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.
What a pleasant little piece of plug-and-play. Putting the Fiat 500c's retractable roof on the hot 500 Abarth was pretty much a no-brainer, and hey, we certainly aren't complaining. Folding the soft top back on the little hatchback will only allow us to better hear that awesome exhaust note while we're burying the throttle. And come on, who doesn't like a little wind-in-your-hair action?
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.
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
Shelby isn't the only company celebrating a major anniversary in Monterey this year. Lamborghini marked its 50th year in business, and the 2012 Concorso Italiano is packed with Raging Bulls from every era of company's history. While the show serves as a showcase for all Italian makes, the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch always sees a wide cross section of manufacturers and models from around the globe.
Before you get too excited about these special Abarth models, understand that these are for the UK and we're not getting them, at least not yet – maybe we'll see it Stateside if Fiat sales need an injection next year...
As you can see from the screen grab above, some people get to have all the fun. Jay Leno, who owns more cars than you will ever drive in your lifetime, was graced with the presence of a Fiat 500 Abarth at his garage.
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.
Ah, Catrinel Menghia. Fiat knows a good thing when it finds one, and so it's no surprise to see a trio of new advertisements staring the Romanian-born and Italian-speaking model alongside the 2012 500 Abarth.
What do you do when you want to cast your cute little city car as a truly bad ass performance machine? How about hiring an infamous drug enthusiast actor, a guy who insists he has "tiger blood" flowing through his veins?
The Fiat group has a knack for (or a habit of) dressing up its most affordable hatchbacks in tribute to its most expensive exotics. Alfa Romeo did a special MiTo and Giulietta for Maserati dealers, and Abarth did a special 500 to honor Ferrari. But since the latter has run its production run, the Scorpion marque is celebrating Maserati with this latest version.
There's a part of us that wishes the automotive industry were packed with more eccentric characters like Lapo Elkann. The rakish heir to the Fiat empire (and possible future president of Ferrari) is anything but dull, overdosing on coke and heroin in a transsexual prostitute's apartment one minute and changing the outcome of an NBA basketball game the next.
Fiat has announced that the 2012 500 Abarth will be priced from $22,000, *not including destination charges. That's a healthy jump from the tiny Italian's $15,500 base MSRP and higher still than the open-air 500C that starts at $19,500. For all that extra lira, buyers get Fiat's turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine producing 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through a five-speed manual transmission and the super Cinquecento also receives an upgraded suspension and br
How many sports cars can one automotive group offer? Just ask the people at Volkswagen, whose various divisions – Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche, Audi – churn them out like you and I would write Christmas cards. (Or Hannukah cards, anyway.) And the Fiat group is right behind their German counterparts, with Ferrari and Maserati keeping the upper crust of the market satisfied, and now Alfa Romeo and Abarth filling a more accessible – but potentially no less exciting – niche.
There's no question that Fiat's "Seduction" ad was a big success. Launched just a few weeks ago to coincide with the North American debut of the Fiat 500 Abarth, the minute-long commercial quickly went viral to amass over two million views. And with good reason. The spot's got everything: cars, sexy, funny.... So what more could Fiat do with the ad? Pop-Up Video, of course!
Joe Grace, Fiat Vehicle Line Executive, swung by Jay Leno's garage with the brand's new 500 Abarth for a little history lesson and a quick walk around. Here in the States, it's easy to forget that Karl Abarth, the man behind the Fiat tuning division, was as driven as they come when pushing the performance envelope. Abarth got his start racing motorcycles before turning his eye to four-wheeled prototypes and aftermarket performance, and his list of lifelong achievements is as lengthy as it is var
Of all the major international auto shows on the calendar each year, the Bologna Motor Show may not rank among the most important. But it is vital for the Fiat Group, whose numerous brands make up more than just one lion's share of the Italian auto industry. As such, it's not a show for Fiat to take lightly, and this year, it's coming with a whole mess of new debuts.