As the aftermarket and performance arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mopar has a duty to extract everything from the company's models that it can, and there's no better place to show all of its work off than the annual SEMA Show.
Fiat 500 Abarth
Google Street View has emerged as a great tool for checking out locations along your driving route, and even scoping out places you don't have a chance to go yourself. And that includes some great automotive installations. The online tool has taken us inside museums, race tracks and factories around the world, but while it has not to date allowed us virtual access to a European automotive factory, Fiat is out to correct that wrong by letting the Street View team inside Officine Abarth.
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 this writer knows Zender as the maker of (mostly) fine body kits for German marques such as Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the company has also been known to make kits for Italian autos. Its latest product, for example, has been applied to the Fiat 500 Abarth, resulting in what it calls the Abarth 500 Corsa Stradale Concept. We're not quite sure how we managed to miss it at the Frankfurt Motor Show, with its bulging fender flares, new front and rear fascias and side skirts, exhaust pip
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.
Fiat has taken an interesting approach to its advertising for ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue. Rather than just hiring an athlete to stand next to a car or sit in a car, it's actually built a car out of athletes. (And not unlike some naked-lady-motorcycles we've seen before.)
There are now 1.1 million examples of the new Fiat 500 cruising the roads of 83 countries, one million of them made at the Fiat's Tychy plant in Poland, the rest in the Fiat plant in Toluca, Mexico. It's taken 69 months since the car's 2007 launch to reach the milestone, the capstone hatchback being an Abarth 500.
Boo and hiss all you want, but the truth is that manual transmissions aren't for everybody. When Fiat launched the hot little 500 Abarth last year, it did so with a five-speed manual as the only transmission available, but according to Ward's Auto, that might change.
In addition to the electric 500e, Fiat will be debuting a new 500 Abarth Cabrio under the lights of the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. And to get everyone excited about the scorpion-stung droptop, Fiat has launched this promo video showing the cars zipping around a track at the hands of Ferrari Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
We'd grown pretty accustomed to seeing Sam Hubinette sling a Dodge Challenger around a drift course, but the guy knows how to do more than go sideways. Back in September, the Crazy Swede partnered up with Jen Horsey to take on the Targa Newfoundland in a Fiat 500 Abarth in the open class. How'd the team do? The plucky little hatch snagged second place, finishing just one second behind Paul Dyer in his 300 horsepower Mistubishi Lancer Evo IX. That's no mean feat considering the Abarth puts down j
Customization programs are nothing new in the auto industry. For a fee, they offer a chance to work directly with the manufacturer to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle for the customer. These programs, however, are usually offered by makers of the most exotic, expensive and exclusive vehicles, like Ferrari, Rolls-Royce and Porsche. It's not often that a manufacturer of, shall we say, a more humble stature, offers this type of vehicle personalization. Nevertheless, that's exactly what Fiat is doing
The Fiat 500 in its various guises positively romps on its popularity, making special-edition hay with terrific frequency. This latest outing in the form of the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition follows a familiar trail, coming three years after the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari that debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.