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.
Naturally, you'd expect a massive automaker like Fiat to have an in-depth plan to exit the current European-market doldrums, and you'd expect that plan to include plenty of new vehicles to attract those precious buyers that still remain despite the financial downturn. And you'd be right, though Fiat does seem to have a few unexpected twists up its corporate sleeve.
There's little doubt that commercial vehicles are almost as vital to an automaker's sales figures as passenger vehicles are, and to that end many have dedicated commercial vehicle operations. The Fiat group's is called Fiat Professional, and it's just rolled out its latest offering.
The adorable Fiat 500 continues to be a sales superstar in various countries across the globe, which has made its Punto sibling feel a bit left out. But Fiat is determined to keep the Punto fresh and has done some tweaking to the 2012 model that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The thing about scorpions is that they pack a mean wallop in a small package. And the same can be said of the auto marque that hoists the scorpion as its emblem. As promised, Abarth rolled into the Frankfurt Motor Show three cars deep. Or three new versions of their existing lineup, which is essentially centered around two cars, anyway.
While the Fiat 500 continues to sell like hot cakes in markets around the world, the aging Punto is not performing quite as well. First launched in 2005 as the Grande Punto, the third-generation model has grown a little long in the tooth. Fiat has done its best to keep it fresh, however, launching the updated Punto Evo in 2009. That update has apparently worn a little thin, however, so Fiat's coming back with another tweak or two for the 2012 model.
Fiat's performance division, Abarth doesn't have a lot to work with. Just two models, in fact, but that hasn't stopped the Scorpion marque from making the most of the 500 and Punto ranges. Clearly, there's a lot of room for hot-hatch workings. Just take a look at what Abarth has in store for the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.
It wasn't that long ago that things didn't look so good for the World Rally Championship. Automakers were dropping out of the series like so many flies, while other manufacturers were heading to the rival Intercontinental Rally Challenge. But things have turned around for the WRC.
Where there's smoke, there's fire. So it was natural to expect that, with the debut of the mildly facelifted Fiat Punto Evo and its smoked headlights, we might expect an updated version of the fire-breathing Abarth to go with it. And this, according to reports, is our first look at just such a hot hatch.
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