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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Fiat Introduces The 2013 500 Turbo

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 18, 2012

    Fiat's 500 lineup has kind of been like the Goldilocks and the three bears story. First was the 500 which for some was too cold. Then came the 500 Abarth which for some was too hot. Now, Fiat has introduced the 500 Turbo which might be just right.

    The 500 Turbo uses a detuned version of the 1.4L MultiAir turbocharged inline-four found in the 500 Abarth. The 1.4L is good for 135 HP and 150 lb-ft of torque. All of that power goes through a five-speed manual transmission. Other performance enhancements include a new exhaust, sport suspension, better steering calibration, stiffer shocks, and upgraded brakes.

    Exterior changes for the 500 Turbo include a unique aero kit and smoked-out headlamps. Inside, the 500 Turbo gets sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, optional heated leather seats, and Chrysler's Beats by Dr. Dre audio system.

    Prices for the 500 Turbo start at $19,500* (excluding $700 destination charge) and will be arriving at your local Fiat dealer this fall.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    New 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo: a New Flavor Hits the Sweet Spot in the Cinquecento Line-up

    • Fiat 500 Turbo hits the sweet spot in the Cinquecento line-up
    • New model amplifies the Cinquecento’s power, performance and personalization levels while keeping intact the character of the iconic 500
    • Beefed-up powertrain: turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine for 135 horsepower, 150 lb.-ft. of torque, track-proven manual transmission and sport exhaust
    • Precise handling: sport-tuned suspension, steering, front-lower control arms and high-performance brake system
    • Dynamic styling: performance-designed fascias and side sills provide athletic appearance and deliver aerodynamic functionality
    • Studio-quality sound: new segment-exclusive Beats by Dr. Dre audio system available for high-definition music experience the way the artist intended
    • Fiat 500 Turbo arrives at FIAT Studios nationwide this fall with an MSRP of $19,500, becoming one of the most affordable turbo-charged vehicles in America

    Monterey, Calif. , Aug 17, 2012 - Today at the Concorso Italiano – one of the largest gatherings of Italian vehicles in North America – the FIAT Brand introduced the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo, touting a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes, dynamic exterior design and sport-styled interior. The new Fiat 500 Turbo answers the call for enthusiasts who are drawn to the Italian style of the Fiat 500 but want more power and performance for their daily drive.

    “We listened to our customers” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America. “The new Fiat 500 Turbo is the answer to all the fans that loved the style of our Cinquecento but wanted more power and performance for their daily drive. With 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque, the Fiat 500 Turbo hits the sweet spot between the regular Cinquecento and the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth. The Fiat 500 Turbo balances and blends the best Italian flavors that our portfolio has to offer, becoming the perfect canvas for customization.”

    New 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo

    Behind its performance-designed front fascia, the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo features a single turbocharger, twin intercoolers and sport-tuned exhaust to deliver 34 percent more power (135 vs. 101 horsepower) and 53 percent more torque (150 vs. 98 lb.-ft.) compared to the Fiat 500’s naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine.

    Developed for high-output applications, the Fiat 500 Turbo is paired to the track-proven C510 five-speed manual transmission with a 3.35 final-drive gear ratio for quick acceleration and faster top speed, while achieving up to 34 mpg highway. In addition, the beefed-up powertrain features an intermediate shaft with equal-length and 23 percent larger (28.1 mm vs. 22.8 mm diameter in the Fiat 500) half shafts to mitigate torque steer. To handle the increased power and torque of the new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, larger constant velocity (CV) joints with 53 percent greater torsional strength (2600 N•m vs. 1700 N•m in the Fiat 500) deliver added durability and refinement.

    For a more aggressive appearance, the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo features a pronounced front fascia, pushed 2.7 inches forward of the Cinquecento’s signature “whiskers and logo” face, to accommodate the new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine. Below, larger openings provide greater engine cooling, while twin “nostrils” are precisely positioned on both sides of the front fascia to maximize airflow in and out of the two intercoolers (both intercoolers are visible through the “nostril” inlets). Finishing off the front are new Gloss Black headlamps and parking lamp bezels for a more menacing look.

    The Fiat 500 Turbo features bolder side skirts to create a more vertical bodyside profile, while also enhancing its iconic Cinquecento shape. Behind the unique 16-inch aluminum wheels with Nero (black) painted pockets, the Fiat 500 Turbo features a high-performance brake system with semi-metallic brake linings at all four corners, larger 11.1-inch ventilated front rotors for greater stopping power (up from 10.1-inch) and brake calipers lacquered in Rosso (red) paint. To make sure this Cinquecento properly handles the more powerful engine, the Fiat 500 Turbo features a unique lower control arm and the 500 Sport model’s sport-tuned spring rates, shock tuning and steering calibration.

    At the rear, a liftgate-mounted spoiler extends the roofline of the Fiat 500 Turbo and improves the hatchback’s aerodynamic behavior. New taillamps with Gloss Black bezels replace chromed units for a discrete look. Below, the two-piece rear fascia accentuates the road-holding stance of the Fiat 500 Turbo with a black-accented rear diffuser designed to optimize airflow, while a new sport-tuned exhaust provides an enthusiast-desired sound.

    Exterior colors for the 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo include Argento (silver), Bianco (white), Grigio (gray), Nero (black), Rame (copper), Rosso (red) and all-new Verde Azzurro (green & blue.)

    Inside, the new Fiat 500 Turbo features sport-styled seating, sport-designed leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel accented with Argento (silver) stitching, and a Grigio/Nero (gray/black) seating and interior environment. For an even more upscale look, heated leather seating in Nero/Nero (black/black) or vivid Rosso/Nero (red/black) is available.

    The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo arrives to FIAT Studios this fall with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $19,500 excluding $700 destination charge.

    New Beats by Dr. Dre audio system

    New for 2013, the segment-exclusive – and first-time-ever in a small car and FIAT automobile – Beats by Dr. Dre audio system offers passengers of the Fiat 500 Turbo a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended. The available Beats Audio studio-quality sound system includes six premium speakers, an 8-inch dual-voice coil (DVC) subwoofer with trunk-mounted enclosure and eight-channel 368-watt amplifier with Beats Audio digital sound processing (DSP) algorithm.

    User Feedback

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    I've driven the base car, it is a bit awkward in some ways, wife hated the base car when we went for a test drive.

    Abarth is very interesting, but a little underwhelming based on where they started.

    They need a slightly larger car IMHO....although all of a sudden I am seeing Fiats everywhere...

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    I think it's a car that will make sense for a lot of people, especially as our country becomes more urban. Here in Columbus, lots of development is happening downtown and in the close in "historical" suburbs. The fiat is a stylish car that would suit a lot of people that live there.

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    Good move by Fiat, essentialy splitting the difference between the base engine and the Abarth with the turbo. This should satisfy most of the prospective 500 customers out there.

    I've noticed that some rental companies have 500s in their fleet. I'm up for a 3 week trip to Vegas next month. I kind of hope I get one for a rental, even if it'll be "interesting" getting a bike inside one.

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    Still a small car for small people with an ackward style that I do not honestly see growing besides a niche market.

    Once the less expensive Mini wanna be's have their car, this will level off as I see bigger growth in the compact market, not this subcompact market.

    Just wait till the videos hit the web of people dying in this coffin on wheels that cannot handle being hit by an SUV let alone a Semi.

    So yes this is a race, but they sure do rollover and get pushed back on their wheels again.


    3 stars safety, would you really want a loved on in this car?


    Crash of one of the first Fiat solds in the US with less than a 1K miles on it.


    Funny roll over in 500 by new student driver.


    Amazing 500 accident photo's


    Yup, a car I would not want any of you driving, your life is worth far more to me than gas mileage.

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    Small cars can be a blast to drive, but there is definitely an advantage to having some steel around you. I feel safe & comfortable driving my Trailblazer around.

    On a fun note, hadn't seen the original 'The Italian Job' movie (1969) in decades. Saw it last Saturday night on DVD. The ending leaves you hanging, but it is a neat movie nonetheless. Just got to remember it is 43 years old...it was a completely different time (and filmed on the continent in England & Italy)

    The clothes, the Hotels, the people, it's a trip...and there are Original FIAT 500's all over the place! All the cars for that matter, really fun to see the old cars in some of these older movies. They TOTAL numerous cars in this movie, I kept thinking man how much would that car be worth today if it didn't end up in that gorge! And, yes, there are the 3 Mini-Cooper's of the time...bolting with the gold bars.

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