• Sep 9, 2010
An alert enthusiast in Sicily caught sight of a jacked up Fiat 500 and crawled underneath to investigate. What he found was a driveshaft and rear differential, leading one to deduce that Fiat is working on an all-wheel-drive version of its popular little hatch.

This update would be a natural evolution: the Fiat Panda, on which the 500 is based, is already available with AWD as the Panda Cross. According to alVolante.com, a business plan Fiat submitted to the Italian government during recent union talks says that just such a 500 will come in 2012. Perhaps the Americanized 500 will benefit from AWD in the not-too-distant future, as well. Click the link below to see more photos of this four-season-friendly 500. Hat tip to Marco!

[Source: alVolante (translated)]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was in Montreal this past weekend, and they had a Fiat 500 parked on the street downtown with ropes around it, and you could sit inside and play with it. I was very surprised. It really is a very bargain-basement car, but funky. It's much more akin to a Yaris than a MINI Cooper, no question. I hope they price it like a Yaris too, if they're smart.

      It's coming...and soon!

      • 4 Years Ago
      NO... EFFING.. WAY.

      Dear Lord Please! and instant IN. BUILD IT, I'll buy it the moment it's out. end of story.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ditto!

        Fiat 500 Abarth /w AWD = instant success and I would be sold.
        (1.4L turbo)

        Back in the day, a group of friends had a 'fetish' if you will for the Ford Fiesta, the old square hatch /w AWD and Suzuki Swifts. Fun little cars you could beat on all day.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im only this big but im a Lamborghini, really
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course, Jeremy was driving the abarth... ;)
      • 4 Years Ago
      The blue one at the back is old generation Fiat Panda. The new 500 is based on the newer generation Panda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like the factory ride height on my VW CC....
      • 4 Years Ago
      What?
      How do you fit two differentials into that thing !?!??!!
      I take it that the engine is transverse too? how else would the damn thing fit..

      mind = blown
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not everything needs to be AWD.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they dont offer the 500 Abarth with 4WD, I am gonna buy a 500 with 4WD, and rip that 4WD system out and build my own.............
      This would be soooo amazing........
      technically, you may even be able to make a RWD Abarth with this stuff...........somehow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What's the blue vehicle in the background, above the 500's hood? Is it a Lada?

        • 4 Years Ago
        Isn't that an old Panda from the 1990s?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Old Fiat Panda
        • 4 Years Ago
        "What's the blue vehicle in the background, above the 500's hood? Is it a Lada?"

        Post-1986 facelift version of the first-generation 1981 Fiat Panda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      AWESOME! I want one... an Abarth 4x4 variant.
      • 4 Years Ago
      AWD Abarth 500 please.


      KTHXBAI.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think this vehicle will sell well in this country. It'll flare out like the Smart car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I didn't mean to ask that question twice. This stupid commenting system won't let me edit it, though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yeah cuz who wants something small and awd like the juke? oh. wait. me and tons of other people who enjoy small capable hatches. you know, the people who made mini a success and happen to still have a few of the originals in their garages?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wasn't comparing it to the Smart in terms of size or driving dynamics. I'm comparing it in terms of success.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the smart car's main downfall is the terrible powertrain, terrible shifting, subpar MPG and power being the result of that.

        Fiat's multiair is fantastic in comparison.
        Unless the car sucks terribly in some other way, i think it will do pretty well.
        The question moreso is.. how will it do against the Scion IQ, which in Europe is very well regarded.
        • 4 Years Ago
        " And, AFAIK, the 500 undercuts the Mini on price in Europe."

        Hardly surprising, given that the 500 is in the A-segment (Ford Ka, Renault Twingo, Opel Agila, etc), and the Mini is in the larger B-segment (Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, Opel Corsa, etc) realm.

        And no, those segments don't mean an awful lot in America - until you try and compare them and find, incredibly, that one isn't as powerful, or roomy, or economical as the other. But in Europe, the market for which these products were originally designed, it's very significant indeed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the Smart FourTwo and Fiat 500 appeal to a completely different crowd. I would never even consider bying a Smart, but I'm crazy about the Fiat 500. Even if we don't get the Abarth, I'm going to pick one of these up when they finally make their way over here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Jimbo
        I'm guessing at this vehicle's success. The others have made points for why hatchbacks should be successful, and I don't disagree with any of those points. The fact remains that hatchbacks make a small percentage of automotive sales. To compound the problem, this vehicle will have to get past the "Fix It Again Tony" reputation that FIAT left here, plus the small number of dealerships in which this vehicle will be available, plus the size of the vehicle in contrast with American tastes.

        It remains to be seen what sort of marketing is done here. MINI made a valiant effort to market their product. They still do (see: Porsche challenge.) I don't recall Smart doing the same. Other than blogs, I haven't seen any buzz about this car. I doubt many bloggers buy the vehicles they lust after, or we'd all have Porsches, Ferraris, BMWs, etc. So, comments on a blog (favorable or otherwise) should be discounted somewhat.

        What point am I missing?

        What point did I miss?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Doug, you missed the point. You said it would not be a success and plenty of other posters gave very good reasons why it might be successful.
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