combined with the responsive steering and the electric power assist system, it delivers greater stability while braking and turning.

Pricing information for the S-Design model is not yet available, but it shouldn’t be much more expensive than the trim it is based on.

References

Fiat 124


2017 Fiat 124 Spider - image 656070

Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.


maker logos - image 753156

Read more Fiat news.


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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500 Abarth

Without a doubt, the Fiat 500 is an absolutely iconic automobile. First rolling off the production line way back in 1957, this tiny little go-getter found owners across Italy, eventually selling nearly 4 million units by the time it was discontinued in 1975. In 2007, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reintroduced the nameplate as a modern front-engine, FWD city car, infusing it with as much charm and fun as possible in an attempt to rekindle the old Cinquecento flame. Although bigger and heavier than those first 500’s, the new model managed to offer some real smiles behind the wheel, especially with the go-faster Abarth versions. Taking cues from the old school sport models, the new 500 Abarth gets more power, firmer suspension, and nippier steering, not to mention every aesthetic performance nod possible in such a small package. Fast forward to today, and the entire Fiat 500 lineup was upgraded for the 2018 model year with a turbo engine and a new look, but the fastest and most aggressive of the bunch remains the Abarth model. Upgrades over the normal 500 once again include all the right stuff – big wheels, big brakes, hard suspension, and more power, not to mention the requisite go-faster stripes in the flanks.

All told, the Fiat 500 remains a quirky and fun little city car with a decent splash of performance, a modern take on a classic micro machine. However, with so many other killer hot hatches on the market, such as the Ford Fiesta ST and Mini Cooper S, can the 500 Abarth keep pace, or has the scorpion lost some of its sting?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth.

Fiat 500 Abarth Exterior

  • Small, rounded, bubbly features
  • Three-door hatchback or two-door cab body styles
  • Multiple scorpion badges front to back
  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Growling Italian exhaust note
  • Good variety of customization options
  • Flat-black aero enhancements
  • Smaller than a Mini Cooper

2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 767988
“The Fiat 500 Abarth remains small, rounded, and bubbly, with a smiling fascia and “watch me strut” kind of attitude. If there were ever an automotive equivalent of an excited little dog, this would be it.”

In terms of exterior styling, the 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth looks more or less the same as the outgoing model. It’s still small, rounded, and bubbly, with a smiling fascia and “watch me strut” kind of attitude. If there were ever an automotive equivalent of an excited little dog, this would be it.

For the 2018 model year, buyers can still opt into either a three-door hatchback coupe, or a two-door cabriolet body style. Both are quite good, with the coupe being the more serious performer of the two, and the cab being the more fun-loving option.

In front, we find rounded headlights with black trim around the projectors. Rounded fog lights can be found just under the main headlights housings, while along the nose there’s a chrome stripe and a yellow/red Abarth badge (the first of many). Lower in the fascia, the intake gets a black insert with a honeycomb design made from plastic, as well as a small diffuser-type element jutting out from the chin. Faux vents are placed in the sides of the bumper.

Moving into the flanks of the vehicle, we get a better sense for the 500 Abarth’s rounded aesthetic. The roof line on the coupe leads the eye rearwards, giving it a sense of forward momentum that’s only enhanced by the window line. Black trim is used for the window surrounds. Offsetting it all is a cool go-faster stripe between the wheel wells, under which you’ll find standard 16-inch rollers with a Hyper Black finish and aluminum construction. Buyers can also upgrade to 17-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels if desired, with 12 spokes finished in bronze or hyper black. Red brake calipers at all four corners add even more color. Don’t forget another scorpion badge ahead of the rear wheel at the waist line.


2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 767998
“New for the 2018 model year is the addition of three new exterior colors, including Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl, and Vesuvio Black Pearl.”

When viewed from the rear, the Fiat 500 Abarth coupe’s hatchback-ness becomes quite evident. The rear door stands tall and proud, while the upright taillight housings enhance the sense of height. A rear spoiler seems to sprout from the trailing roof edge, while further chrome detailing was added above the license plate frame and the third scorpion badge. Facing the ground is a diffuser element in black, which houses the dual chrome exhaust tips. Word has it the specially tuned Abarth exhaust makes a loud, mean sound, almost like a mini-mite Ferrari. Oh yeah. You know you love it.

New for the 2018 model year is the addition of three new exterior colors, including Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl, and Vesuvio Black Pearl, which bring it up to 11 exterior colors total. Buyers can also get a two-tone color scheme that adds contrasting shades to the side-view mirrors, rear spoiler, stripes, and roof. Several different stripe colors are offered as well. You can even get another Scorpion badge with the optional roof graphics, if desired.

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Fiat 500 is smaller than a Mini Cooper, which is important if you plan on driving it through congested urban areas looking for a parking spot. The 500 is also slightly taller than the U.K.-bred alternative.

Exterior Dimensions 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth Mini Cooper
Length 144.4 inches 151.1 inches
Width 64.1 inches 68 inches
Height 59.2 inches 55.7 inches
Wheelbase 90.6 inches 98.2 inches

Fiat 500 Abarth Interior

  • Several sporty cues throughout
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Rounded gauge pod
  • Small rear seats
  • Optional high-end materials and upscale features
  • Standard performance seats
  • Separate boost gauge and shift lights

2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 768016
“The various buttons and vents are rounded, much like the rest of the car. The small infotainment screen sits inside a brushed metal-look surround, a material that can also be found on the door handles.”

Much like the exterior, the 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth looks more or less unchanged inside the cabin. The steering wheel is a flat-bottom, three-spoke affair with sizable hand bolsters at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions, and it’s trimmed in grippy yet soft material and lined with contrast stitching. The gauge pod consists of a single rounded gauge with further readouts on the periphery. The center console is short, providing additional knee room below, with the shifter placed a higher up than the more traditional central tunnel position. The dash is broad and covered in a high-gloss material available in a variety of different colors. The various buttons and vents are rounded, much like the rest of the car. The small infotainment screen sits inside a brushed metal-look surround, a material that can also be found on the door handles and surrounds for various other buttons.

Fiat says there’s space for four in the cabin, but the rear seats are pretty tiny, and are really only suitable for storage or moving people in a pinch. Basically, the rear bench is not a place you’d wanna find yourself with any regularity, unless of course you were able to somehow twist yourself into some kind of human pretzel.

You also might expect the Fiat 500 to be somewhat practical considering it employs that hatchback body style. However, the small exterior dimensions make the rear cargo space tiny, although it does help to fold the rear bench down. All told, it’s fine for some light grocery shopping, but it’s not gonna move around much more than that. But in all honesty, if you get something like the Fiat 500 Abarth because it’s practicality that you’re after, you’re doing it all very wrong indeed.

Moving on, the Fiat 500 Abarth can feel surprisingly upscale inside when grabbing the optional leather-trimmed seats. You can get yours with either an all-black interior, or black and red upholstery. There’s also an optional power sunroof for the hard top models.


2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 768017
“Front-seated passengers will enjoy the standard performance seats, which get sizable side bolsters to stay in place while slinging around a corner during spirited driving”

Front-seated passengers will enjoy the standard performance seats, which get sizable side bolsters to stay in place while slinging around a corner during spirited driving. There are even pass-throughs for racing harnesses if you really wanna get frisky. Further accent stitching adds extra flair, while aluminum pedal covers with black rubber inserts are in the footwells for optimum grip levels during complicated heel-toe downshifts.

A rounded boost gauge is mounted just to the left of the main gauge cluster. Put it into Sport mode and the boost gauge will light up with the word “Sport.” There are also shift lights are in the main cluster to help you wring out every last rev.

On the infotainment front, the Fiat 500 Abarth utilizes a standard Uconnect platform. Navigation is optional, as is a premium sound system from Beats Audio, heated front seats, SiriusXM radio, and rubber mates with the scorpion logo.

Fiat 500 Abarth Drivetrain

  • Turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 160 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque
  • 0-to-60 mph time under 7 seconds
  • Five-speed manual, or six-speed automatic

2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 768003
“Properly motivated, the Fiat 500 Abarth can charge up to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.”

Once again, the Fiat 500 Abarth continues with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine for propulsion. Unlike the original Fiat 500’s rear-engine and RWD layout, the new one mounts the motivation in front and drives the front wheels. It uses a single turbo plus intercooling, as well as a single overhead cam, 16 valves, and port fuel injection. It’s also got an iron block and and aluminum head.

Dubbed the MultiAir, the 500 Abarth’s engine creates as much as 160 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 183 pound-feet of torque at 2,400 rpm, besting the rest of the 500 line by 25 horses and 33 pound-feet of torque respectively.

Properly piloted, the Fiat 500 Abarth can charge up to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, eventually reaching its top speed of 132 mph.

A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic with shifter paddles is optional.

Fiat 500 Abarth Chassis And Handling

  • Low curb weight makes for big fun
  • Sporty suspension tuning
  • Electronic aides as standard
  • Free session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 768008
“Without a doubt, one of the Fiat 500 Abarth's greatest assets is its feathery curb weight, tipping the scales at just over 2,500 pounds.”

Fiat boasts that the 500 Abarth comes with a “world-class ride and track-ready durability” thanks to its upgraded performance suspension system. Complementing the set-up is three-mode electronic stability control, which adds an “innovative torque transfer (TCC) system that maximizes throttle performance during on-throttle cornering.” In addition to the lowered suspension and upgraded electronic bits, the Fiat 500 Abarth uses uber-sticky Pirelli tires.

But without a doubt, one of the Fiat 500 Abarth’s greatest assets is its feathery curb weight. Tipping the scales at just over 2,500 pounds, the Fiat is several hundred pounds lighter than the bantamweight Mini Cooper, which translates into some very tossable driving dynamics.

You can also upgrade the nut behind the wheel, as anyone who buys or leases a 500 Abarth gets a no-cost one-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. We wish more makes would do this, as creating a machine that can perform on the track is one thing, but creating a driver that can make the most of it is something else entirely.

Fiat 500 Abarth Prices


2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 768007

The Fiat 500 Abarth is available to order now, with arrivals expected for the second quarter of the year. Pricing starts at $19,995 for the hard top and $21,490 for the cabriolet.

Fiat 500 Abarth Competition

Mini Cooper Hardtop S


2014 Mini Cooper - image 532696

When it comes to fun, stylish hatchbacks with loads of character and presence, the Mini Cooper is hard to beat. Like the 500, the Mini is a modern reboot of an old classic, this time hailing from the U.K. The Mini might be a bit larger than the 500, but the rest of it is as you would expect – eye-catching good looks, tossable FWD platform, and oodles of opportunities for customization. Power is provided by a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder mounted in the nose, which produces as much as 189 horsepower and mates with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. Pricing starts at $21,600, but expect a much fatter bottom line if you even look at the options list. And yeah, you’re definitely gonna want to see the options list.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mini Cooper.

Ford Fiesta ST


2018 Ford Fiesta ST - image 706946

Ford has its own take on the whole entry-level hot hatch thing, and it’s called the Fiesta ST. While the name doesn’t carry quite the same level of clout as the 500 or Mini, the Fiesta still brings the goods in terms of fun, rocking a turbo-boosted 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder making 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque. Routing it to the front axle is a manual six-speed transmission as the only gearbox available. Recaro seats in the cabin hold passengers in place, while a 6.5-inch touchscreen is part of the standard equipment list. You also get the added practicality of a five-door body style. Pricing starts at $21,195.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST.

Conclusion


2018 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 767992

When it comes to having fun behind the wheel, the hot hatch segment is where it’s at. This is where high levels of driver engagement and easy at-limit adjustments find a nice meeting point, offering the most economical smiles-per-dollar ratio you can find. To that end, the Fiat 500 Abarth ticks all the right boxes. This car is full of character, and its small, stylish charm is definitely a unique offering in the U.S. market.

That said, it’s not a perfect car. It’s a bit loud for some, the interior fit and finish isn’t the best, and the engine is a little down on power compared to rival entries from Mini and Ford. However, for some buyers, these are mere trifles compared to the feeling this plucky little three-door can give you when you find the right road on a sunny day. We’re eager to see what Fiat does with the nameplate next, but for now, we think the 500 Abarth is definitely worth a look in the segment.

  • Leave it
    • * Several very robust competitors in the segment
    • * Exhaust might be too loud for some
    • * More practical already options on the table
    • * A bit underpowered at this point
    • * Could use a more substantial refresh

References

Fiat 500


2018 Fiat 500 - image 768185

Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 500.


2015 Fiat 500 - image 547927

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500.


2015 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 547913

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth.


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 753156

Read more Fiat news.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat Bringing Abarth 124 GT with a Carbon Fiber Roof to Geneva

Fiat is bringing the Abarth 124 GT to the Geneva Motor Show with something no other roadster on the market has: a carbon fiber rooftop. The new special edition model will grace Geneva with a style upgrade we rarely see from a sports car in this segment. It’s got plenty of exclusive features beyond the carbon fiber rooftop; all adopted to make this particular version of the Abarth 124 GT stand out from the rest of its kind.


Fiat Bringing Abarth 124 GT with a Carbon Fiber Roof to Geneva - image 771115
“The carbon fiber rooftop is the main highlight of this special edition Abarth 124 GT.”

The carbon fiber rooftop is the main highlight of this special edition Abarth 124 GT. It’s not often that you get to see a roadster with a rooftop made from the lightweight material. It weighs just 16 kilos (35.2 pounds) and was designed to improve the torsional rigidity of the roadster. It can also be removed and refitted in a few easy steps, which means that drivers can have the best of both worlds: drive with a carbon fiber rooftop or switch to the open-air thrills of a droptop. Most importantly, the roof looks really cool. It’s a fitting accessory for a car like the Abarth 124 GT that oozes in its own blend of sexiness.

Beyond the carbon fiber hardtop, this special edition 124 GT also gets a fancy color, specifically the gunmetal shade finish on the front spoiler and mirror caps and the same matte black hood that we previously saw on the Abarth 124 Rally GT racer. While the purpose may be different — the matte black hood on the rally car was installed to help keep the sun’s glare away from the driver — the aesthetic effects are largely the same.


Fiat Bringing Abarth 124 GT with a Carbon Fiber Roof to Geneva - image 771113
“The four-cylinder engine produces 170 HP and 184 LB-FT of torque, enough to help the roadster accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds before blasting off to a top speed of 144 mph”

The Roadster’s design is a fitting partner to the kind of power and performance the Abarth 124 GT provides. It draws all of its oomph from a 1.4-liter, MultiAir, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, enough to help the roadster accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds before blasting off to a top speed of 144 mph. For those who are interested to know, the Abarth 124 GT’s sister, the Fiat 124 Spider, shares a similar engine and identical torque numbers. It does have ten less horsepower compared to its Abarth counterpart.

Fiat hasn’t said how many units it plans to release of the special edition model. The price tag is also unclear, though the standard model does sell for at least $28,195. Throw in all the goodies and that carbon fiber rooftop, and you’re looking at a price that should be well north of $30,000.

References

Fiat 124


2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth - image 769178

Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.


2017 Fiat 124 Spider - image 656070

Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.


maker logos - image 753156

Read more Fiat news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat Bringing Abarth 124 GT with a Carbon Fiber Roof to Geneva

Fiat is bringing the Abarth 124 GT to the Geneva Motor Show with something no other roadster on the market has: a carbon fiber rooftop. The new special edition model will grace Geneva with a style upgrade we rarely see from a sports car in this segment. It’s got plenty of exclusive features beyond the carbon fiber rooftop; all adopted to make this particular version of the Abarth 124 GT stand out from the rest of its kind.


Fiat Bringing Abarth 124 GT with a Carbon Fiber Roof to Geneva - image 771115
“The carbon fiber rooftop is the main highlight of this special edition Abarth 124 GT.”

The carbon fiber rooftop is the main highlight of this special edition Abarth 124 GT. It’s not often that you get to see a roadster with a rooftop made from the lightweight material. It weighs just 16 kilos (35.2 pounds) and was designed to improve the torsional rigidity of the roadster. It can also be removed and refitted in a few easy steps, which means that drivers can have the best of both worlds: drive with a carbon fiber rooftop or switch to the open-air thrills of a droptop. Most importantly, the roof looks really cool. It’s a fitting accessory for a car like the Abarth 124 GT that oozes in its own blend of sexiness.

Beyond the carbon fiber hardtop, this special edition 124 GT also gets a fancy color, specifically the gunmetal shade finish on the front spoiler and mirror caps and the same matte black hood that we previously saw on the Abarth 124 Rally GT racer. While the purpose may be different — the matte black hood on the rally car was installed to help keep the sun’s glare away from the driver — the aesthetic effects are largely the same.


Fiat Bringing Abarth 124 GT with a Carbon Fiber Roof to Geneva - image 771113
“The four-cylinder engine produces 170 HP and 184 LB-FT of torque, enough to help the roadster accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds before blasting off to a top speed of 144 mph”

The Roadster’s design is a fitting partner to the kind of power and performance the Abarth 124 GT provides. It draws all of its oomph from a 1.4-liter, MultiAir, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, enough to help the roadster accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds before blasting off to a top speed of 144 mph. For those who are interested to know, the Abarth 124 GT’s sister, the Fiat 124 Spider, shares a similar engine and identical torque numbers. It does have ten less horsepower compared to its Abarth counterpart.

Fiat hasn’t said how many units it plans to release of the special edition model. The price tag is also unclear, though the standard model does sell for at least $28,195. Throw in all the goodies and that carbon fiber rooftop, and you’re looking at a price that should be well north of $30,000.

References

Fiat 124


2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth - image 769178

Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.


2017 Fiat 124 Spider - image 656070

Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider.


maker logos - image 753156

Read more Fiat news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Geneva 2018: Abarth 124 GT and Fiat 124 Spider S-Design

Fiat’s lineup for this year’s Geneva Motor Show has a strong 124 flavor. They are bringing along two new edition of the Miata-based sports car, one upgraded by Abarth, the other by themselves, to offer a more engaging experience than the standard versions. The new models include Abarth 124 GT and Fiat 124 Spider S-Design. 

Let’s do the Abarth first because it is the more interesting one. The 2018 Abarth 124 GT is a performance-oriented model by developed by Abarth Racing Team and it’s actually a coupe since it features a solid carbon fiber roof. It is removable, of course, but they have gone a lot of trouble to make this hard top and it is only right to keep it in place at all times. The Abarth GT also features 17-inch OZ Ultra-Light alloys (3 kg lighter than the standard set), gunmetal mirror caps and front spoiler and matte black bonnet, and carbon rear spoiler.

Powering the Abarth 124 GT is a 1.4 litre MultiAir turbo engine with 170 HP and 250 Nm of torque. It comes as standard with Record Monza sport exhaust system.

As for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider S-Design, the car gets a similar treatment to other S-Design Fiats. The main highlights include roll bar, front pillar and rear mirror caps in polished steel, 17 inch light alloys, chrome tailpipes, four airbags, automatic climate control, mp3 radio with USB port and four speakers, leather seats and steering wheel, lower fascia and brow of the dashboard with visible seams, cruise control and Keyless Go system. Engine-wise, the 124 Spider S-Design has a 140 HP power and 240 Nm of torque version of the 1.4 turbo engine.



The post Geneva 2018: Abarth 124 GT and Fiat 124 Spider S-Design appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show

When the Fiat 500 was first introduced way back in 1957, it was offered as a zippy little runabout that could tackle the pressures of city driving in style. While not necessarily fast, the 500 was considered quick enough, and it offered the diminutive exterior dimensions desired for urban living. Since then, the 500 has changed. It’s bigger now, and the name has been applied to other segments as well, with both a tall-riding crossover and all-electric iterations making their debut over the years. Unfortunately, as we all know, these segments aren’t necessarily bywords for fun, and the world’s standard for “quick enough” has moved on. Now, though, it looks like the Italian icon is getting a little closer to its fun-to-dirve roots thanks to a solid dose of turbocharging under the hood.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show - image 766481
“We think that forced-induction motivation is just the right fit for the 500, a model that should focus on zippy fun and attitude over practicality.”

The big news here is that each of the trim levels for the 2018 model year Fiat 500 will now come equipped with a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine offering as much as 33 percent more horsepower than before.

We like this. We think that forced-induction motivation is just the right fit for the 500, a model that should focus on zippy fun and attitude over anything practical. And considering the car’s relatively low weight (roughly just 2,500 pounds), a little more horsepower can go a long way to capturing that youthful feeling.

“With an all-turbo lineup, the iconic Fiat 500 now offers an even more dynamic driving experience and more standard horsepower than any of its competitors,” says Head of Passenger Car Brands at FCA, Steve Beahm. “In fact, the entire Fiat brand lineup now comes standard with turbocharged power, adding to our roster of fun-to-drive, Italian-designed vehicles.”


Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show - image 766488
“Both now receive a 1.4-liter MultiAir powerplant with a single turbo, two intercoolers, and a sporty exhaust”

Buyers can get theirs in one of three separate trim levels. That includes the Pop, the Lounge, and the top-dog performance-oriented Abarth model.

Let’s start at the bottom with the Pop and Lounge. As previously stated, both now receive a 1.4-liter MultiAir powerplant with a single turbo, two intercoolers, and a sporty exhaust. Output sees a jump to 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 34 horses and a whopping 52 pound-feet over the previous model’s naturally aspirated 1.4-liter lump (101 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque).

That’s a not-so-insignificant increase, and it’ll surely make the 500 immensely more interesting to drive. The horsepower is great, and should help to drop the 0-to-60 mph time from just under 10 seconds to a figure estimated at somewhere in the high-7’s to low-8’s. However, we’re more interested in the sizable torque increase, which will double-underline the 500’s around-town scootin’ ability. The low curb weight should help it handle as well.


Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show - image 766484
“The horsepower is great, and should help to drop the 0-to-60 mph time from just under 10 seconds to the a figure estimated at somewhere in the high-7's to low-8's.”

Routing the power to the front axle is a five-speed manual transmission as standard, or an optional six-speed automatic for those who prefer two pedals over three. In the corners, the base-grade and mid-grade 500’s both get 16-inch aluminum wheels as standar now, plus performance brakes and sport suspension as well, the latter of which should do well to compliment the new-found power. A ParkView rear backup camera helps out in the cabin, while styling updates to the exterior include body-colored front and rear fascias, side-skirt ground effects, a sport spoiler, fog lamps, and a Turbo badge declaring the car’s fresh forced-induction status.

Meanwhile, performance enthusiasts are encouraged to get into the Fiat 500 Abarth model. Unfortunately, the Abarth’s power output goes unchanged with this recent refresh, but that’s okay. With 160 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque on tap from a tuned version of that 1.4-liter turbo four we just mentioned (manual Abarth models still get a small torque cut, down to 160 horsepower and and 170 pound-feet of torque compared to the automatic models), the Abarth is a solid little performer in its own right.


Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show - image 766501

To that end, the Abarth gets more of the previously mentioned performance gear for the suspension and brakes. There’s also a three-mode stability control system and torque transfer control (TTC) system, both of which apparently “maximizes throttle performance during on-throttle cornering.” Styling points are awarded thanks to standard 16-inch Hyper Black wheels made from aluminum. Wrapped around the rollers are sticky Pirelli tires, while under the spokes are red-painted brake calipers. Out back is an Abarth-exclusive exhaust with a double-tip design.

Move to the interior of the Abarth, and you’ll find unique front seats with big lateral bolsters and a one-piece design, plus harness pass-through points if you’re really looking to upgrade for track duty. Accent stitching was added to the upholstery, while aluminum pedal covers with black rubber inserts are in the foot well. A boost gauge can be found in the left-hand corner of the gauge cluster.

Put the 500 Abarth into Sport mode, and the boost gauge will light up with the word Sport. There’s also a shift light in the cluster that’ll help you nail the ideal up-shift points in the rev range.


Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show - image 766469
“The Abarth gets more of the previously mentioned performance gear for the suspension and brakes.”

Fiat is calling the Abarth package “track-ready,”
and to really bring the point home, it’s offering customers a free one-day driving session at the Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving. And that’s awesome. We wish more automakers would throw in driving school with its high-performance packages. It would save us the time of making fun of buyers who crash in less than a mile after taking delivery.

Finally, the new 500 comes with three new exterior colors to round it out, including Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl, and Vesuvio Black Pearl, bringing the paint options list to 11 entries total. There’s also the open-top Cabrio options if you’re looking for extra headroom.

Dealers are placing their orders now, and deliveries are expected for the second quarter of the year.


Fiat Adds Turbo Fun Across The 500 Lineup At Chicago Auto Show - image 766472

Pricing is not yet available, but the model received a considerable MSRP cut last year, bringing it down to $14,995 for the Pop, $18,495 for the Lounge, and $19,995 for the Abarth. The rest of the line includes the all-electric 500e, the up-sized 500L, and the sub-compact 500X crossover.

All told, we think the extra turbo power under the hood is a good move, especially considering sales for the 500 have taken a hit lately. With demand in the U.S. market focused primarily on large SUVs, we think the 500 has to double down on what it does best – namely zesty performance, fun factor behind the wheel, and oodles of style everywhere. Leave the SUVs where they are.

For the sake of comparison, Fiat’s primary competitor, the Mini Cooper, is more powerful and offers more customization options, but at the cost of about $6,600 extra on top. And that’s a huge gulf to bridge when you consider you can get into a base-model Fiat for just 15 grand. Now, thanks to the inclusion of turbo power, the Fiat is looking mighty tempting indeed.

The question is – will consumers agree?

References

Fiat 500


2015 Fiat 500 - image 547927

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500.


2015 Fiat 500 Abarth - image 547913

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth.


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 753156

Read more Fiat news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Fiat Tipo S-Design Priced from £18,145 in the UK

Pitched as the optimal choice for the drivers who “don’t want to compromise on style or substance,” the 2018 Fiat Tipo S-Design hits the UK showrooms in hatchback and station wagon body styles, priced from £18,145. The new model comes with a bunch of little touches that set it apart as a more premium car compared to the competition in this class.

On the styling front, 2018 Fiat Tipo S-Design a new front grille with glossy black trim, which are also found on the mirror caps and around the fog lamps. Other notable highlights include Bi-Xenon headlights, tinted rear windows and 18 inch wheels which give the family car a nice sporty appearance. The interior has been subject to upgrades as well, with the main highlight being Techno leather and fabric seats, double stitching on the steering wheel and gear knob, Techno grey fascia and glossy black accents on the dashboard.

In terms of equipment, the car comes as standard with Uconnect 7-inch HD LIVE infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, thus eliminating the need for a satellite navigation or music player as both of those features, and many more besides, are crammed into your phone already. 2018 Fiat Tipo S-Design launches with a frugal but fairly peppy 1.4-litre T-Jet 120hp petrol engine. Paired with a manual gearbox it enables the car to spring from 0 to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds while averaging 47.1mpg on the combined cycle, corresponding to 139g/km CO2 emissions.






The post 2018 Fiat Tipo S-Design Priced from £18,145 in the UK appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon First Ever Zero Star Rating on the Euro NCAP? Don’t Put Your Kids in a Fiat Punto

It’s rare for a car to be so bad at the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) that it scores zero stars in the crash tests. It has actually never happened in the 20 years NCAP has been crashing cars. History has arrived, though, in the form of the Fiat Punto. The aging hatchback doesn’t have many distinguishing traits about it, but from this day forth, it will now live in infamy as the first and only car to ever get a goose egg in the European crash tests.

“The third-generation hatchback has been around for 12 years with minimal updates to show for it”

I don’t usually follow the Euro NCAP because there’s too much going on in the auto industry. But every so often, the agency finds itself in the news for reasons like this one. It’s a worrying result for the Punto, but not one that’s entirely unexpected either. The third-generation hatchback has been around for 12 years with minimal updates to show for it. That’s one reason it scored so low in these tests. I’m not even exaggerating about how bad it gets for the dated model. It scored 51 percent for adult occupant safety, 43 percent for children occupant safety, and 52 percent for pedestrian protection. If those scores aren’t putrid enough, consider this: the Punto scored 0 percent on safety assist. In case you didn’t know, you can’t go any lower than 0 percent.


First Ever Zero Star Rating on the Euro NCAP? Don't Put Your Kids in a Fiat Punto - image 753151
“If those scores aren’t putrid enough, consider this: the Punto scored 0 percent on safety assist”

Michiel van Ratingen, the body’s secretary general, summarized the Punto’s abysmal results clearly. “The fact that older cars cannot compete illustrates the pace at which the vehicle industry is innovating safety and the willingness and ability of competitive manufacturers to meet the highest standards,” he said. Those who do not keep their cars up to the latest standards get left behind, as these results clearly show.”

There’s no going around it. Fiat needs to retire the Punto. It should’ve retired it years ago, but it continues to sell it well past its expiration date because the car somehow still sells. It’s not a good business practice, and the Italian automaker needs to be called out for it. The Italian automaker can’t even blame the more stringent tests carried out by the NCAP. The Punto is just a bad car. It’s the closest thing to a hazard on four wheels that we have in the industry.

Do the right thing, Fiat. Give the Punto the burial it deserves.

References


maker logos - image 753156

Read more Fiat news.

PostHeaderIcon Abarth 595 Gets a Full Treatment from Vilner

Gone are the days when Vilner was a lowly interior specialist from Bulgaria. Nowadays these rank among the tuning world’s elite thanks to jobs like this. The Vilner Abarth 595 is one of those exquisite tuning works that requires a deep look before you can appreciate it. So let’s dive in and so just that. 

Wanting to make this Abarth 595 “more Italian than the original,” Vilner starts by bringing the tricolore stripe to the interior. You can the iconic tribute to the Italian flag on the ‘Ghiaccio White’ dashboard as well as the passenger side’s floor mat. The reason the stripe is one the passenger’s side is because Vilner didn’t want it to be obscured by the driver. The mats themselves are corrugated Alcantara featuring ‘595’ embroideries.

The treatment for Vilner Abarth 595 continues with corrugated Alcantara and flag stripes for the sea’s middle section, black Alcantara wrapped central console and surroundings of the panoramic roof, plus seatbelts that are now red. Thetuner has also added some exterior goodies, including ‘Abarth’ stripe on the top of the windshield and spoiler on the back wrapped with red/white checkered flag. As a gift to the owner Vilner has included a special bag made from the same exquisite material used in the interior. The highlights of the bag include red ‘seat belt’ shoulder strap, carbon fibre buckles, the Italian flag made from leather and, of course, the Abarth’s scorpion.













“The Italians definitely know how to make a good design,” says Atanas Vilner, the man behind the namesake art studio Vilner – brand that enriches the market for custom automotive creations for more than 20 years. “But when it comes to a mass production, it often comes with its restrictions. And that’s one of the reasons we exist, we’re here to eliminate those restrictions in a unique and tasteful fashion. Fiat 500 Abarth 595’s design is a very good base for a unique project – design which underlines the Italian origin of the vehicle and which also boosts the sporty character of this Abarth.”

The post Abarth 595 Gets a Full Treatment from Vilner appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500C – Driven

Dated and diminutive it may be, but the Fiat 500 remains a frugal and fun — and tiny — car. Adding a canvas top to the pint-size Cinquecento just increases the smiles-per-gallon it generates.

As a cheap-and-cheerful commuter, the Fiat 500 has long been a favorite of mine for its European style and driving characteristics. Among cars in its price range, the little Italian remains near the top of my fun-to-drive list. The Fiat 500C has even more charm thanks to its fully retractable roof.

For 2017, Fiat simplified the 500 lineup to just three trims: base-level Pop, leather-trimmed Lounge, and sporty Abarth. All are available with the “C” designation, which stands for “Cabrio.” In prior years, there were twice as many trims available. Most of the equipment from those additional trims is still available in the options list.

Exterior Notes


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737240
“The Fiat 500C I tested was a Pop trim, which meant it had a base price of $16,490”

The Fiat 500C I tested was a Pop trim, which meant it had a base price of $16,490. For that buy-in, the exterior of the car looked very nice, with its Grigio Cenre (loosely translated as “gray dew”) paint and 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The design of the modern-day 500 is aging just about as well as the classic 500 upon which it is based.

Riding on an ultra-short wheelbase of just 90.6 inches, the Fiat 500 measures just 139.6 inches in total length. It’s narrow, too, with a width of 64.1 inches. Those stats make it plenty maneuverable in tight city streets and parking garages, but they also make the car endearing to behold.


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737247

2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737235
“From the front, the Fiat 500c has a cute face, complete with little chrome mustache and red-nose Fiat logo”

From the front, the Fiat 500c has a cute face, complete with little chrome mustache and red-nose Fiat logo. The eyes on this face are the big, round headlights, with turn signal/daytime running lights below serving as cartoony, blushing cheeks.

The side-view reveals the tall greenhouse that makes getting in and out of the car a breeze. There’s the short hood and the bustle-butt rear end, with wheels pushed way out to the corners. A smooth crease runs from the hood shut-line at the front of the car to the top of the taillight at the rear. A sharper crease at the bottom third of the door reduces the appearance of mass. That’s important, because the modern-day Fiat 500 is a fair bit larger than its grandfather.


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737238
“My 500C tester had a small cargo hatch below the canvas top, which mimicked the engine bonnet of 500s from that bygone era”

From the rear, it’s clear my test car is a cabriolet. The telltale black canvas top surrounds the ovoid rear window, and a black plastic spoiler integrates the high-mounted brake light. Brake lights are rounded triangular shapes that give a modern twist to the original 500’s tall, rectangular taillight shape.

The rear of the 500C is actually more similar to the original Fiat 500 in one notable way: since the original Fiat 500 was a rear-engined car, it lacked the rear cargo hatch found on non-cabriolet modern-day 500s. My 500C tester had a small cargo hatch below the canvas top, which mimicked the engine bonnet of 500s from that bygone era.

Interior Notes


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737224
“Even though my Fiat 500C tester was the base Pop trim, it was not lacking for interior niceties”

Even though my Fiat 500C tester was the base Pop trim, it was not lacking for interior niceties.

The seats were covered in houndstooth-pattern fabric. They were firmly padded and flat, which was fitting for the car’s “everyman” personality. I found them comfortable for long-distance driving, though some might desire more lumbar support.

The steering wheel was wrapped in what felt like high-quality leather, and the car included cruise and Bluetooth controls in button form on the wheel. Audio controls were located on rockers behind the 9 and 3 o’clock positions on the wheel spokes.

Fiat changed the gauge cluster since the last time I drove a 500. The cluster is a thin film transistor (TFT) screen with a digital readout of all the important information. Gone is the analog gauge that Fiat owners either loved or hated, with its counter-rotating speedometer and tachometer.


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737218

2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737215
“My tester was equipped with Beats Audio, supposedly better than the Alpine-supplied standard fare, at an option price of $695”

Also present in the test car was the now-standard Uconnect 5.0-inch infotainment system in the dash, which is much nicer to use than the single-DIN head unit I’ve experienced in other Fiat 500s I’ve driven in the past. Uconnect remains one of the easiest-to-use infotainment systems in cars today, though the test car lacked Android Auto or Apple CarPlay capability — something that is supposed to be coming to Uconnect systems in the very near future.

My tester was equipped with Beats Audio, supposedly better than the Alpine-supplied standard fare, at an option price of $695. Also included was navigation and a year of SiriusXM satellite radio for another $695.

My family of four had a great deal of fun driving the Fiat 500C — not least because of the shocked faces people made when they saw all four of us pile out of the tiny car. I was able to squeeze a rear-facing baby seat in the back row, as long as the passenger front seat was all the way forward. This didn’t leave much room for my wife, but it was doable. A forward-facing child seat fits easily.


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737206
“Fiat says there’s just 5.4 cubic feet of luggage space in the 500C.”

Fiat says there’s 31.7 inches of legroom and 36.8 inches of headroom for backseat occupants. Up front, those numbers increase to 40.7 and 38.6 inches, respectively. For front-seat occupants, it’s got a nice seat height that is not at all low-slung. Some have described it as “driving a barstool,” but I didn’t feel like I was sitting quite that high in the 500C.

Now, I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but you can, in fact, carry four people in the little Fiat 500. You don’t need to fear family-ferrying in a Fiat unless you’re a family of more than four people — or unless you need cargo space. Fiat says there’s just 5.4 cubic feet of luggage space in the 500C. If you opt for the regular hatchback model, that increases to 9.5 cubic feet. One cool thing about the 500C model was that I could lay the rear seats down, open the roof, and have easy access to load or unload cargo.

The Drive


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737205
“With just 101 horsepower on-tap from the 1.4-liter MultiAir naturally aspirated engine, the 2017 Fiat 500C isn’t going to win any drag races”

With just 101 horsepower on-tap from the 1.4-liter MultiAir naturally aspirated engine, the 2017 Fiat 500C isn’t going to win any drag races. It’s plenty capable of getting out of its own way, however. If you want to go faster than a Fiat 500 will go, you’re probably breaking the speed limit anyway.

What I like about the Fiat 500C is its combination of value price and solid on-road feel. The little MultiAir four-cylinder engine is a little raspy on startup and displays character missing from similarly low-powered engines from Nissan, Toyota, and Honda. The steering provides more feedback than any of the subcompact players in its price range. The brakes — four-wheel discs, by the way — feel great. In all but horsepower, this is a “driver’s car.”


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737239

2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737243
“In daily driving, the short wheelbase means the 500C changes directions quickly”

The Fiat 500C is tall, which makes for a surprising amount of interior space but a not-particularly-sporty stance. However, in daily driving, the short wheelbase means the 500C changes directions quickly. Combined with its steering and brakes that are more communicative than anything in its price range, the Fiat 500 induces plenty of smiles when pushed down your favorite twisty country road.

My only nitpick with the test car: It was equipped with the optional (add $995) six-speed automatic transmission. I would rather have the available five-speed manual transmission. The automatic was not slow to react to throttle inputs or anything like that, but it did reduce my level of engagement when driving the car around town. It also reduces fuel economy from an EPA-estimated 40 MPG highway to 33 MPG highway. My fuel economy, with more than 500 miles of driving and a lot of 80-MPH interstate cruising, came in at 31 MPG.


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737248
“I loved the open top driving experience with the 500C, and it proved itself perfectly water-tight during an absolute deluge as I drove the streets and interstates of Knoxville, TN”

Some folks might not like calling this car a “cabriolet” because its top doesn’t fully disappear. Even with the top stowed in its open position, the side rails of the roof remain in place. This helps maintain chassis rigidity and surely keeps the cost of entry low for the 500C.

Regardless, I loved the open top driving experience with the 500C, and it proved itself perfectly water-tight during an absolute deluge as I drove the streets and interstates of Knoxville, TN. I did wish rearward visibility was better and cargo capacity wasn’t so impacted when the roof was open, however.

The Competition

Open-top motoring in this size category is hard to come by, particularly if you don’t want to spend a pretty penny.

Mini Cooper Convertible


2016 Mini Cooper Convertible - image 652606
“Those wanting a slightly more upscale driving experience will probably favor the Mini Cooper Convertible”

Mini has long been in Fiat’s crosshairs in America, and for good reason: Both companies have a similar design aesthetic, with cars that harken back to iconic designs of the postwar era. Fiat holds the title of value champion in the tiny convertible segment, where a $26,700 Mini Cooper Convertible has a starting price some $10,000 higher than the Fiat 500C.

The Mini’s BMW TwinPower 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder engine is more advanced than Fiat’s MultiAir naturally aspirated 1.4-liter four-banger, and it makes more power (134 horsepower vs. the Fiat’s 101). The noticeable difference for most drivers won’t be horsepower, but torque, where the Cooper Convertible puts down 162 pound-feet at a diesel-like 1,250 RPM. The little Fiat makes a comparatively limp-wristed 97 pound-feet at 4,000 RPM.

Mini has the edge on Fiat where luxury interior features are concerned, as well. But the Fiat edges it out on legroom and headroom, and the it is a couple hundred pounds lighter, as well. I prefer Fiat’s Uconnect infotainment experience to Mini’s, which shares some DNA with BMW iDrive.

Those wanting a slightly more upscale driving experience will probably favor the Mini Cooper Convertible. Those who want fun on-the-cheap will lean toward the 500C.

Read our full review on the 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible.

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible


2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible 1.8T - Driven - image 599665
“The Beetle’s nostalgia factor is high for many American buyers”

Volkswagen’s Beetle Convertible aims at the same buyer demographic as the Fiat 500C and the Mini Cooper Convertible. If you like timeless design, it’s hard to look away from the latest generation of the Beetle.

The 2017 Beetle has a displacement advantage on both of the above competitors, with its 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. That results in impressive numbers: 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The 2018 Beetle went bigger still, with a 2.0-liter turbo engine that makes just a few more horsepower.

The Beetle is quite a bit larger than the Fiat 500C and Mini Cooper Convertible, with a wheelbase of 100 inches and an overall length of 168.4 inches. It’s also quite a bit wider, at 71.2 inches. Finally, it’s fatter than either of the above, with a curb weight of 3,208 lbs. The result is a car that doesn’t feel as quick to react to driver inputs. Also of importance to driving enthusiasts: There is no manual transmission available in a Beetle convertible anymore, while Fiat and Mini still allow the shift-it-yourself option.

Coincidentally, the Beetle’s extra girth does not result in notable added interior space. There’s 41.3 inches of legroom up front and 31.4 inches of legroom in the rear, with just 7.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. That’s awfully close to the Fiat 500C.

The Beetle’s nostalgia factor is high for many American buyers. Whether shoppers of small non-sports car convertibles think it’s worth VW’s base asking price of $25,440 is the question.

Read our full driven review on the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.

Smart fortwo Passion Cabrio


2017 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet - image 643450
“Unless your daily routine involves extremely tight parking predicaments, however, the Fiat is the far more practical daily driver.”

The smart fortwo Passion Cabrio is the odd duck here because it only has seating for two, while every other model compared here will carry four. But unlike the Mini Cooper Convertible and the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, the fortwo Passion Cabrio is actually somewhat price-competitive with the Fiat 500C. It has a starting price of $18,900.

Like the 500C, the fortwo Passion Cabrio roof retracts sort of like a huge sunroof. But unlike the 500C, the side rails of the Passion Cabrio can be removed and stowed in the smart’s minuscule cargo area, making the car somewhat of a targa-top.

The tiny smart has the edge on even the Fiat 500C where maneuverability is concerned because it is ultra-tiny. It has a wheelbase of 73.7 inches and an overall length of 106.1 inches. The Fiat actually out-muscles the smart’s 898-cc inline three-cylinder engine, which makes just 89 horsepower. However, the smart out-torques the Fiat with 100 pound-feet at 2,500 RPM. It also weighs less than the lithe Fiat, at just 2,150 lbs with the automatic transmission.

Unless your daily routine involves extremely tight parking predicaments, however, the Fiat is the far more practical daily driver. The smart fortwo Passion Cabrio has no extra cargo space beyond the 7.3 cubic feet behind its seats, unless you want to stack cargo in the passenger seat next to you. Those who shift for themselves will also find the Fiat gets better fuel economy despite its added size and weight, with the smart clocking in at 38 MPG highway with its available five-speed manual transmission.

It’s hard to make a case for the smart for all but the most space-constrained environments, based on its price premium and its compromised interior cargo space. Coincidentally, smart announced it will no longer sell a gasoline-powered car in America. All smarts sold new to American consumers from model year 2018-on will be electric-powered.

Read our full review on the 2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio.

Conclusion


2017 Fiat 500C - Driven - image 737249
“The little Fiat 500C gave me about 75% of the joy I got driving its sportier, more expensive sister, the Fiat 124 Spider”

Even though I live in a rural area, where tiny cars like the Fiat 500 are more curiosity than commonplace, I have fallen in love with every iteration of the 500 I have reviewed since 2013. The tiny cars are full of character, and they’re fun to drive.

The little Fiat 500C gave me about 75% of the joy I got driving its sportier, more expensive sister, the Fiat 124 Spider. With the top down and the music up, I had a big, stupid grin on my face doing utterly mundane things like driving to work or stopping at the grocery store to get a gallon of milk on the way home.

No, it wasn’t as fast as the 124 Spider. It lacked a lot that car’s handling prowess in the twisties, as well. But it gave me joy in a way that a similarly priced Nissan Versa Note or Honda Fit could not. Those cars would have more room for passengers and cargo, but the trade-off is numb steering, sloppy transmissions, and uninspiring suspensions.

The Fiat 500C, like all Fiat 500s I have driven, practically begged to be driven hard. I hesitate to say “driven in anger,” because I find it practically impossible to be angry in a Fiat 500. But the more aggressively I drove the little Fiat 500C, the more it seemed to enjoy it.

Che bella!

Disclosure: Fiat provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of fuel for this review.

References

Fiat 500


2015 Fiat 500 - image 547933

Read our full review on the 2017 Fiat 500.


2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso - Driven - image 710024

Read more Fiat news.

PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500L City Cross Edition

The Fiat 500L is effectively an oversized version of the 500 hatchback so, in essence, its identity is tied to the 500 name. Don’t mistake the 500L though for not having its own appeal because it has that in abundance, or at least enough to have become the subject of a string of special edition models over the years. Harken back to versions like the Beats Edition, the Urbana Trekking, and the Panoramic Edition, and you’ll see what’s up with the 500. Today, a new special edition version is added to the list. It’s called the City Cross Edition, and as the name suggests, it’s coming to the party with a host of rugged features.

There’s a lot to like with the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition. Apart from receiving new exterior bits and pieces, it also carries an exclusive paint color, upgrades to the interior, and a set of new wheels that can be availed in as many as nine different color options. There are no engine upgrades to speak of so don’t even bother looking for one. If that isn’t a problem, the 500L City Cross Edition holds a lot of appeal, especially to those who want to see more personality out of the high-riding 500 SUV. At least then, in that regard, Fiat did its work on this new special edition. It may not be the flashiest SE we’ve seen out of the 500, but it’s certainly bubbling with identity. That should be more than enough for a lot of people.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition

What makes the Fiat 500L City Cross Edition special


2017 Fiat 500L City Cross Edition - image 735183

It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want over-the-top upgrades that border on something that the aftermarket world would do, this special edition 500L probably isn’t for you. But if your expectations are more muted, then you might find a few things to like about the 500L City Cross Edition.

“Outside of the fancy color, the special edition 500L also gets plenty of visual updates, including a refreshed front grille, bigger bumpers, and new skid plates”

First, let’s look at the exterior and the Sicilia Orange finish of the model. Fiat says that this paint is exclusive to the 500L City Cross Edition so at least it has that going for it. Hard to imagine this model not attracting attention because of that color. It’s a magnet for attention and it works in so far as it plays well into the outgoing personality of the 500L. Outside of the fancy color, the special edition 500L also gets plenty of visual updates, including a refreshed front grille, bigger bumpers, and new skid plates. The changes all help in creating a look that’s bursting with sportiness, something that a standard 500L doesn’t always have.

“Fiat actually increased the ride height of the 500L City Cross Edition by one inch”

Arguably the biggest change though, albeit one wrapped in irony, is the SUV’s increased ride height. Most of us will probably not even notice it, but Fiat actually increased the ride height of the 500L City Cross Edition by one inch, or 25 mm to be exact. Don’t dismiss this minuscule raising of the car’s ride height as an insignificant addition because it helps Fiat accomplish a lot of different things, including fitting in new 17-inch alloy wheels that themselves are offered in nine different color options. More than just the wheels, the higher ride height also helps accomplish the goal of turning the 500L City Cross Edition into a car that can handle the outdoors, a departure in comfort zones for its standard 500L counterparts. This is where the special edition 500L deservedly plants its flag.


2017 Fiat 500L City Cross Edition - image 735186

2017 Fiat 500L City Cross Edition - image 735185

Move inside and the upgrades continue in the form of similar color customization options. Customers are even given the liberty, provided they can pay for it, to fully personalize the interior of the 500L City Cross Edition. On the cosmetic end, that could include anything from a dressed up dashboard fascia in black or white, fabric seats with the “500” stitched into it, and most importantly, a healthy choice of color options. On the functional side, the special edition 500L gets standard climate control and cruise control. There’s also a new 3.5-inch color display screen, Bluetooth connectivity, and voice control. Should there be a need to go a step more on the premium side, Fiat’s offering a larger seven-inch HD touchscreen display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

From a purely quantitative point-of-view, the 500L City Cross Edition has a lot of upgrades available to it. Unfortunately – and as I mentioned already – engine upgrades aren’t part of it. Those who do end up getting the special edition 500L will have the option to get it in any of the available engine variants for the SUV. The base offering is a 1.4-liter gas engine that packs 95 horsepower while other options, including 105-horsepower 0.9-liter TwinAir engine and a range-topping 1.4-liter TwinJet engine that pumps out 120 horsepower, are also available.

“Those who do end up getting the special edition 500L will have the option to get it in any of the available engine variants for the SUV”

Fiat hasn’t announced the pricing details of the special City Cross Edition package, though it did say that it will go on sale in a matter of weeks. We’ll definitely keep an eye out on updates in that regard.

How does it compare to other special edition 500Ls from the past

It holds up well, but once again, it depends really on what a customer’s taste and preference is. Those who want a vibrant 500L will probably go for the City Cross Edition and for good reason. Hard to imagine a color that pops out more than the Sicilia Orange finish the special edition 500L comes in. Having said that, not everybody is after the flash. Those who prefer a special edition 500 with a noted brand name attached to it will probably prefer something like the 500L Beats Edition from 2014. That one featured its own host of exterior styling, though it also had the benefit of receiving a signature Beats Audio stereo.


2014 Fiat 500L Beats Edition - image 541562

Note: photo of the Fiat 500L Beats Edition

If the goal is to bring up the 500L’s luxury qualities, the Urbana Trekking is probably a better choice. Not only does that model feature plenty of color options, but these options are also actually premium in quality by nature of their glossy finishes. Customers can even choose from six different shades, including Verde Bosco Perla (Forest Green Pearl), Rosso Perla (Deep Lava Red), Giallo (yellow), Bianco (white), Grigio Scuro (Gray Metallic) and Blue Tornado.


2015 Fiat 500L Urbana Trekking - image 576799

Note: photo of the Fiat 500L Urbana Trekking

References

Fiat 500L


2014 Fiat 500L - image 511027

Read our full review on the Fiat 500L.


2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso - Driven - image 710023

Read more Fiat news.

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