• Jan 26, 2009
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Fiat 500

Since the announcement of the Chrysler-Fiat partnership last week, speculation has swirled about what models would come out of the American-Italian venture. Automotive News got the skinny on what's on the way, and according to their unnamed sources, we can expect seven new vehicles in North America – four under the Chrysler brands and three as Alfa Romeos or Fiats.

The plan covers vehicles on four platforms, spanning from a micro-car to a mid-size sedan, with plants in North America being tasked with building most of the new models. Chrysler's Toluca, Mexico plant, which current builds the Dodge Journey and not-long-for-this-world PT Cruiser, will begin producing the Fiat 500 under the alliance.

Chrysler's executive vice president for product development, Frank Klegon, said, "We don't have an A-segment vehicle, and we don't have a B-segment vehicle, and our C-segment vehicle [Dodge Caliber] is in the next stage of renewal. That creates some opportunities for us." So what's on the way? Hit the jump to find out.



The agreement involves two new minicars (A-segment) that share the same platform. The first is the aforementioned Fiat 500 and the second, a five-door hatchback based on the Fiat Panda, will likely be badged as a Chrysler or Dodge. This should help both automakers with the 2011 U.S. fuel economy standards and give Chrysler a serious sub-compact offering.

Moving up to the B segment, Chrysler could get the next generation Fiat Grande Punto, Alfa could begin selling the MiTo and the same platform could be used to create a small crossover for Chrysler. There's also talk of Chrysler being afforded access to Fiat's 1.4- and 1.8-liter four-cylinder direct-injection engines. Chrysler could produce both at one of its own factories, likely in turbocharged guise at its Dundee, Michigan plant, but a source indicates that Chrysler is only interested in the 1.4-liter variant.



On the mid-size front, Chrysler – which is in desperate need of both C- and D-segment models to replace the Caliber/Compass and Sebring/Avenger, respectively – could utilize Fiat's new C-Evo architecture to create a new sedan and a more respectable compact car. The C-Evo underpinnings will be used first on the Alfa Romeo 147 replacement, currently codenamed project 940, which takes some stylistic cues from the 8C Competitizione.

And what's Fiat get out of all this? An inexpensive entry into the North American market, manufacturing capacity and a sizeable distribution network. And if you think Chrysler is getting all the goods, Fiat plans to distribute the Dodge Journey and Dakota pickup in South America, and will be able to utilize Chrysler's new Phoenix V6 in its own line of products. Not quite balanced, but hardly a bad deal.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 73 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone else hoping for a Brera?
        • 5 Years Ago
        This guy!!!

        But I'll also take an Abarth 500 ss
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am excited to see these cars. I think this is an awesome experience for both Chrysler and Fiat. I didn't really know that much about Fiat, but I did some research and they seem to be a solid company. Here is the article I read http://www.autotropolis.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fiat
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a fantastic opportunity for FIAT to introduce the Alfa Romeo Brera and Brera Spider to the USA. We Americans have been patiently waiting for these incredibly beautiful cars, and this might be the time for FIAT/Alfa Romeo to offer them to us. Hopefully, without Chrysler labels however.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is thrilling news indeed, but I'll believe it when I see Fiats and Alfas tucked in among the Sebrings and Town & Countries at the Chrysler area at NAIAS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just want an Arbarth
      • 5 Years Ago
      I honestly hope this works out for both Chrysler and Fiat. I'm not expecting any bulletproof cars to rival a Subaru here, but if they are least decently built and characterful then the market will be better off in the long run.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would love to have a 500.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Works for me. Where do I sign up for my 500?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome news. This is a great deal for both companies. Fiat has some real world class products, and Chrysler has excess capacity and logistics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Possibly, FIAT could offer, and in addition to manufacturing it in the US, a Grande Punto Cabrio:

      http://www.caradisiac.com/media/images/le_mag/mag261/fiat-punto-grande-cabriolet-1b.jpg

      This might be in addition to offer the Alfa Romeo Brera and Brera Spider to the US market.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How quickly we forget...Fiat build quality is right up there with, well, Chrysler. They were horrible cars last time they were sold here, nothing has changed.

      Italian soul unfortunately comes with Italian quality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Piaggio manages a quality product. It may not be AS good as the Japanese bikes in terms of reliability (but nearly so), but in terms of build quality, they are equal and a heck of a lot prettier, in general.

        I think it's wrong to paint "Italian products" with the same brush of poor quality, just as it would be wrong to do likewise to Renault or PSA products. A lot has changed in 25 years!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @MemphisNET:
        > How much light do you get in your cave?
        Are you referring to the quality coment?

        Fiat fan-boys all over the world keep repeating "poor quality is history" for eons, but I'm yet to see stats that would support their claims. Last time I checked Fiat Bravo, Brava and Panda (current models in those days) occupied the very last spots in ADAC quality stats. (I did search for the stats after reading similar "light'n'cave" fan-boy comment.)

        Don't get me wrong, I just _love_ the new 500 (best looking mini-car if u ask me) but Fiat still has to _prove_ their quality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tell us some of the problems you have had with your new Fiat.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How much light do you get in your cave?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ask and shall receive:

        http://www.autotrader.co.uk/EDITORIAL/car_page_content/auto_trader_ten_point_test_fiat_500.html

        http://www.channel4.com/4car/rt/fiat/500/16519/3

        http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/fiat/500-2008.aspx

        Decidedly mid pack if not better. A good comparison is looking at the US reliability lists and seeing who sits in the same position here. Can you stomach the car you currently drive that holds a mirror position ? Then don't worry about it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rlck beat me to it..

        And what is ''quality''. I don't buy into this BS anymore. Chrysler doesn't make a car that falls apart. It may have severely cheapened out in many area's, but that doesn't mean its not going to run for the long haul.

        Or ''quality'' when it comes to interiors? I personally don't have a problem with my Neon or Magnum. I know the current stuff, especially Sebring and Avenger, are deplorable, but that big brush cast of ''horrible quality'' is no longer a valid point.

        Last point -- if you're worried about quality, then Toyota and Honda have the appliance for you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So Fiat is coming to America by the hands of Chrysler.
      It seem like a good idea but doesn't GM have some shares in Fiat? or At least Alfa Romero. But it would be nice to get Fiat 500 here also if only we can get Fiat's Tuner house that would be awesome cant wait till drive one

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