• Jul 29, 2008


Click to see the little Fiat's big adventure in hi-res

The jury in Turin might still be out on whether to export the miniscule Fiat 500 to North America, but one adventurer got tired of waiting and took things into his own hands. Jim Magill shipped a Cinquecento from Northern Ireland to New York and embarked immediately upon a trek across the United States. Magil says the car garnered an inordinate amount of attention in Manhattan before they hit the road for Washington, across the heartland through Chicago and De Moines, running through Salt Lake City and Oregon before swinging down through San Francisco, the Bonneville salt flats, Death Valley, Las Vegas and finally... whew... Los Angeles. Although Jim and his co-driver Alan have now returned across the Atlantic, the car is staying behind to make appearances in Pebble Beach at the concours and the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit. Check out the images in the gallery below to see the 500's foray into and across the United States.

[Source: Little Fiat Big Adventure via Italiaspeed]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thanks for the comments guys... Thou I'd like to say that I did pick 'Boring White' as I thought it looked good.

      Latest updates are here as well as the updated gallery

      http://www.littlefiatbigadventure.com/latestupdates.htm

      Jim
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fiat has a limited opportunity to nail the starved market for chic small cars. They should hop on it. The 500 could sell 20k a year easily. When the smart and MINI are sold out for a year.. it's pretty clear Americans still want new cars.. just not pathetically designed, unimaginative, under equipped Yarises and Kias.

      However, the Asians can turn on a dime an start creating interesting small cars (they're suffering the deflation of the SUV market too) and when they figure out design.. the FIAT, smart and MINI will feel it.

      Hatchbacks are the new black.. bring them on.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "The jury in Turin might still be out on whether to export the miniscule Fiat 500 to North America"

      It seems like a no brainer to me with the US makret shifting towards smaller, more efficient cars. The 500 is small, they can pack quiet a few in freighters to ship them here. Probably enough to offset the weaker US dollar so they wouldn't really have to worry much about setting up shop in the states for the sake of profitability like other European automakers. Plus, even in poor economic climate, car purchasing is still an emotional decision. The fashion conscious will love this car and dive in. The fact that it is small and efficient will only help justify the purchase (even if the asking price is high relative to its size, take the Mini for example).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I too would buy this car immediately if it were offered here in the U.S. It would make a great commuter car. Also, with gas where it is, and let's be honest, where it is going to stay +/- a few cents or go up from here, there will be fewer and fewer behemoths on the road. Also, most of those behemoths are driving slower, or is that not the case in y'alls neck of the woods?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This cinquecento will be at Cars and Coffee on Saturday. I can't wait to see it in person. I'll try to do a follow-up post on it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some people hate SUV owners, and some people hate BMW car owners. The only difference is, BMW cars are fun to drive every day, fast or slow. SUV's have overpowered numb steering and terrible gas mileage, and are only fun if driven off-road, or in a rollover collision. It's like being in a washing machine!
      • 6 Years Ago
      With most of the auto companies pulling back production on SUVs and trucks it might be about the right time for cars like this. It isn't like Prius' are large cars and those things are everywhere. I really like the idea of European cars here, but would prefer them to keep their European name and design except for give me a couple of cupholders people!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I applaud them for the effort, and I love this little car, but couldn't they have picked a better color than "generic white?"

      You go through the effort of bringing the car over here, then drive it across the country, taking pictures, photo-ops, and show appearances to get the car noticed, yet you have the car painted in the most annonymous, unflattering color choice possible for the 500.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Given the popularity of the 500 abroad, a choice of colo(u)r might not have been an option.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ummm and why are we not getting this? 100hp petrol version and then the Abarth at 150hp...Yeah, I think they might just sell. Heck Mini is out of cars for the U.S. market. me thinks this could be equally hot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good thing it didn't meet up with any Q7s along the way.

      I hope small cars can come to America. I wanted a Mini but with so many SUV/truck drivers out there, it's just unsafe to drive a small car. Not to stereotype, but a I've seen quite a lot of horrible SUV drivers. They figure they have a kid, so it's time for a big huge vehicle!

      Not to be un-American here, but I hope gas hits $5/gal. Get a lot of these big SUVs off the road and make people realize that a REGULAR car will suit them just fine. Even a wagon, if you really need all the extra space. I'm a single guy, I like small cars. I want one. Let me have one.

      /rant
        • 6 Years Ago
        I also don't want to be un-American but $5/gallon won't do it. Gas would have to rise to about $7-$8/gallon for people to begin making trade offs between wants and needs. My last car purchase was a full-size sedan because a friend was killed in a car accident and after seeing the remains of the car I realized that I wanted more space around me for safety. In this situation a couple inches would have made all the difference. I'm not a single guy, I like small cars and prefer one but not at the risk of my life with careless SUV drivers roaming the roads.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I can be hit by a drunk driver in a parking lot and die.

        I can have an aneurysm burst out of nowhere and die.

        Safety is rubbish. We all die sometime, and we have no control over it whatsoever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Funny thing is, no matter how expensive gas becomes, people will still hate SUV owners for no good reason."

        It's not about gas prices. They can buy all the gas they want, it doesn't bug me a bit. And I don't hate *all* SUV owners. If you NEED an SUV, and you can drive it in a safe manner that won't endanger me or anyone I love, that's great. I don't see an SUV driver and go "grrrrr", don't get me wrong. Most people that NEED a big vehicle can drive it better than a soccer mom with two kids who think it drives the same as a Toyota Camry.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Funny thing is, no matter how expensive gas becomes, people will still hate SUV owners for no good reason.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Where do you live? Bangladesh?"

        No, I live in America. Particularly, North Carolina. Rednecks and their big trucks, business rednecks with their SUVs. then I go down to Charlotte where every college kid has a Jeep or an Explorer.

        There are no areas of the world which contains 100% good drivers. There will ALWAYS be bad drivers around, no matter where you are. I'd rather the bad drivers not choose to drive a vehicle big enough to crush me. If the drivers in your area are that good, lemme know where you live, I want to move there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My theory is you only live once. You can drive a big car and get hit by an 18 wheeler and be killed just as easily. Recently we had a Chevy Suburban and a Semi crash into each other, needless to say, they driver in the Suburban died instantly, the driver of the semi survived. So it really doesn't matter, there is always something bigger on the road. And besides, where I live in NYC top speed is generally about 30-35 on inner city roads. Not 70-90mph like on some highways across America. I think they should bring it. Those pictures of it sitting in the Big Apple made me depressed, because the 500 looked so much at home here in NYC. Looked like it fit right in. Also soon enough most of the Crown Vic taxi cabs are going the way of the dinosaurs soon and we will have smaller more fuel efficient taxis here so that is one less behemoth on the roads here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      God damn that car is ugly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fiat hasn't got a dealer outlet, sadly, and their factory is running flat out already - but I'm certain the Abarth would be hit in the States. I suppose the 500, Abarth only, could be niche toy for Maserati and Ferrari dealers, but that is probably what the Alfa Mito is for. Unfortunately too many people would see the 500 Fiat as downmarket if associated with the smart names, rather than seeing it for the well made little fun car that it is. Pity.
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