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Fiat’s Back with Cinquecento, that’s Italian for 500


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Fiat’s Back with Cinquecento, that’s Italian for 500

Subcompact has upscale features, low price.

by Bryan Laviolette on Nov.18, 2010


Laura Soave, head of Fiat Brand North America, introduces the 2012 Fiat 500.

Twenty-six years ago, Fiat left the U.S. market amid claims of poor quality. Now, with the help of its new American partner, Chrysler, the Italian automaker is back with a stylish subcompact, the 500, or Cinquecento.

Fiat officially revealed the U.S. version of the 2012 Fiat 500 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on Wednesday.

In addition, Fiat announced the first 130 Chrysler dealers chosen to sell the 500. See the list of dealers at the end of the story.

Auto Show News!

The car is a cheeky little number with cool details and some significant technology.

“The new Fiat 500 now brings something truly unique to one of the fastest growing segments in North America, delivering Italian-by-design function, value and efficiency intelligently tailored for our market,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America.

The 2012 Fiat 500 will go on sale in January, starting at $15,500.

It will be available in three models, the Pop, Sport and Lounge. Even the entry-level Pop, which starts at $15,500, comes with a surprising amount of standard equipment including CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary audio input, power windows, power door locks, power heated mirrors and cruise control. The Pop has a five-speed manual transmission.

The Sport comes with 16-inch aluminum wheels, sport-tuned suspension, red-painted brake calipers and several interior improvements.

The Lounge is for those who want a more fashion-oriented 500. It adds standard features such as a fixed-glass roof, six-speed automatic transmission and chrome accents.

One of the 500’s major innovations is Fiat’s MultiAir system, which it says improves fuel economy and CO2 emissions by 10 percent. The engine delivers 101 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. Fiat has not released fuel mileage figures.

Fiat also announced that Popular Science magazine had chosen the system for its “Best of What’s New” award.

The 500 is somewhat retro, with styling cues that look back on more than 50 years of Fiat Cinquecentos. Inside, the most distinctive feature is a panel color keyed to the exterior color.

Fiat also made several changes for the U.S. market, including:

• Redesigned body structure for increased strength

• Softer suspension for the U.S. market

• Improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)

• New four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system (ABS)

• Larger 10.5-gallon fuel tank for extended driving range

• Upgraded heating and cooling system for North American climate extremes

• Redesigned driver and front-passenger seats feature a new armrest and seat cushion for improved comfort on long journeys

• New steering wheel controls and revised steering effort calibration to increase stability at highway speed (against crosswinds)

• New BOSE Energy Efficient Series premium audio system with six speakers and subwoofer

FIAT of Birmingham – AL

Terry Spitzer

FIAT of Little Rock – AR

Steve Landers Jr.

FIAT of Tucson – AZ

John Grant & Doug Moreland

FIAT of N. Phoenix – AZ

AutoNation, Inc.

FIAT of Avondale – AZ

John Grant & Doug Moreland

FIAT of Scottsdale – AZ

Larry Van Tuyl & Coye Pointer

FIAT of Chandler – AZ

Don Luke

FIAT of Irvine – CA

Robert H. Tuttle & Jim Click

FIAT of Costa Mesa – CA

Jonathan Gray

FIAT of Ontario – CA

R.J. Romero

FIAT of San Diego – CA

Joe C. Gardon

FIAT of Thousand Oaks – CA

Andrew P. Shaver

FIAT of Carlsbad – CA

Christopher Baker

FIAT of Roseville – CA

AutoNation, Inc.

FIAT of Concord – CA

Lithia Motors

FIAT of North Sacramento – CA

Carlos Hidalgo

FIAT of Downey – CA

Paul Antepara

FIAT of Long Beach – CA

Bob Davis

FIAT of Palm Springs – CA

Jorge L. Velarde

FIAT of Fremont – CA

Carlos Hidalgo

FIAT of San Francisco – CA

Kent Putnam

FIAT of Puente Hills – CA

Alexander Hwang

FIAT of Torrance – CA

AutoNation, Inc.

Motor Village of LA – CA

Howard Drake

FIAT of Westminster – CO

AutoNation, Inc.

FIAT of Denver – CO

Doug Moreland

FIAT of Hartford – CT

E. Clayton Gengras Jr.

FIAT of Branford – CT

John Lavallee & Robert Lavallee

FIAT of Wilmington – DE

Larry Giacchino

FIAT of Daytona Beach – FL

Randall Dye

FIAT of Sarasota – FL

Donald Osborne & R.W. Geyer

FIAT of West Palm Beach – FL

Jim Arrigo

FIAT of Winter Haven – FL

Ralph Mahalak

FIAT of East Orlando – FL

Frank Rodriguez

FIAT of Sawgrass – FL

Jim Arrigo

FIAT of Clearwater – FL

Alfred Andrews

FIAT of Fort Myers – FL

Frank Galeana Jr.

FIAT of West Miami – FL

Robert Potamkin, Alan Potamkin, & Walter Ritter

FIAT of Winter Park – FL

John Fields

FIAT of Morrow – GA

Don Jackson

FIAT of Newnan – GA

Don Jackson

FIAT of Buford – GA

AutoNation, Inc.

FIAT of Marietta – GA

Fred Brillanti

FIAT of Honolulu – HI

Marc J. Cutter

FIAT of Highland Park – IL

John Fields

FIAT of Schaumburg – IL

Aaron Zeigler

FIAT of Orland Park – IL

Michael Bettenhausen

FIAT of Greenwood – IN

Tom Miller

FIAT of Carmel – IN

Fernando Falcon

FIAT of Gary – IN

Cary Bosak & Skip Bosak

FIAT of Olathe – KS

Steve Landers

FIAT of Louisville – KY

Winston Pittman

FIAT of New Orleans – LA

Raymond Brandt

FIAT of Shreveport – LA

Steve Landers & Denny Rogers

FIAT of Norwood – MA

Peter Catanese

FIAT of Peabody – MA

Brian Kelly

FIAT of Cape Cod – MA

Joe Laham

FIAT of Worcester – MA

Herb Chambers

FIAT of Owings Mills – MD

Jerome Fader

FIAT of Glen Burnie – MD

Creston Tate

FIAT of Gaithersburg – MD

Harry Criswell

FIAT of Frederick – MD

Creston Tate

FIAT of College Park – MD

John Darvish

FIAT of Portland – ME

John J. Quirk

FIAT of Clinton Twp. – MI

Carl Galeana

FIAT of Novi – MI

David Fischer

FIAT of Bloomfield – MI

Bill Golling

FIAT of Inver Grove Hts. – MN

Peter Hasselquist & Jack Shimota

FIAT of Brooklyn Center – MN

David Luther

FIAT of Creve Coeur – MO

Louis Fusz Jr.

FIAT of Cary – NC

Rick Hendrick &

Gerald Desmond

FIAT of Omaha – NE

Mickey Anderson

FIAT of Cherry Hill – NJ

Charles Foulke, Jr.

FIAT of Dover – NJ

Eric Nielsen

FIAT of Somerville – NJ

Albert DiFiore

FIAT of Ramsey – NJ

Ray Van Duren

FIAT of Albuquerque – NM

Patrick Melloy

FIAT of Las Vegas – NV

Carolynn Towbin & Josh Towbin

FIAT of Westbury – NY

Joel Sporn

FIAT of Rochester – NY

Ray Helfrich

FIAT of Orchard Park – NY

Bill Loecher & Scott Biehler

FIAT of Albany – NY

Stanley Metzner & Donald Metzner

FIAT of Patchogue – NY

Gary Brown

FIAT of Manhattan – NY

John Monninger

FIAT of Albany – NY

Stanley Metzner & Donald Metzner

FIAT of Staten Island – NY

Joe Manfredi & Nick Manfredi

FIAT of Larchmont – NY

Alfredo Gulla

FIAT of Brooklyn – NY

John Giuffre Sr.

FIAT of Toledo – OH

Jim Yark

FIAT of Akron – OH

Adam Huff

FIAT of Cincinnati – OH

Robert Reichert

FIAT of Bexley – OH

Bobby & Bill Dawes

FIAT of Youngstown – OH

Bob & Chuck Eddy

FIAT of Strongsville – OH

Gary Panteck & Paul Hrnchar

FIAT of Dublin – OH

Dwayne Hawkins

FIAT of Mentor – OH

James Brown

FIAT of Oklahoma City – OK

Bob Nouri

FIAT of Tulsa – OK

Group 1 Automotive

FIAT of Beaverton – OR

Brad Tonkin & Ed Tonkin

FIAT of Allentown – PA

Frank Gerenser III

FIAT of Greensburg – PA

Paul Schimizzi

FIAT of Downingtown – PA

Jeff D’Ambrosio

FIAT of Wexford – PA

Corina Diehl

FIAT of Langhorne – PA

Bruce Toll

FIAT of Providence – RI

Michael Grieco

FIAT of South Charlotte – SC

Damian Mills

FIAT of Nashville – TN

Gary Mathews

FIAT of Memphis – TN

Al Gossett

FIAT of San Antonio – TX

Ernesto Ancira Jr.

FIAT of El Paso – TX

Mack Massey

FIAT of Houston – TX

Jack Helfman

FIAT of Clear Lake – TX

John Garff

FIAT of Austin – TX

Nyle Maxwell

FIAT of The Woodlands -TX

Alfred Flores & Bruce Glascock

FIAT of Fort Worth – TX

Hershell Hunter

FIAT of Plano – TX

Ray Huffines

FIAT of Sugar Land – TX

Group 1 Automotive

FIAT of Hurst – TX

Conrad Holt

FIAT of Salt Lake City – UT

John Garff

FIAT of Newport News – VA

S. Rick Gallaer, Jr.

FIAT of South Richmond – VA

James Whitten

FIAT of Fredericksburg – VA

James Gramm

FIAT of Norfolk – VA

Bill Shepherd

FIAT of North Richmond – VA

Frank Pearson

FIAT of Sterling – VA

AutoNation, Inc.

FIAT of Seattle – WA

AutoNation, Inc.

FIAT of Vancouver – WA

Richard W. Hannah

FIAT of Tacoma – WA

Phillip W. Bivens

FIAT of Kirkland – WA

Greg Rairdon

FIAT of Milwaukee – WI

John Bergstrom

FIAT of Kenosha – WI

Andy Palmen



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