• Jun 1, 2009
Fiat 500 - Click above for a high-res image gallery

According to Richard Gadeselli, vice president of Fiat communications in Italy, the Fiat 500 will be sold in Chrysler dealerships in the United States in about a year and a half. The small, retro-minded front-wheel drive hatchback will reportedly be the only model in Fiat's current line that will make the jump to America without any major changes. It seems that the other six small or midsize vehicles that Chrysler plans to sell in the near future will be based on the chassis and running gear from the Italian automaker but will not share any sheetmetal with their Fiat siblings. As Gadeselli tells Automotive News:
"There is a misconception out there that Chrysler is going to build the Fiat Bravo, just stick a different badge on it. They will be Chrysler products. They will be specific to Chrysler. The vehicle architectures will be based on our stuff, and there will be some powertrains. The vehicles will be U.S. vehicles, designed for U.S. customers by a U.S. company."
Based on the above, we think it's safe to assume the Fiat 500 will easily beat the rest of the automakers products to America. In any case, we're looking forward to finally seeing the diminutive 500 do battle with the Mini Cooper and Smart Fortwo for the affections of small, sporty car aficionados on American roads about 18 months from now.



[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      It will sell well, as an Alfa, and it doesn't matter what they call it. This looks better than the Mini inside and out and BMW has no problem moving those off the lots.

      Would I want one? No. My tastes fall more in line with the anticipated RWD Alfa 169. Will the traditional Chrysler buyer want one? No, but Chrysler as we know it is dead for good reasons. If Chrysler intends to survive at all, it needs to be reinvented, not regurgitated. If you've a Hemi-powered retromobile in the garage, shop elsewhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just curious....how many of you think this is a good looking car?

      I don't think this is a good looking car and I'll bet I'm in the minority.

      Your thoughts???
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 500 is awesome looking! It has a lot of beauty and a great design-gestalt for a B-car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Have you seen one in person or driven it? It's not good looking, it's quirky, but the interior is alfa in quality, easily eclipsing anything chrysler currently makes, and that's where it'll get it's customers. fun and frugal like the mini with a much better interior. In person it works very well. I'd pick one up over a mini.
      roaddust66
      • 5 Years Ago
      Could you imagine sitting in the back seat and getting hit by a ford F150
      YOU Could not pay me enough money, NO THANK YOU.
      All these little box's are death traps! And don,t tell my about all the air bag's.
      If you have ever been hit good you know what I mean.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @roaddust66
        Sorry you got "hit good".

        Maybe you should consider the environment - perhaps in some places (in the US) people can drive small cars and do fine.

        In other places in this country people need to protect them selfs more from "people" driving around 5000 pounds of glass and steel.

        - my recommendation, dig in bud - sounds like you live outside the "green zone".
        • 5 Years Ago
        @roaddust66
        Yet people still ride motorcycles, even if there's a chance they'll get hit by some idiot in a F150. And to be fair and balanced, the guy in the F150 might get clobbered by a 10-ton loaded cement truck--what a death trap!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler won't put the Fiat name on it for fear the US buyers will not warm up to it.


      And the Chrysler name makes me feel so cozy.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would pay $25k + for a Abarth 5oo SS ("esse-esse")
      http://www.autoblog.com/2008/02/27/160hp-fiat-500-abarth-ss-to-follow-in-november/

      lifelong dream after working on original Abarths in my youth.

      • 5 Years Ago
      "be based on our stuff"

      Does Chrysler have any platforms not handed down from other automakers ( their large cars are based on ancient Daimler platforms - LX et-al, small cars based on ancient Mitsubishi platforms - GS)? Or is he just saying "our" in the general sense of non fiat? In which case heaven help Chrysler because they could very much use new platforms across the board with Ford doing pretty well and GM producing some entertaining cars (camaro et-al).
      • 5 Years Ago
      With oil at $67 and rising it may be that in eighteen months fuel in the US will be 5,6,7,8? $ a gallon.

      Something that does 50 + will sell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As much as I fear rising gas prices will destroy any gains in the economic recovery, I think there's no way to avoid it. Gas prices are already slowly trickling upward. Those with money (ha!) wanting to save on fuel costs will be the 500's best bet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The crash tests on youtube alone will be worth the wait.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Front driver door looks bent to me! Did you watch the whole video?

        Not that I think it's unreasonably unsafe or I wouldn't buy one...
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 500 fared pretty well imo, the problem was the crumple zone in the Q7 causing it to overlap the 500, like absorbing it, now let a 500 hit the back of Q7 from the side and flip it over.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ EU_Reader:

        Whoa...calm down it was a joke.

        1) I do not drive a big truck.
        2) Big trucks do not indicate safety.
        3) Being from the EU does not indicate that you are in any way an expert on the field of physics.
        4) I was being sarcastic.
        5) I am now being patronizing.
        6) I am glad that you can locate youtube.
        7) The Fiat 500 looks like the malformed offspring of the VW Beetle.

        OK, I think that is about all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No need to wait....Fiat 500 vs. Audi Q7.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pVF1Wr7GLQ
      • 5 Years Ago
      When 18 months roll around and Obama and his minions are still running Chrysler then the Fiat 500 will be renamed the Chrysler 300. Then they will require everyone to trade in their current cars for one of Obama Motors cars (for the children's sake)
        • 5 Years Ago
        hey - that is like a funny joke type thing...............right Bob H (Hope?) - oh, sorry for associating your name with "Hope"
        but you are just so funny in a one-liner old school sort of way - just like Bob Hope!
        Except Bob Hope actually cared about our troops and kids. U - know, our kids, over there fighting/dying for oil. Kinda like Obama.
      • 5 Years Ago
      zamafir,

      LX is not a hand-me-down platform, it's 100% Chrysler and US engineered and not related to anything Mercedes ever made. That's a huge misconception.

      The Avenger/Sebring have their own unique platform. As does the Caliber/Compass/Patriot. As does the Liberty/Nitro and Dodge trucks.

      What Chrysler told AN is that they will be making their new products out of existing Fiats, not just rebadging a Fiat and importing it. I'm guessing the Fiat 500 will be sold as itself as the Fiat 500, not under any Chrysler brand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So will it be called the Chrysler 500 or will it be sold as a Fiat 500 in Chrysler dealerships?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "LX is not a hand-me-down platform, it's 100% Chrysler and US engineered and not related to anything Mercedes ever made. That's a huge misconception."

        Thanks TriShield, for whatever odd reason wiki's posters seem to think there are heavy amounts of Daimler components in the car, designed in America, but very much related to Merc as there's (I guess a misconception) that the suspension components, auto box, dif, and lots more came from Daimler - which would make it very much related to their old products.

        "The LX platform is Chrysler's full-size rear wheel drive automobile platform for the mid part of the 2000s. The LX was developed in America using components borrowed from the Mercedes-Benz W220 S-class control arm front suspension, Mercedes-Benz W210 E-Class the 5-link rear suspension, the W5A580 5-speed automatic, the rear differential, and the ESP system."

        Someone should correct wiki and provide the correct, entirely non Daimler gestation of the LX platform.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sergio Marchionne is adamant that the Fiat 500 will be sold in America only as a Fiat 500 and not a Chrysler or Dodge product.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The LX is 100% Chrysler engineered? Well, I guess that explains why the 300 and Charger are so inferior to their Mercedes brothers - they aren't brothers after all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LX didn't have a direct "hand-me-down" deal like the "Chrysler" (Mercedes SLK) Crossfire but Daimler allowed Chrysler to review their RWD files to get their 1st RWD car (in many decades) right.

        Sebring/ Avenger are design FLOPS & the platforms are a compete JOKE... nothing to brag about or worth continuing. The Caliber/ Compass/ Patriot is also a mixed bag. The Compass never deserved to wear a Jeep badge & the Caliber was an ugly duckling when it was in clay. The "new" Chrysler doesn't need to have "me-too" models... they just end up as rental cars or heavily discounted

        Dodge should be working on a Hybrid for the '09 RAM truck... it has bold exterior & interior design, but mileage on trucks don't help sales as gas prices climb up.

        Also, as down as Chrysler is now... lets remember Mercedes Benz had LOWER J.D. Power quality numbers (as a whole) than the Chrysler side of their company. No one wanted to believe it, but the internet allows anyone to find the data I'm referring to...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not sure it would be in the best interests of Chrysler to use underpinnings only. They may be better off using just rebadged FIATs (Crossfire? Pacifica? Anyone remember what happened to those?).
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you're implying that the Pacifica used M-B underpinnings(from the R-Class) like the Crossfire used SLK underpinnings, you'd be incorrect. I've heard that before as well.

        It's easy to see why they're not related. The R-Class is RWD with AWD available. The engine is also placed longitudinal. The Pacifia is FWD with an AWD option and with a transverse engine. There would be an incredible amount of engineering redesign necessary if one wanted to use the R-Class underpinnings.

        Rather, the Pacifica was built off the Chrysler minivan platform and was actually a very good vehicle and was amongst the first crossovers. I think it died too soon honestly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @montoym:
        Oops. In no way did I mean to imply that the Pacifica was RWD like the R-Class, but I thought I remember reading somewhere that the Pacifica used some M-B mechanicals (if not a platform outright).
        Thanks for the correction.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any intelligent guesses on the price?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The basic price is €10,500 in Italy; with options €15,000."

        I'm guessing 15-21k USD
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's sold here in Mexico at $18,000 - $20,000 usd taxes included. It should be cheaper in the U.S. (and eventually in Mexico too) because the importer is known to inflate the prices a bit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        RECESSION PRICING!!! Take the 15-21k that Victor spoke of, add $4000 to it, and then GIVE A RECESSION DISCOUNT OF $2000 FOR A NEW CAR!!!!! YAY EVERYONE LOSES (except for credit card companies).
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