There aren't many manual-transmission-only offerings on the US market, and now there's one fewer. The 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth has just gone into production with a newly available automatic option.
The Fiat 500 is supposed to be a budget model – something you can pick up with less than twenty grand to your name. But once Abarth gets its hands on it, all bets are off. The Scorpion brand is charged with getting the most performance it can out of budget-oriented vehicles like the Cinquecento and Punto, and that's just what it's done with the new 695 Biposto.
While American drivers may know Fiat principally (if not exclusively) for the 500, overseas the Italian marque offers a much broader range of products. But the Cinquecento has developed into a vastly more successful product than the rest of its lineup, so the Italian automaker has been rapidly replacing its slow-selling models by expanding the 500 family.
Fiat dealers recently welcomed the five-door 500L into their 'studios' as a much-needed second model line, but franchisees are still clamoring for additional new model ranges as most struggle to reach profitability. There's more in the pipeline for the reborn brand, but in the meantime, Fiat continues to rely on special editions of existing products to drum up interest, in this case, the just-introduced 2014 500C GQ Edition. Meant in part to extend appeal of the tiny 500C to more male shoppers,
Abarth presented its original 595 at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. It was the car that put the Scorpion marque on the map and propelled the original Fiat 500 into hot hatch territory. And to mark that occasion, Fiat's performance brand is launching the special edition you see here.
While its dealer body has been clamoring for new and larger models, Fiat has actually done a pretty good trade selling all manner of 500 variants, from the standard hatchback and 500C cabriolet to its Abarth models, 500e electric runabout and special editions like the Gucci.
We've already driven the decidedly weird-looking 500L in its European-spec form, and now the folks at Fiat have just released US-specific pricing, which means that our US media drive is coming up soon. If you want to get your hands on the biggest of the little Fiats, you'll need at least $19,100 (*plus $800 for destination).
We suppose that it was fate that eventually someone would take a vintage Fiat 500 and wrap it around a 6.2-liter V12 plucked from a Lamborghini Murcielago. Seeing as how both the 500 and the Murcielago hail from Italy, it was only a matter of time before the two got drunk and made either the best or worst decision of their lives depending on who you ask.
With the next-generation Fiat 500 expected to debut in 2015 with more of a global presence, there is a growing possibility that production of the cute little hatchback will be consolidated to a single plant in Poland. According to Automotive News Europe, Fiat plans to end production of the 500 in Toluca, Mexico, which is expected to better fill Fiat's European production capacity, free up more North American capacity and create a single Fiat 500 design for all markets.
If you live in Japan and you want to get something for your special someone for Valentine's Day, then slow dance down to your Fiat dealer and check out the Fiat 500 Fiore Rosa. A holiday special, the pale metallic pink Cinquecento is limited to 150 examples and only on sale from February 14-17. But beware the connotations, because as far as we can glean from Google Translate, the 500 Fiore Rosa is a bargain model, getting halogen lights instead of bi-xenons, manual air-con instead of climate con
The 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth is debuting in the City of Angels. It's the super-tuned version of the 500C combining all the best of fresh-air motoring and heightened performance from the scorpion-badged marque. As with the vanilla 500C, the Abarth's folding canvas roof opens all the way at up to 50 miles per hour, and will slide back to the rear spoiler at up to 60 mph.
Fiat may have given us all an early glimpse of its upcoming 500T in a new ad. The Italian automaker has just released a new one-minute commercial called "Immigrants" showing a flotilla of submarine 500 models working their way from Italy to New York via the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Once the quirky little hatches show up on U.S. shores, something interesting makes an appearance. A 500 wearing Abarth body lines and Sport trim wheels comes rocketing around a corner.
Generally speaking, until we've had at least twice of the FDA's recommended daily allowance of caffeine, we aren't as observant as we need to be. For instance, when we wrote about the newly announced Fiat 500L, we were so distracted by its massive glass roof, seating for five and the potential of six engine choices we totally overlooked a small, but buzzworthy option.
For most of us, a mismatched sock is not something to be celebrated, but then most of us are not pre-teen girls. While we were admittedly unaware that the Punky Brewster look is back in favor among stylish kids, fashion company LittleMissMatched got our attention with its latest promotion: Giving away a Fiat 500 to anyone crazy enough to buy 1,111 "pairs" of socks.
After first revealing its new baby at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Fiat has finally served up more information and images on its upcoming 500L. Spanning 13.6 feet from tip to tail, the Italian automaker says there's room for five full-grown adults inside along with room for their luggage, thanks in part to a rear bench that can slide fore and aft as need be. All told, there's a bit more than 14.1 cubic feet of cargo area out back, which bests the Mini Countryman by nearly two cubic feet. Wit