About twenty years ago, Fiat pulled out of the U.S. market because of the chintzy Fiat 500. Let it be chintzy no more! Zippy around town, the peppy Fiat 500 is making a comeback that should make you forget any memories of working under the tiny hood of the previous 500. The 500 has an all-new (to us) 1.4 liter MultiAir engine that pumps out a meager-yet-peppy 101 horsepower (up to 160 in the sporty Abarth version) and a skimpy 98 lb-ft of torque. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s definitely enough to “meet” with an officer of the law (read CHP…)! All the reviews rave about the peppy engine and amazing five-speed manual (just add an extra speed, Fiat!). Fiat recently brought over the amazing Fiat 500 Abarth, which has a 1.4 liter MultiAir engine pumping out a mighty 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a smooth, quick-shifting five-speed manual. Oh, and did I mention 0-60 mph in 6.87 seconds! VROOM! The engine has an extremely wide rev band (fuel cutoff is at a screaming 8200 RPM!) that, when in Sport mode, will give max torque at 6500 RPM. The Abarth has a lower, beefier suspension than the normal 500, which makes it a lot of fun in the twisties. Plus, it has a new muffler that makes the tiny four-banger sound like a Nissan 370Z V6, not a weedwacker! The Detroit Bureau saw the Abarth go all the way up to a steady 153 mph at Spring Mountain Motorsports Park’s 2-mile dragstrip. The normal 500 can barely manage 117. If you want a peppy car for under $30,000, and you’re only planning on having two people in the car at all times, than the Fiat 500 Abarth might just be for you. Plus, there’s a $2,500 engine upgrade that boosts power to 200. And the Abarth is a great car for the daily commute and a weekend warrior. How about it? I even “built” an Abarth for you on Fiat’s website that will only make you pay $25,950! http://www.fiatusa.com/hostc/bmo/CUX201203FFFX24A/2DX/summary.do
Fiat has worked really hard to erase any bad feelings about their owning the Chrysler Corporation. They recently redesigned the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 (awesome job, guys!), plus they redesigned the Dodge Durango and they also freshened the Chrysler Sebring (now Chrysler 200) and the Dodge Avenger. Just to top that off, they redesigned the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and freshened the rest of the Jeep line. If that wasn’t enough, they just brought back the SRT (previously Dodge) Viper. Nice!
I almost forgot to mention that Fiat is health-conscious! They’ve got a Fiat 500 Pink Ribbon Edition, to promote breast cancer awareness! I’ve attached the link for the main Fiat USA website below.