• Jun 29, 2009
2010 Fiat 500 Abarth - Click above for high-res image gallery

Four 500s by 2011. That is the latest word out of Italy concerning the adorable Fiat 500. While the Chrysler/Fiat merger chugs along, the tiny 500 is the only model that has been officially greenlighted for American consumption under the Fiat banner. To make up for that dearth of models, Fiat will apparently offer the 500 in four different flavors when it reaches these shores: hatchback, convertible, station wagon and sporty hatchback. There's also an outside chance of a micro-CUV according to this Automotive News piece.

The "sporty hatchback" will be the Abarth, Europe's 2008 Car of the Year. Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne calls it "our iPod." Wonder if it's too late for some co-branding. While it might seem that a sporty wagon and sporty drop-top would be fairly easy to slot into the mix (Abarth Giardiniera SS Corsa, FTW!), we'll have to make due with those four iterations for the time being. The 500 family should be in U.S. dealerships by the first half of 2011. The American-market cars will likely be produced at a Chrysler plant in the United States or in Toluca, Mexico, but there's no official word on U.S. pricing yet.



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


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most American consumers aren't going to give the 500 the time of day. Too small for most tastes coupled with the stigma of poor quality that still lingers in people's minds. If sales are 10% of the Fit, it'll be a miracle. You're not going to turn a company around with this product in the US market. The Euro fanboys will be singing its' praises, though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeh, just like they didn't give the Mini, Fit or Scion the time of day. There's a huge segment of the population that this car is aimed that that was born after Fiat last sold cars here, so they're not burdened by antiquated stereotypes about the brand. The 500 has as much character as the Mini but is way cheaper, and like it and the Scion is set up for vast personalization options. Fiat just needs to make sure it gets the marketing message and dealer support right. It think its arrival will be timed perfectly with the return to $4.50-a-gallon gasoline.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Holden: if you're going to judge a product based on what it sold in the 1970's in terms of quality, all anybody would buy would be German Q-cars.

        Chrysler had an appalling name in Europe based on their 1970's products. When the company re-launched with a full assault with Chrysler-Jeep across all European markets in 1993, the public was at first skeptical but soon embraced the marques - especially Jeep.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Amazing. It took a takeover by "Forgettable Italians Attempting Transportation", to bring back the style and cuteness of.... the Neon.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Who needs a 10 year old when your mom does just as well -- and doesn't even ask for a cookie?
      • 5 Years Ago
      wow great news to know Chrysler/Fiat deal is working out so far...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is the 500 station wagon a 4 door (or 5 counting the rear)? I haven't one of those.

      A 500 Abarth Esseesse with 4 doors would be awesome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Think the direct competitor to the new Mini Wagon without the price tag....

        The Abrath was just what I was looking for when I heard Ford put the brakes on the Fiesta ST.

        The 500 should come in around 16K "Nicely Equipped" competitive with Scions, something Chrysler has lacked, something Ford and GM both lack at the moment.

        The Abrath will under cut the Mini S by quite a bit and offer close to the same performance stock, that is until you go to your local Chrsyler dealer and upgrade your Abrath to SS spec as seen on Top Gear last series, 160+hp and quite a bit lighter than the Mini S.

        I'd say Abrath with Standard Features (No Navigation) but with Standard Ipod/Zune connect (In Europe it has a "Windows" port) and all the features in a loaded standard 500 - $18k-20K

        Which is perfectly priced IMHO and sorry but in certain markets it will sell well (Northeast, West Coast, South Florida, etc) considering my car(s) will be paid off by the end of 2010, I will be in the market for a tiny runabout with some ballz under the hood!


        • 5 Years Ago
        Its a three door. There isn't room for four. This is a very very small car, even though the wagon is to be built on a lengthened wheelbase.
      • 5 Years Ago
      wow this is great news , i will probably be in the market for a new car in a couple years and i love the 500 abarth. anyone have any estimates on what it might cost?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cars sold in both the US and UK markets usually sell for similar numerical values (without exchanging currency rates). The Abarth Essesse retails for £16,350, so I'd be surprised to see the US-market list for anything over $20K.
      • 5 Years Ago
      YES!! Abarth 500 EsseEsse FTW! I want one so bad!
      • 5 Years Ago
      How come no one is asking if they're going to bring over the 160hp SS variant or just the standard 135hp. Americans may have poor tastes overall in automobiles but if it's one thing we can't abide by it's middling "performance" trims. Even if the car only weighs 900kg, 135hp isn't going to appeal to the true performance enthusiasts. That power to weight ratio is just a shade over what most of us consider "acceptable" in your run of the mill auto. I also don't think many of those Americans out there who would be ok with that powerplant would shoot down the euro-racer look that it comes with.

      All that being said, I want the SS version!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Since the SS package is just a bolt-on kit for the dealer to assemble (springs, brakes, wheels, air filter and an ECU program) I can't see why they *wouldn't* offer it. Unless the ECU is more secure than pretty much any other one out there right now, all of those changes would be able to be recreated by private tuners if they wanted.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given the track record FIAT has here in the States, will Americans readily accept that the company had changed its tune? (Pun intended)

      I have my doubts, but only time will tell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Considering that Fiat pulled out of the U.S. market 25+ years ago and the target demographic for the 500 hadn't been born yet, I'd say that there won't be too many lingering bad memories for most consumers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, if they're going to build and sell them over here, they might as well give the customers options on available models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great for Fiat. Bad for tall people. I hope the Abarth only comes in manual. I hope the seat is designed not to accommodate obese people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        by obese people you mean all Americans?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I dont see why so many commenters sound SO excited about this car? The base model looks like nothing special...maybe a "chick car"? The Abarth looks a little better....but in the end its still just a two door minicar. I dont think it will compete against anything but mini cooper buyers
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news. On last week's Top Gear, it impressed me that Schumacher said he drives an Abarth as his daily driver. If someone like that would sooner drive one of these every day when he has access to any car in the Fiat stable (including Ferrari), I'm sold.
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