Fiat 500 gathering at Biltmore Estate – Click above for high-res image gallery and follow the jump for video
There was undoubtedly some freaking out at the annual Fiat Freakout held at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC this year. The Freakout is more respectably referred to as the annual gathering of Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited, where owners and fans show their vintage love. This year, Fiat North America CEO Laura Soave personally rewarded the assembly with news that they would get first dibs on the first five hundred Fiat 500s to come to America, called the "Prima Edizione."
The special allotment will come in White, Red and Gray, get manual transmissions and special badging, and buyers will be able to choose their build number. Assuming the club members don't sponge up every one of Prima Edizione models, Fiat says it will give others a chance to get hold of one at "a later date" at www.ciaofiat.com. More details in the press release and in the video after the jump.
Special Limited-edition Fiat 500 Reserved Exclusively for Fiat Fans
- Fiat North America rewards its long-time U.S. enthusiasts with an opportunity to reserve a special-edition vehicle, the Fiat Cinquecento 'Prima Edizione'
- Designed as a collector vehicle, each Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione will feature a sequentially numbered vehicle identification number (VIN) and unique numbered matching badge
- Fiat fans will be able to select their model build number
- A total of 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will be sold in the United States
July 11, 2010 , Asheville, NC -- Fiat fans attending the annual convention of the Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited were given a special surprise when the head of Fiat North America arrived at their closing dinner and made them an exclusive offer. These long-time enthusiasts of the Fiat brand and vehicles, some for almost 27 years, were given the first opportunity to place reservations and select their vehicle build number for the unique Fiat Cinquecento 'Prima Edizione' (First Edition) model. A total of 500 of these collector-edition Fiat 500 models will be sold in the United States.
"The Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione was developed especially with the Fiat fans in mind," said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat North America, who personally presented the opportunity to the Fiat aficionados. "For over a quarter of a century, the members of this Club have kept the spirit of the Fiat and Lancia brands alive in North America through their unique and passionate support for true Italian design. We really value their loyalty, and the Prima Edizione is our gift of appreciation to these fans on behalf of Fiat North America."
The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione will be exclusively available in three colors: Bianco (White), Rosso (Red) and Grigio (Gray). These limited-edition Fiat 500 models will be equipped with a manual transmission and will feature an exclusive Prima Edizione badge. Each of the 500 Prima Edizione vehicles will feature a sequential VIN and badge according to production order.
The modern generation of the Fiat 500 will be introduced in North America at the end of 2010 and will offer customers uncompromising safety, fuel efficiency from its 1.4-liter MultiAir™ four-cylinder engine, individualization options, quality and advanced technology, all wrapped in iconic Italian style. The Fiat MultiAir technology was recognized as the "single most innovative engine technology" of the year by the International Engine of the Year Awards panel.
Fiat North America will also offer other Fiat fans the opportunity to reserve their Prima Edizione model, up to a limit of 500, via a special website that will be made available at a later date through www.ciaofiat.com.
Fiat Mobile Experience
The Fiat Cinquecento 'Prima Edizione' announcement was made during the national annual convention organized by Club Fiat-Lancia Unlimited, North America's largest enthusiast club for owners of Fiat Group Automobile vehicles. This year, the convention – commonly known as the "Fiat Freakout" – was held in Asheville, NC.
Fiat North America was the title sponsor of the annual convention, which featured displays of more than 100 well-preserved Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo vehicles.
During the event, Fiat North America debuted the 'Fiat Mobile Experience' – a unique display that hosts both a café station and a Fiat brand merchandise store.
Fiat fans attending the convention were able to enjoy complimentary gelato, espresso and cappuccino served by baristas. Visitors were also able to browse through and purchase various Fiat-branded merchandise items in a unique store area, finished in Fiat red and white colors and staffed by Fiat merchandizing specialists.
The Fiat Mobile Experience display is constructed from a repurposed auto-shipping container and will be seen at other future Fiat shows and exhibitions in North America.
One of the pioneer companies in the automobile industry, Fiat has produced around 90 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, including more than 400 models since 1899, when the company was founded in Turin, Italy. Some of Fiat's vehicles have represented milestones in automotive history. The Automobiles business area of Fiat Group encompasses Fiat Group Automobiles (Fiat Automobiles SpA, Alfa Romeo Automobiles SpA, Lancia Automobiles SpA, Abarth SpA and Fiat Light Commercial Vehicles SpA), Ferrari SpA and Maserati SpA. In 2009, Fiat Group formed a global strategic alliance with Chrysler Group LLC.