• Jul 12th 2010 at 11:01AM
  • 16
Fiat 500 gathering at Biltmore Estate – Click above for high-res image gallery and follow the jump for video

There was undoubtedly some freaking out at the annual Fiat Freakout held at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC this year. The Freakout is more respectably referred to as the annual gathering of Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited, where owners and fans show their vintage love. This year, Fiat North America CEO Laura Soave personally rewarded the assembly with news that they would get first dibs on the first five hundred Fiat 500s to come to America, called the "Prima Edizione."

The special allotment will come in White, Red and Gray, get manual transmissions and special badging, and buyers will be able to choose their build number. Assuming the club members don't sponge up every one of Prima Edizione models, Fiat says it will give others a chance to get hold of one at "a later date" at www.ciaofiat.com. More details in the press release and in the video after the jump.

[Source: Fiat]

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Special Limited-edition Fiat 500 Reserved Exclusively for Fiat Fans

  • Fiat North America rewards its long-time U.S. enthusiasts with an opportunity to reserve a special-edition vehicle, the Fiat Cinquecento 'Prima Edizione'
  • Designed as a collector vehicle, each Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione will feature a sequentially numbered vehicle identification number (VIN) and unique numbered matching badge
  • Fiat fans will be able to select their model build number
  • A total of 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will be sold in the United States

July 11, 2010 , Asheville, NC -- Fiat fans attending the annual convention of the Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited were given a special surprise when the head of Fiat North America arrived at their closing dinner and made them an exclusive offer. These long-time enthusiasts of the Fiat brand and vehicles, some for almost 27 years, were given the first opportunity to place reservations and select their vehicle build number for the unique Fiat Cinquecento 'Prima Edizione' (First Edition) model. A total of 500 of these collector-edition Fiat 500 models will be sold in the United States.

"The Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione was developed especially with the Fiat fans in mind," said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat North America, who personally presented the opportunity to the Fiat aficionados. "For over a quarter of a century, the members of this Club have kept the spirit of the Fiat and Lancia brands alive in North America through their unique and passionate support for true Italian design. We really value their loyalty, and the Prima Edizione is our gift of appreciation to these fans on behalf of Fiat North America."

The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione will be exclusively available in three colors: Bianco (White), Rosso (Red) and Grigio (Gray). These limited-edition Fiat 500 models will be equipped with a manual transmission and will feature an exclusive Prima Edizione badge. Each of the 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will feature a sequential VIN and badge according to production order.

The modern generation of the Fiat 500 will be introduced in North America at the end of 2010 and will offer customers uncompromising safety, fuel efficiency from its 1.4-liter MultiAir™ four-cylinder engine, individualization options, quality and advanced technology, all wrapped in iconic Italian style. The Fiat MultiAir technology was recognized as the "single most innovative engine technology" of the year by the International Engine of the Year Awards panel.

Fiat North America will also offer other Fiat fans the opportunity to reserve their Prima Edizione model, up to a limit of 500, via a special website that will be made available at a later date through www.ciaofiat.com.

Fiat Mobile Experience
The Fiat Cinquecento 'Prima Edizione' announcement was made during the national annual convention organized by Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited, North America's largest enthusiast club for owners of Fiat Group Automobile vehicles. This year, the convention – commonly known as the "Fiat Freakout" – was held in Asheville, NC.

Fiat North America was the title sponsor of the annual convention, which featured displays of more than 100 well-preserved Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo vehicles.

During the event, Fiat North America debuted the 'Fiat Mobile Experience' – a unique display that hosts both a café station and a Fiat brand merchandise store.

Fiat fans attending the convention were able to enjoy complimentary gelato, espresso and cappuccino served by baristas. Visitors were also able to browse through and purchase various Fiat-branded merchandise items in a unique store area, finished in Fiat red and white colors and staffed by Fiat merchandizing specialists.

The Fiat Mobile Experience display is constructed from a repurposed auto-shipping container and will be seen at other future Fiat shows and exhibitions in North America.

About Fiat
One of the pioneer companies in the automobile industry, Fiat has produced around 90 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, including more than 400 models since 1899, when the company was founded in Turin, Italy. Some of Fiat's vehicles have represented milestones in automotive history. The Automobiles business area of Fiat Group encompasses Fiat Group Automobiles (Fiat Automobiles SpA, Alfa Romeo Automobiles SpA, Lancia Automobiles SpA, Abarth SpA and Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles SpA), Ferrari SpA and Maserati SpA. In 2009, Fiat Group formed a global strategic alliance with Chrysler Group LLC.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good times. Then the owners can post reviews on youtube comparing what wouldn't work on their classic models but hopefully does on the new ones.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 500 could turn out to be a real shot in the arm for Chrysler. It has all the right ingrediants to be a hot, must have it, type of car. As the only Fiat product in Chrysler showrooms, it will be a nice addition without threatening the Chrysler shoppers who don't want the Fiat connection to be too strong or obvious.
      Marchionne is playing this perfectly to his and Fiats credit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Apparently the American public has a short memory and can't remember why Fiat quit selling cars in the US to begin with ..in one word...UNRELIABLE.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The American public would need quite a long memory.

        Time, and car manufacturers, move on. The public should too.

        Modern Fiats are no more unreliable than any other cars, but they are often more fun, and the 500 is very popular everywhere it's sold for all the right reasons.

        I know it gets the Multair four in the US, but will this be 105hp, or maybe a bit more?

        I'd like to know.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Colin Smith We get a 1.4L I-4 100hp Fire engine, with Multi-air. Also, an Abarth 170hp turbo version.
        • 5 Years Ago
        your an idiot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No doubt about it, they'll need a great PR/marketing campaign. But thankfully the 500 is a great car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like this picture of the biltmore better: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49818272@N07/4723813891
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's hard to make it smaller these days, when it has to seat four and crash into lumps of concrete at forty without getting scratched.

      Imagine doing the ton in the original too!

      But there are still a huge number of the originals on the roads, testament to the build quality of Fiats before Russian steel!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the 500 will sell well here...
      I am really curious to see what else they bring.

      I am really hoping the new twinair is available here.
      I keep seeing it will have three variants... one at 100+ hp.
      I would assume that will have a little off the efficiency to achieve that.

      I would be quite happy with the numbers they posted for the first one just shown - at 85hp I think.

      If they launched with something like that in the states - with perfectly respectable numbers and combined mpg in the high 50s ... they would not be able to build enough of them to keep them on the showroom floor I think.
      Well... if the republicans have not talked us into a double dip by then anyway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take the Biltmore Estate in the backround.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fiat's quality has gotten much better ever since they dropped out over here. This is bases on the Panda platform, and the Panda is one of the most reliable city cars on British roads.

      Too bad they're gonna make it a Mini competitor, instead of a Spark competitor. This thing would sell like hitcakes if they prices it at Spark/iq range, around 9k, instead it's gonna be around 14k.

      I'd still buy it, though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've read $16k, I hope $14k, and fear it may be closer to $20k. Right now the 500 starts in Mexico at 254,900 Mexican pesos, or about US$19,870 at current exchange rates.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whats the name of the filter/effect applied to that image to emboss the edges?
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