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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Rumorpile: Fiat 500 Gaining A Turbo & Abarth Convertible

    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    April 10, 2012

    Car & Driver has found some new documents filed by Chrysler with NHTSA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) showing two new Fiat 500 models.

    The first model is the 500T Sport. In documents filed with NHTSA, the 500T Sport appears on Fiat's 2013 model-year offerings. The 500T will only come in a two-door hatchback offering.

    As for powertrain, a CARB filing shows a turbocharged 1.4L engine being used several Dodge Dart models, the Fiat 500 Abarth, and another Fiat 500. Officially, we know the Dart and 500 Abarth to use the turbo 1.4L. The other 500 is presumed to be the 500T.

    The second model is the 500 Abarth Convertible. Currently sold in Europe and other places, Fiat hasn't said if it would make its way to the states. The 500 Abarth Convertible is expected to share to the Abarth's 1.4L turbo four producing 160 HP and 170 lb-ft.

    Source: Car & Driver

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    WOW, Just more ways to take an ugly non selling car and have plenty of production sheet metal sitting around for the birds to poop on.

    Even the last few months show it still is not selling here in the states. Hello anyone at the helm of Fiat???? Do you not realize you have the wrong cars for the wrong market????

    Wonder how many millions more will be spent before they pull the plug again and flee or finally wake up to realizing the tastes of this car are not liked here.

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    I think a lot of the reason they aren't selling is the dealer network. If I bought one, to get any service done would require a 250 miles drive. One way. Not happening. Open a lot near me and we will talk.

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    I think a lot of the reason they aren't selling is the dealer network. If I bought one, to get any service done would require a 250 miles drive. One way. Not happening. Open a lot near me and we will talk.

    Interesting you should bring up Fiat's wacky American dealer network. Here in Kentucky, the two nearest Fiat dealerships to me are in Florence, a town 12 miles south of Cincinnati, and Louisville. Both are around 100 miles away from me. I understand Louisville because its one of Kentucky's largest cities, but Florence? There's a Fiat dealership in Cincinnati proper, so why can't folks in Florence drive a mere 12 miles up the road to buy and service their 500s? I also don't see, you know, tons of people in Florence driving 500s, either.

    Lexington is Kentucky's other large metropolitan area besides Louisville and I think a Fiat showroom there would attract more buyers and general interest than one in Florence, considering one of the largest colleges in the state is there.

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    Ugly? I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I'd argue the 500 is one of the best looking cars introduced within the past several years and not just in its own class.

    Please you must have your head in a vice grip to not see the squeezed tall head of an ugly small car that will tip over easily in a high wind.

    Yet, as they say, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Enjoy your love of the car as I think there are far better sub compacts than this ugly basterd of a car.

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    I think a lot of the reason they aren't selling is the dealer network. If I bought one, to get any service done would require a 250 miles drive. One way. Not happening. Open a lot near me and we will talk.

    Interesting you should bring up Fiat's wacky American dealer network. Here in Kentucky, the two nearest Fiat dealerships to me are in Florence, a town 12 miles south of Cincinnati, and Louisville. Both are around 100 miles away from me. I understand Louisville because its one of Kentucky's largest cities, but Florence? There's a Fiat dealership in Cincinnati proper, so why can't folks in Florence drive a mere 12 miles up the road to buy and service their 500s? I also don't see, you know, tons of people in Florence driving 500s, either.

    Lexington is Kentucky's other large metropolitan area besides Louisville and I think a Fiat showroom there would attract more buyers and general interest than one in Florence, considering one of the largest colleges in the state is there.

    I totally agree with this that having a dearship hundereds of miles from a customer is not going to win over someone to buy their product and setting one up only 12 miles away from a major town in a small town is just stupid.

    Here the dealership is close to seattle and the next major one is almost 100 miles away but at least you have the ability to cover a nice wide area, but then the hilly Seattle area is all about the SUV and the dealerships here are over loaded with these small ugly cars. Maybe if they did some newspaper and Television advertising would help to bring in potential buyers. Yet the crowd I think this is focused at are also the same people that preferre the share a ride which is huge in the seattle area. Just pay your monthly fee and then also a basic cost when you need a car. This works out better for those that live in the big cities.

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    People say the 500 and the Smart will tip over in wind. Yet these vehicles travel on the Autobahn at high speeds and are passed by semi-trucks that create huge amounts of turbulence... I can't recall one instance where either vehicle has tipped over.

    Of course, that never happened to SUV's.

    What sub-compact is better looking than a 500? The Scion iQ? Chevy Spark? Toyota Yaris?

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    People say the 500 and the Smart will tip over in wind. Yet these vehicles travel on the Autobahn at high speeds and are passed by semi-trucks that create huge amounts of turbulence... Yet, I can't recall one instance where either vehicle has tipped over.

    Of course, that never happened to SUV's.

    What sub-compact is better looking than a 500? The Scion iQ? Chevy Spark? Toyota Yaris?

    For sure the Chevy Spark is far better looking, even the Mini is better looking than this car. Hyndia's, Kia, they all have better looking subcompacts than this IMO.

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    I agree about Fiat dealerships taking out an ad or two in the local paper.

    Personally though, I'd never buy a Chevy Spark or Toyota Yaris over the Fiat 500. The Spark or Yaris wouldn't be anywhere as nice to drive, for starters. I also think the 500 is probably the best styled small car here next to the Mini. You don't mistake it for anything else on the road or anything from any other country besides Italy.

    Edited by black-knight
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    I agree about Fiat dealerships taking out an ad or two in the local paper.

    Personally though, I'd never buy a Chevy Spark or Toyota Yaris over the Fiat 500. The Spark or Yaris wouldn't be anywhere as nice to drive, for starters. I also think the 500 is a nice car for what it is. You don't mistake it for anything else on the road or anything from any other country besides Italy.

    The 500 and Mini are stylish subcompacts, while the Spark, Yaris, Accent, etc are just cheap commuter appliances...different niche.

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    The 500 and Mini are stylish subcompacts, while the Spark, Yaris, Accent, etc are just cheap commuter appliances...different niche.

    The Spark and Yaris aren't too cheap. For example, to get a Spark with options that are close to what the 500 has standard, you're only spending about $1,000 less than you would on the Fiat. Granted, the Spark has two more doors and is more practical, but honestly who's going to be able to wake up and look outside at a Chevy Spark for 60 to 72 months?

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    The 500 and Mini are stylish subcompacts, while the Spark, Yaris, Accent, etc are just cheap commuter appliances...different niche.

    The Spark and Yaris aren't too cheap. For example, to get a Spark with options that are close to what the 500 has standard, you're only spending about $1,000 less than you would on the Fiat. Granted, the Spark has two more doors and is more practical, but honestly who's going to be able to wake up and look outside at a Chevy Spark for 60 to 72 months?

    Probably drivers that otherwise couldn't afford a new car, I guess...someone that needs a reliable transportation appliance but doesn't care about style.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    ugly? i think not. non selling? again i think not i see at least a dozen of these a day. a few people at my school even have them. for what they are they are selling quite nice. but you have to understand the average consumer may not know the name Fiat. they know the big names like ford, dodge, chevy. they also know toyota and honda and the German makes as well. the more informed know even more like kia and scion. but the average consumer who buys a car because they need one may hear fiat and think "oo a new car company". not everyone is knowledgeable on the different car makes. i think the 500 is one of the best looking cars of its size. they can actually make a small car like that look like a car and not like a toy like so many other compacts.

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    Probably drivers that otherwise couldn't afford a new car, I guess...someone that needs a reliable transportation appliance but doesn't care about style.

    I have a feeling that, in that particular situation, the buyer cross shops and buys a used certified car a good percentage of the time. Something like a certified Honda Fit or Civic or a Toyota Corolla.

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    Ugly? I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I'd argue the 500 is one of the best looking cars introduced within the past several years and not just in its own class.

    Please you must have your head in a vice grip to not see the squeezed tall head of an ugly small car that will tip over easily in a high wind.

    Yet, as they say, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Enjoy your love of the car as I think there are far better sub compacts than this ugly basterd of a car.

    You do release that those trucks and SUVs you love so much have a much higher center of gravity than any car does and therefore are much more prone to rollover right? The Abarth has a top speed of 131 mph which is nothing to sneeze at.

    Styling is subjective but as far as small cars go I think its great looking and full of personality. Much more so than the Spark. It's also selling quite well for a new brand to America with a comparatively small dealer network and in spite of poor advertising.

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    My vote is for the 500 over the Spark or Yaris. Its not the prettiest thing, but for a city car, I like that its shortest, a coupe and more attractive than the Spark or Yaris.

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    ugly? i think not. non selling? again i think not i see at least a dozen of these a day. a few people at my school even have them. for what they are they are selling quite nice. but you have to understand the average consumer may not know the name Fiat. they know the big names like ford, dodge, chevy. they also know toyota and honda and the German makes as well. the more informed know even more like kia and scion. but the average consumer who buys a car because they need one may hear fiat and think "oo a new car company". not everyone is knowledgeable on the different car makes. i think the 500 is one of the best looking cars of its size. they can actually make a small car like that look like a car and not like a toy like so many other compacts.

    See here I again disagree with you as the Fiat has a Hot Wheels look to it. In regards to how people think about Fiat, around Seattle they hear that name and what comes to mind is an OLD SOCIALIST GARBAGE Making car company. Fiat had lousy cars last time they were here in the states and still do not make that great of cars based on experiance of being in them over in Europe. I would take many other car companies over Fiat if I was in Europe. Fiat has returned after 27 years and for young teen and 20's it might be considered a new company, but for those of us who have been around a bit longer, they are bottom of the bucket garbage cars that we remember when they were here back in 1985.

    Now with the state average income much higher than other states, the Fiats are not selling here. People are buying American, German and then Asian. The few that have sold seems to be to people that have moved here from out side this state. They might be selling better in other states, but they are just piling up on the couple dealership lots here. In fact the Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler Dealership called Rairdon also opened the Fiat and they have moved the Jeeps, Dodges and Chrysler products to the front street line row since the Fiats are not selling. http://www.rairdon.com/ They have 110 sitting on their lots and they are collecting dust bunnies. They offer $500 rebates and 0% financing up to 72 months and they still cannot sell them.

    Edited by dfelt
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    Ugly? I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I'd argue the 500 is one of the best looking cars introduced within the past several years and not just in its own class.

    Please you must have your head in a vice grip to not see the squeezed tall head of an ugly small car that will tip over easily in a high wind.

    Yet, as they say, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Enjoy your love of the car as I think there are far better sub compacts than this ugly basterd of a car.

    You do release that those trucks and SUVs you love so much have a much higher center of gravity than any car does and therefore are much more prone to rollover right? The Abarth has a top speed of 131 mph which is nothing to sneeze at.

    Styling is subjective but as far as small cars go I think its great looking and full of personality. Much more so than the Spark. It's also selling quite well for a new brand to America with a comparatively small dealer network and in spite of poor advertising.

    True, Trucks and Suv's do have a much higher center of gravity unless you have tuned them to be better performance handling. My Suburban is a perfect example which has had the suspension replaced from the normal 1/2 ton to a 2.5 ton Kodiak suspension. It rides hard but almost no body roll when I take our clover leaf on and off ramp at 80+ :P

    So the Arbath might have a 131 MPH top speed, but I know my Trailblazer SS goes faster as does my tuned Subruban and Escalade. Will stick with my comfy roomy large SUV's.

    Now back to our program of this Subjective Ugly little car. I actually like the spark Personality far better than this car. It looks like a sad little jelly bean that has sat so long it has become fat around the base with a pointed head. Their POP, SPORT, Lounge, Lounge Cabrio just does nothing for me or anyone else I have asked around here.

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    If I were shopping for a city car the 500 would be the only one I'd consider. The Spark looks like they dropped a glass model of the Beat concept and glued the pieces back together very poorly.

    Around here I see about as many 500s as I do MINIs.

    Edited by §carlet §wordfish
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    ok at the risk of being right here. im going to call you out on Fiat over all quality. it may not be the best car out there. but it is still in the top ten as quality goes. actually according to KBB its number 2 in MPG and number 8 in HP. and consumer ratings are an 8.6. sure the faux pas here and there but nothing really serious. to take sales in your area and apply it to the entire nation is just silly. now i know i did the same but i also did research. sales are up nation wide 44%. now the fiat sales expectations were outrageous of course but it is doing well for what it is. as far as how cool the car is just watch the video

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    True, Trucks and Suv's do have a much higher center of gravity unless you have tuned them to be better performance handling. My Suburban is a perfect example which has had the suspension replaced from the normal 1/2 ton to a 2.5 ton Kodiak suspension. It rides hard but almost no body roll when I take our clover leaf on and off ramp at 80+ :P

    So rides like crap. Something to be proud of.

    So the Arbath might have a 131 MPH top speed, but I know my Trailblazer SS goes faster as does my tuned Subruban and Escalade. Will stick with my comfy roomy large SUV's.

    And a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera will go to a top speed of 198.8 mph. Apples and oranges.

    Now back to our program of this Subjective Ugly little car. I actually like the spark Personality far better than this car. It looks like a sad little jelly bean that has sat so long it has become fat around the base with a pointed head. Their POP, SPORT, Lounge, Lounge Cabrio just does nothing for me or anyone else I have asked around here.

    So you don't don't like the way it looks, we get it. That has no bearing on whether or not its an objectively good car.

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    ugly? i think not. non selling? again i think not i see at least a dozen of these a day. a few people at my school even have them. for what they are they are selling quite nice. but you have to understand the average consumer may not know the name Fiat. they know the big names like ford, dodge, chevy. they also know toyota and honda and the German makes as well. the more informed know even more like kia and scion. but the average consumer who buys a car because they need one may hear fiat and think "oo a new car company". not everyone is knowledgeable on the different car makes. i think the 500 is one of the best looking cars of its size. they can actually make a small car like that look like a car and not like a toy like so many other compacts.

    See here I again disagree with you as the Fiat has a Hot Wheels look to it. In regards to how people think about Fiat, around Seattle they hear that name and what comes to mind is an OLD SOCIALIST GARBAGE Making car company. Fiat had lousy cars last time they were here in the states and still do not make that great of cars based on experiance of being in them over in Europe. I would take many other car companies over Fiat if I was in Europe. Fiat has returned after 27 years and for young teen and 20's it might be considered a new company, but for those of us who have been around a bit longer, they are bottom of the bucket garbage cars that we remember when they were here back in 1985.

    also idk what the civic choices have to do with the quality of the car. i dont hear people calling Ferrari "old socialist garbage"

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    ok at the risk of being right here. im going to call you out on Fiat over all quality. it may not be the best car out there. but it is still in the top ten as quality goes. actually according to KBB its number 2 in MPG and number 8 in HP. and consumer ratings are an 8.6. sure the  faux pas here and there but nothing really serious. to take sales in your area and apply it to the entire nation is just silly. now i know i did the same but i also did research. sales are up nation wide 44%. now the fiat sales expectations were outrageous of course but it is doing well for what it is. as far as how cool the car is just watch the video

    First thing that really bugs me is idiot reviewers who keep talking about base models for 22K and everything base this and that while also talking about the top of the line Performance model when it is supposed to be a review about the Abarth Performance model.Second issue with this review is they only mention that this model starts at $27K once. So they are affraid that if they talk about the Abarth model starting at $27K it will turn people off? Focus on this model and this model only.Kudos to the 2nd guy for being honest about if your over 6'3" tall you will not fit as he barly fits at that size.Kudos to Abarth for at least getting a turbo 4 to sound decent compared to Ricer cars with a tin can sound.Over all, it is a nice looking interior, Ugly exterior IMO and with a terrible History of quality in this country, I will take a wait and see approach to if these cars can hold up past the warranty period.

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    I've still only seen right about 4 fiat 500s - they are NOT moving in central Jersey. Must be too appliance-esque for this region.

    As far as looks go- I think the Spark is hideous... tho I don't think I've seen ANY yet in person.

    IMO, the fiat is bland & homogenous, not distinctive other than it's size. And as far as that goes, I think the IQ would catch more eyes than the 500 here. I've seen 1 IQ on the dealer lawn.

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    I've still only seen right about 4 fiat 500s - they are NOT moving in central Jersey. Must be too appliance-esque for this region.

    As far as looks go- I think the Spark is hideous... tho I don't think I've seen ANY yet in person.

    IMO, the fiat is bland & homogenous, not distinctive other than it's size. And as far as that goes, I think the IQ would catch more eyes than the 500 here. I've seen 1 IQ on the dealer lawn.

    Balthazar, In seattle over the weekend, the sparks are flying off the lots. It is amazing how many I have seen on the roads here. They just seem to be all over and look way better in person than in pictures. The 500 still does not seem to sell, Have not seen a one on the road and the dealership I drove by on Saturday had another truck unloading more 500's and yet their online stock keeps going up. It is amazing, I wonder just what kinds of kick backs Fiat is doing to get a dealership to load up. I Figure 120+ in stock is a bit extreme for a dealership.But will have to wait and see. The Spark is really selling here and the IQ seems to be an asian crowd selling appliance also.

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    Hold the phone... Chevy is selling Sparks in your neck of the woods right now?

    Yup Saw a red one again this morning on the commute into the office. :) Now that it comes to mind, it had a funky plate on the car. I wonder if it is a traveling mule going to the dealerships around here to show off to people and build excitement. Caddilac did that with their early SRX and I saw one driving around my area for a few weeks.

    Edited by dfelt
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    Saw my first 500 with a washington plate on the road today. Was on the corner of 4th and Jackson in Downtown Seattle. It was in the middle lane between a Hummer H2 and a Ford F450. BOy did that ugly little car look small. Guess someone actually bought it as it was not dealer plates.

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