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  1. Subcompact crossovers are the hot thing at the moment and automakers are trying to make their models stand out. Whether it is using sleek styling, sporty driving dynamics, or value for money, every automaker is trying their best to get their vehicle noticed. For Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, they’re going for a two-prong attack in the class with models from Fiat and Jeep. The Jeep Renegade is aimed at those who want a subcompact that can tackle a trail, and the Fiat 500X provides some chicness for the class. We spent some time in both models to see if they can make some end roads in this growing class. While the 500X and Renegade may share a fair amount of mechanicals, the design of the two is worlds apart. The Renegade is classic Jeep with a square body, seven-slot grille, and a set of large headlights. The Renegade also features a fair number of Easter eggs throughout the exterior. The head and taillights feature little Jeep grille-and-headlights logos, and a small Willys MB on the bottom of the windshield. This is basically the vehicle equivalent of a hidden object puzzle you might have done back in school. Remember the first commercial for the Fiat 500X where a blue pill falls into the fuel filler of a standard 500. The owner turns around and somehow his vehicle has engorged into something bigger. That’s how you can summarize the design of the 500X. Compared to your standard 500, the 500X is 28.6 inches longer and 15.6 inches wider. A lot of the design traits from the 500 such as the round headlights, long chrome bar holding the emblem, and rectangular taillights are present on this crossover. Moving inside, the Renegade takes some inspiration from the Wrangler with a rugged dash design and a grab bar for the passenger. Higher trims such as our Limited tester feature a decent amount of soft-touch materials. Like the exterior, the Renegade’s interior has Easter eggs strewn about. The tachometer with has a splash of mud to illustrate the redline, a seven-slot grille design for the speaker grilles, and the frame around the radio having ‘Since 1941’ stamped. The only complaint we have with the Renegade’s dash is the placement of the climate controls. They are mounted a bit too low to reach easily. The 500X’s interior is Fiat’s best effort to date. The overall look has some traits of the standard 500 such as a retro design for the dash. But where the 500X stands out is in the material choices. Fiat went all out with adding soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels to help make the model feel very premium. Our Trekking Plus tester came upholstered in brown leather that added a touch of class that’s nonexistent in other competitors. Both models offer plenty of head and legroom for passengers sitting up front. In the back, headroom is decent for most passengers even with the optional sunroof fitted. Legroom ranges from decent for most folks to almost nonexistent depending on how tall the person sitting up front is. The seats themselves are lacking sufficient support for long trips. If cargo capacity is a priority, then consider the Renegade as it offers 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The 500X is towards the bottom of the class with only 12.2 cubic feet mostly due to the design of the vehicle. For your infotainment needs, Fiat and Jeep offer a lineup of Uconnect systems from three to 6.5 inches. Our test vehicles featured the optional 6.5-inch system. Uconnect is still one of the easiest systems to use thanks to a simple interface and very fast performance. We hope FCA considers adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in the future. In terms of engines, both the 500X and Renegade come standard with a turbocharged 1.4L with 160 horsepower. The downside to this engine is that it is only available with a six-speed manual. If you want an automatic, then you’ll need to get the engine found under the hood of our test models; a 2.4L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. We’re not fans of the 2.4L in the any of the FCA vehicles we have driven and this trend continues with the 500X and Renegade. Leaving a stop, there is plenty of oomph to get up to speed in urban environments. Out on the rural roads and highways, the 2.4L struggles to get up to speed at a decent clip. Not helping matters is the engine sounding unrefined. The engine noise during hard acceleration could actually drown out the radio. The one bright spot for the powertrain is the nine-speed automatic. This transmission has been a sore point in a number of FCA vehicles for sluggish shifting and not feeling refined. With the 500X and Renegade, it seems FCA has been able to fix many of the wrongs of the nine-speed. Gear changes are much faster and smoother than in previous models. Both models can be equipped with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Both models came equipped with all-wheel drive. This system primarily works in front-wheel drive to help improve fuel economy. But if the system detects slip, it will hook up the rear axle and start sending power for better traction. The Renegade has the more advanced all-wheel drive system known as Jeep Active Drive. This system gives the driver the choice of various drive modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, and Mud) that adjusts the all-wheel drive, steering, and transmission to provide the best settings for the conditions at hand. There’s also a 4WD lock that splits power 50:50 to provide added traction. Thanks to a freak snow storm in April, I was able to put the system to the test. Driving on some snowy roads, the system was able to keep the Renegade moving without the tires spinning. The Renegade Trailhawk takes the system a step further with Active Drive Low. As the name suggests, this system features low range via a two-speed transfer case. This allows the Trailhawk to tackle more difficult obstacles such as rocks. Fuel economy is terrible for the class. The Fiat 500X is rated at 21 City/30 Highway/24 Combined. The Renegade matches the 500X in city and combined fuel figures but is only rated at 29 for the highway. Our average for the week was a very disappointing 22.1 MPG in both vehicles. This is a figure you would expect in a larger crossover, not a subcompact. The ride in both vehicles is on the firm and harsh side. You’ll be able to tell how bad the roads around you are as bumps and road imperfections are transmitted to the seats. Interestingly, both the 500X and Renegade are quite fun around corners. The vehicles feel agile and the steering has some decent weight. But as the Mazda CX-3 has shown, you can have excellent handling characteristics and a decent ride in a crossover. On the highway, the Renegade is the noisier of the two with a large amount of wind noise coming inside. As for pricing, the 500X and Renegade get off to a good start. The Renegade starts at $17,995 and the 500X comes in at $20,000. Where it falls apart comes in the higher trims. Our two testers had price tags of just under $32,000 - $31,695 for the Renegade Limited and $31,800 for the 500X Trekking Plus. For that same amount of money, you can get into a well-equipped or even a loaded compact crossover. Neither one of these models is worth their high price tags. The subcompact crossover class has become a hotly contested class in only a couple of years and you have to show up with your a-game if you want to make an impact. In the case the 500X and Renegade, FCA dropped the ball. The larger four-cylinder engine should be shown the door for its issues in terms of refinement and fuel economy. The ride characteristics need a rethink and the value for money argument is tough when dealing with the higher trim models. This is very disappointing as the two models have some characteristics that should put them a bit higher in the class. The Fiat 500X’s interior looks and feels like something you would find in a luxury model. The Jeep Renegade can go into places that other subcompact crossovers not even dare try thanks to a clever all-wheel drive system and Jeep’s off-road know-how. But these positive points cannot overcome the numerous issues both of the vehicles have. It would be best to avoid them. Cheers: Off-Road Ability (Renegade), Interior Styling and Features (500X), Nine-Speed Automatic Is Much Better Jeers: 2.4L Is Terrible, Rough Ride, Pricing for Higher Trims Disclaimer: FCA Provided the 500X and Renegade; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Fiat Model: 500X Trim: Trekking Plus AWD Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/30/24 Curb Weight: 3,278 lbs Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy Base Price: $29,000 As Tested Price: $31,800 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Trekking Plus Collection 1 - $1,900 Year: 2016 Make: Jeep Model: Renegade Trim: Limited 4X4 Engine: 2.4L Multi-Air Four-Cylinder Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/29/24 Curb Weight: 3,348 lbs Location of Manufacture: Melfi, Italy Base Price: $26,995 As Tested Price: $31,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: 6.5-inch Navigation Group with Uconnect - $1,245 Advanced Technology Group - $995 Beats Premium Audio System - $695 Safety and Security Group - $645 Passive Entry Keyless Enter n' Go Package - $125
  2. The Fiat 124 Spider might be based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but it features a turbocharged engine and is slightly less than its platform - aside from the base trim. Fiat announced pricing for the 124 Spider today. The base Classica model starts at $25,990 (includes a $995 destination charge). Compared to the base MX-5 Miata Sport, the 124 Spider Classica is about $255.00 more expensive. Both models come with 16-inch wheels, black cloth seats, and LED taillights. Mazda ones up Fiat by offering LED headlights. This changes when you climb up further in the 124 Spider's trim lineup: Lusso: $28,490 ($2,395 less than the comparable MX-5 Miata Grand Touring). Comes with 17-inch alloys, heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 7-Inch touchscreen with navigation. Abarth: $29,190 ($230.00 less than the comparable MX-5 Miata Club). Comes with front and rear Bilstein sport suspension, mechanical limited-slip differential, front strut tower bar, 17-inch alloy wheels finished in a gun metal grey, and quad-tip exhaust. Brembo brakes and a set of Recaro sport seats are optional. Wrapping up the 124 Spider lineup is the limited edition Prima Edizione Lusso that comes with an exclusive blue paint finish and premium leather seats. This model only comes with an automatic. Source: Fiat Press Release is on Page 2 FIAT Announces Pricing for All-new 2017 124 Spider 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the most affordable turbo-powered convertible in America with a starting price of $24,995 (MSRP) Lineup includes: Classica, $24,995; Lusso, $27,495; and Abarth, $28,195 (MSRP) 2017 Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction Revival of roadster continues expansion of FIAT brand in North America Delivers iconic Italian style with modern adaptation of original Spider legend Powered by standard proven turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for best-in-class 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Classica and Lusso; 165 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Abarth, available with six-speed manual or automatic transmission EPA fuel economy of 26 city / 35 highway for manual transmission and 25 city / 36 highway for automatic transmission Double-wishbone front suspension and rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bars, 54/46 weight distribution and tuned electric-power steering system for enhanced handling and fuel efficiency Available with an array of safety and security features, including Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and ParkView rear backup camera Technology including passive entry with keyless go, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and available FIAT Connect 7.0 with Pandora, Stitcher and Aha Available premium Bose nine-speaker system with noise cancelling headrest speakers First 124 units will be available as limited-production Prima Edizione Lusso April 29, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The FIAT brand today announced that pricing for its all-new 2017 124 Spider lineup will start at $24,995 U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), not including destination. FIAT’s all-new roadster is the lowest-priced turbocharged convertible in America. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation of vehicles and buyers. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design. The roadster will come standard with the proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine, the engine’s first application in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The engine delivers best-in-class 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Classica and Lusso, 165 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Abarth, and is available with a six-speed manual transmission (26 city / 35 highway) or a six-speed automatic transmission (25 city / 36 highway). “Our mission at FIAT is to deliver Italian design and heritage in vehicles that are fun to drive,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider brings these elements together and comes loaded with open-air fun, stunning Italian design and the proven turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine.” Fiat 124 Spider Classica The Classica model features a dual-tip exhaust, black roll bar finish, and body-color header, side sills and door handles. The vehicle also comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, Nero (black) premium cloth seats, halogen headlamps and LED tail lamps. Inside, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel are highlighted with light silver accents. Not visible are eight points to reduce NVH, including insulation in the instrument panel, center tunnel, convertible top and rear trunk, to name a few. The Classica is available in six colors: Rosso Passione (red clear coat), Bianco Gelato (white clear coat), Nero Cinema (jet black metallic), Grigio Argento (gray metallic), Grigio Moda (dark gray metallic) and Bronzo Magnetico (bronze metallic). The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica with a six-speed manual transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $24,995, plus $995 destination. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica with a six-speed automatic transmission is $26,345, plus $995 destination. Fiat 124 Spider Lusso The Lusso (“Luxury”) model builds on the Classica, with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, silver-painted A-pillar header and roll-bar cover and dual-tip chrome exhaust. The interior features heated premium leather seats in Nero (black) or Saddle and a leatherette-wrapped cluster brow. The lower instrument panel also is wrapped in leatherette, with Piano Black accents throughout. The Lusso model is available in seven colors: Rosso Passione (red clear coat), Bianco Gelato (white clear coat), Nero Cinema (jet black metallic), Grigio Argento (gray metallic), Grigio Moda (dark gray metallic), Bronzo Magnetico (bronze metallic) and Bianca Perla (crystal white pearl tri-coat). The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso with a six-speed manual transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $27,495, plus $995 destination. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso with a six-speed automatic transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $28,845, plus $995 destination. Fiat 124 Spider Abarth The all-new Fiat 124 Spider Abarth offers a sportier, more responsive driving experience for performance enthusiasts at 165 horsepower. Features include a front and rear Bilstein sport suspension, mechanical limited-slip differential, front strut tower bar, Sport Mode selector and sport-tuned chrome quad-tip exhaust with the world-renowned Abarth sound. Its aggressive appearance comes complete with unique front and rear fascia, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels, Gun Metal exterior accents and an available hand-painted hood stripe, offering a one-of-a-kind appearance. Other available features include a Brembo braking system and Recaro seats for added sportiness. The Abarth model is available in five colors: Bianco Gelato (white clear coat), Rosso Passione (red clear coat), Nero Cinema (jet black metallic), Grigio Argento (gray metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (crystal white pearl). The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with a six-speed manual transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $28,195, plus $995 destination. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with a six-speed automatic transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $29,545, plus $995 destination. Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso To celebrate the return of the classic nameplate, the first 124 vehicles will be offered as a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso. Each will be individually numbered with a commemorative badge and available in exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) exterior paint with premium leather seats in Saddle. Consumers who purchase a Prima Edizione also will receive limited-edition items, including a matching blue leather bag, journal with pen and a poster showcasing original design illustration with vehicle dimensions. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso has a U.S. MSRP of $35,000, plus $995 destination.
  3. When Fiat announced the Abarth 124 Spider earlier this month at Geneva, we found ourselves wondering if and when it would be here. Today we have the answer to both of those questions. Meet the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth. Yes, we know the name is a bit of mouthful. But a lot of the European-market Abarth Spider carries over to the U.S. It starts with the looks. The 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features a more aggressive front end, matte black hood, and 17-inch wheels finished in grey. The interior features red stitching, aluminum pedals, and optional Recaro seats. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder producing 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. No, that isn't a misprint. Somehow, the Spider lost 10 horsepower during the Atlantic crossing. At least the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic remains. Other important bits of the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth include Bilstein front and rear mono-tube shocks, limited slip differential, and an optional Brembo brake package. Fiat hasn't revealed when the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth will arrive at dealers. We suspect it will be sometime after the 124 Spider goes on sale this summer. Source: Fiat Press Release is on Page 2 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth Offers Sportier, More Responsive Driving Experience for Performance Enthusiasts 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features sport suspension, mechanical limited slip differential, Sport Mode selector and sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust Available Brembo braking system and Recaro seats for added sportiness Powered by turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, available with manual transmission or automatic transmission with paddle shifters Aggressive appearance with unique front and rear fascia, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels, Gun Metal exterior accents and available hand-painted hood stripe, offering a one-of-a-kind appearance 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers best-in-class horsepower and torque Fiat 124 Spider models will be available in studios beginning this summer March 22, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Since the introduction of the Fiat 500 Abarth at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the DNA of Abarth has connected with driving enthusiasts in search of a sharp, wicked, fun-to-drive machine. Continuing the legacy of Karl Abarth’s performance-inspired vehicles known for their rich racing heritage, the 2017 Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth will debut at this year’s New York International Auto Show. The Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth is the heir of the roadster that drove Fiat to its first European Rally Championship win in the 1970s. Applying the Abarth formula, the new 124 Spider is designed and built for thrills and performance. Key Abarth features include rear-wheel drive, a sophisticated suspension and a four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir 1.4 Turbo engine with best-in-class 160 horsepower that is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. While all Fiat 124 Spider models deliver responsive handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio in a robust rear-wheel-drive package, the Elaborazione Abarth model builds on the Spider’s engaging driving dynamics to offer even more fun for performance enthusiasts. “Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers.” Performance characteristics The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features the proven turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine, delivering 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience. A mechanical limited slip differential, featuring a low torque bias ratio, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth’s unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking. Aggressive appearance With a streamlined silhouette and a stretched bonnet, the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth has an aggressive appearance, with unique front and rear fascia, black side sills, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels and a sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust with a unique exhaust sound. The Gun Metal header, mirror cover and roll bar complement five available paint colors: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl). The interior design reflects the performance-oriented details for which cars sporting the Scorpion badge are famous. There is Rosso (red) stitching throughout, including on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, wrapped instrument cluster hood, lower instrument panel and parking brake. A matte black instrument panel bezel, unique instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals and unique gear shift knob help to differentiate the Elaborazione Abarth model. Unique Nero (black) leather/microfiber seats are standard, while leather seats in Nero (black) or Nero/Rosso (black/red) are available. For true performance enthusiasts, leather and Alcantara Recaro seats are also available in Nero (black).
  4. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' five-year plan for each of its nine core brands doesn't sound realistic to analysts. Automotive News Europe reports that analysts cannot see FCA achieving its goal of doubling or tripling sales without investing a lot of money, something FCA doesn't quite have at the moment. Analysts believe for FCA to pull this monumental plan off, they'll need to cut some brands out. “The problem is PowerPoint presentations are a lot easier than real life. These brands need a huge amount of work to get where they need to be. The world changes very slowly and you have brands at the bottom of the pile in many regions. It’s not going to happen overnight,” said Harald Hendrikse, a London-based analyst with Nomura Holdings. CEO Sergio Marchionne disagrees with analysts, saying that FCA’s advantage is that “we now have brands in the marketplace that are not butting heads.” Marchionne also pointed out that plan already eliminated two brands; Lancia and SRT. Marchionne also responded to comments that Chrysler and Dodge should be combined. “Co-mingling Dodge and Chrysler would have cost us a lot of share. That combination doesn’t work in our view,” Marchionne said. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. When was the last time you ever heard the CEO of a major automaker say don't buy our car? Never? Well Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne may be the first one. Reuters reports that Marchionne told an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. last week that anyone considering the Fiat 500e should not buy it. "I hope you don't buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000. I'm honest enough to tell you that," said Marchionne. "I will sell the (minimum) of what I need to sell and not one more." So why did FCA build the 500e in the first place then? It comes down to the California Air Resources Board mandate which requires the six automakers selling the most cars in the state to sell vehicles with no tailpipe emissions at all from 2012 through 2017. Vehicles such as the 500e are known as compliance vehicles. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. At the moment, Fiat's headquarters is located in Turin, Italy; while Chrysler's headquarters is in Auburn Hills, MI. But with Fiat and Chrysler merged together, the company is planning a new headquarters. Reuters reports that CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that the headquarters of FCA will be in London, Great Britain. "Headquarters will be in London. It's clear that group executive functions, the board, my office, some of my functions, need to operate out of London, but that doesn't mean that I'm giving up my operational responsibilities of the U.S. We will be multi-faceted ... we will do stuff everywhere," said Marchionne. Marchionne has said that the move will not not affect jobs in Italy or in the U.S. No timeframe was given as to when the move would happen. Source: Reuters William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. Today in Auburn Hills, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented their five-year plan to the press and investors. The plan divulges what's in store for all of the brands in the coming years. The last time Chrysler did this back in 2009, many of the items shown were accurate (minus Alfa Romeo). We're going to fill you in on the plans in store for all of the brands and the company itself in the next few years. Jeep Leading off the presentations today was Jeep. Brand CEO Mike Manley described the off-road brand as the "lead global brand" of the company. The brand plans on expanding its lineup from five nameplates to six and sell them in more countries. Jeep hopes by 2018, 1.9 million vehicles will be sold worldwide. To pull this off, Jeep is planning to expand production and sales in China and Latin America with localized models for each market. Jeep will also expand U.S. production from 800,000 vehicles to 1 million vehicles. On the model front, Jeep will introduce a replacement for the Compass and Patriot, along with a refreshed Cherokee in 2016. 2017 will see a brand new Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, along with a refreshed Renegade crossover. A new three-row SUV named the Grand Wagoneer will arrive in 2018 and sit above the Grand Cherokee. Chrysler Next up was Chrysler who announced some dramatic changes. First is that Chrysler is changing their focus from premium to mainstream and become FCA's volume brand. The brand has set a sales goal of 800,000 vehicles by 2018. An ambitious goal to say in the least, but Chrysler model plan they hope can achieve this. It begins with the refresh of the 300 sedan which will debut later this year. Then in 2016, two big debuts happen. The first is the next-generation Town & Country, which will become the sole minivan in FCA's lineup. Following that is the 100 which will be a compact sedan. 2017 brings forth a midsize crossover, while a compact crossover comes a year later. A redesigned 300 is due in 2018. Dodge Dodge took the stage next and the big news was a refocusing on the brand. The brand will change from being the mainstream brand to FCA's performance brand. This will mean the departure of the Avenger and Grand Caravan in 2015. It also means that SRT, Chrysler's performance will be folded into Dodge. What this means for the future of the 300 SRT and Grand Cherokee is unknown at this time, but expect both to drive off into the sunset. The brand has a sales goal of 600,000 vehicles in 2018. The changes begin this year with the introduction of the refreshed Charger and Challenger. Mid-2015 brings a refresh to the Dodge Viper (not SRT Viper any more). 2016 brings a brings forth a new Dart and a Journey. Towards the end of the year, the long-rumored Dart SRT will become a reality. 2017 brings out a Journey SRT with a turbo V6 and all-wheel drive, along with refreshed Durango. 2018 is a big year as new versions of the Challenger and Charger come out, as well as a new B-Segment sedan and hatchback. Fiat Fiat came bnext and compared to all of the other brands, they didn't have much to talk about. The brand announced by 2018, they plan on selling 100,000 vehicles. 2015 will see the introduction of the 500X, which is the sister car to the Jeep Renegade, and a specialty model. No one is quite sure what that is, but there is some speculation that its the vehicle from the former Mazda/Alfa Romeo partnership. Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo had the most intriguing presentation today. CEO Harold Webster talked about how the brand strayed from its roots of being brand that delivered sexy designs, perfect 50-50 weight-distribution, and a number of other items. To rectify this, Alfa Romeo has started a skunkworks that consists of two senior head from Ferrari and 200 handpicked engineers to get the brand back on track. That number will grow to 600 by the end of 2015. FCA will invest close to $7 billion into the brand. Alfa Romeo is projecting sales of 400,000 by 2018. A bit ambitious to say in the least when you take into consideration the brand only sold 74,000 vehicles in 2013. The plan calls for a new midsize sedan in late 2015, followed by a number of vehicles from 2016 to 2018 which include two compact cars, a second mid-sized car, a large car, two utility vehicles, and a specialty vehicle. Ram Ram's presentation was much like Fiat's, not much. The big story is Ram expanding their commercial vehicle sales in the coming years. The brand plans on enhancing capabilities of their dealers, increasing the amount of the dealers who specialize in commercial vehicles from 332 to 900, more marketing, and leveraging Fiat Professional, FCA's main commercial vehicle division. The commercial division will also get two new vehicles this year; the Promaster Diesel and the Promaster City. As for Ram, minor updates are due in 2015 for the 1500 and 2016 for the heavy duties. An extensive refresh follows two years after the minor changes. Maserati Maserati took the stage next and announced projected sales of 75,000 global sales in 2018. That made everyone raise their eyebrows and wonder how the company would pull this off. Well it begins next year as the Levante crossover arrives with the choice of either 350 or 425 horsepower V6 engines. Following that will be the Alfieri coupe in 2016. The Alferi will be the sole sports car in Maserati's lineup as the GranTurismo will be retired after 2014. The Alferi will be available with a 410 horsepower V6 with rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive with the choice of either a 450 or 520 horsepower V6. 2017 brings the Alferi convertible, and the year after is the return of GranTurismo coupe Other changes include the addition of two new V6 engines for the Ghibli, a new V8 for the Ghibli and Quattroporte, and new diesel engines for the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante. Ferrari Ferrari's presentation was very short. It consisted of the brand launching a new model every year. Each model will have a four-year lifecycle after which, "M" versions will be produced. Again, the 'M' versions will have a four-year lifecycle. Ferrari is also sticking with their 7,000 vehicle production limit for the time being. Other Notes: Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand CEO will oversee SRT immediately. Ralph Gilles who was the CEO of SRT will continue as FCA’s senior vice president of product design and CEO of Motorsports. The long-rumored Hellcat Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8? Its real. In a slide during Dodge's presentation, there is a mention of supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. No mention on when it will come out or how much power its packing. Sticking with engines, FCA will be introducing a new range of four-cylinder engines that will share parts and can be inexpensively customized for different markets. A Plug-In Hybrid Town & Country is coming in 2016 CEO Sergio Marchionne said " I have better uses for aluminum than on a pickup truck" when asked about aluminum. Went onto say that they would consider it if Ford is successful with the next F-150 Marchionne plans to stay as CEO through the duration of the current plan Quote of the entire presentation: “This thing is truly a freak show on wheels with almost compact-carlike fuel economy and the ability to tow 9,200 pounds,” said Ram brand chief Reid Bigland about the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. Another chapter in the Alfa Romeo story appears to be forming. Automotive News Europe has learned from sources that Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is considering making Alfa Romeo a standalone firm, much like Ferarri and Maserati. This means Alfa Romeo would have its own management team and headquarters. "To make this new relaunch attempt into a credible business proposition, Marchionne needs to make Alfa's P&L clearly visible," a source said. Marchionne is expected to announce this on May 6th, the day where he'll present a new five-year plan for the company. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. Fiat has announced some changes are incoming for the 2015 500 lineup. For starters, the 500 Turbo and Abarth models will now have the option of a six-speed automatic. Previously both models could only be equipped with a five-speed manual. The brand hopes the option of the automatic will bring more people into the showrooms. Other changes for the 500 lineup include the introduction of a seven-inch high-definition TFT instrument display that will display vehicle and infotainment data; a redesign center stack, and new color choices. "Since launching in March 2011, more than 135,000 Fiat 500 cars have been sold in North America. We continue to improve the successful 500, retaining its unique Italian flavor while adding unique features, such as a 7-inch TFT display, and incorporating Bluetooth streaming and a more functional center console,"said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup arrives at dealers this July. Source: Fiat William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Fiat 500 Lineup Now Features Innovative Instrument Panel with New 7-inch High-Definition Display - Seven-inch HD TFT display helps drivers to easily monitor and configure vehicle information - Other interior updates for driver convenience include Bluetooth streaming audio and a revamped center console with an additional USB port- Three new exterior paint colors for 2015 are Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver) April 7, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Fiat 500 vehicle lineup, to be showcased at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, will include a number of interior enhancements for increased driver convenience and ease of use, including an advanced instrument panel with a 7-inch high-definition TFT (Thin Film Transistor) cluster display. The new 7-inch TFT cluster allows drivers to easily monitor data like speed, fuel level, Eco index and trip information. While on the main screen, an image of the vehicle is surrounded by information, including distance traveled, gas mileage and range. A parking screen helps drivers while moving in reverse if the vehicle is equipped with Rear Park Assist. Other screen options include a radio screen that displays information about the station selected and a telephone screen showing call information. When the vehicle is in Sport mode, the TFT display becomes more aggressive in appearance, complementing the Sport mode's more engaged driving experience. The TFT display will be standard on the 2015 Fiat 500 Sport, Lounge, Turbo and Abarth models, and optional on the Pop. Other interior updates for 2015 include a redesigned center console. To make it more useful for drivers, the revamped console includes a new cup holder design and an additional, conveniently located USB port that is fully functional and integrated with the radio. The 2015 Fiat 500 models will also include Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to the already standard Bluetooth phone connectivity. "Since launching in March 2011, more than 135,000 Fiat 500 cars have been sold in North America," said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. "We continue to improve the successful 500, retaining its unique Italian flavor while adding unique features, such as a 7-inch TFT display, and incorporating Bluetooth streaming and a more functional center console." On the exterior, new paint colors for 2015 are Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver). In addition to the interior improvements across the Fiat 500 lineup, the Fiat 500 Abarth, Abarth Cabrio and Turbo will add a six-speed automatic transmission as an option for 2015. The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup will be available in studios beginning in July 2014.
  10. Two years ago, Fiat and Mazda made the announcement that the two would jointly develop a new roadster for Alfa Romeo. The new Alfa Romeo would use the underpinnings of the next-generation of the MX-5 Miata, but would use its own powertrains. However a new report says the joint development could go up in smoke. Automotive News Europe has learned from sources that product planners for both companies are planning to meet to discuss the change of Mazda as the partner for the roadster. Hints of this began to swirl around back in September when Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told the Financial Times that there won't be any Alfa Romeo vehicles built outside of Italy as long as he is in control. Marchionne reiterated this at the Detroit. When asked about the Roadster's future, Marchionne declined. Sources say that Fiat wants to find other ways of fulfilling the agreement made with Mazda as walking away would be very expensive for the brand. So who could Fiat turn to with the Alfa roadster? One source says that it could be Abarth. "Abarth really makes sense for a lightweight, small displacement, high-output two-seat roadster, which perfectly fits the brand's DNA," said a source. We'll keep you updated on this story. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. The return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. saga looks to be coming to a close. The Detroit News reports that the first Alfa Romeo vehicle, the 4C will be arriving in the U.S. in late June. However, it will not be at many Fiat dealers as expected. The report says the 4C will be sold at Maserati dealers and "the best-performing Fiat dealers". “We’re also going to allow the best-performing Fiat dealers to participate. Those dealers know who they are. ... It’s really a question of efficacy in representing the Fiat brand. It’s simple dealer metrics," said Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne last month. However, Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau tells the News that the Fiat dealers who are getting the chance to sell 4C haven't been told yet. The 4C will be the only Alfa Romeo on sale in the U.S. till next year. That is when the Giulia, Giulietta, and the Spider are expected. But then again, we've heard time and time again that these vehicles are coming in 2012, only to be pushed back. “It doesn’t matter how many they sell. What they need the 4C to do is attract attention. It needs to make a statement," said Stephanie Brinley of IHS Automotive. Brinley goes onto say that more Alfa models should quickly follow up to keep the momentum going. “The 2015 products really need to come in 2015. Otherwise, they will lose momentum.” Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. Today, Fiat SpA's board of directors announced Fiat SpA and Chrysler Group LLC will become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). This comes as part of restructuring plan of the two automakers that was agreed by the board. “A new chapter of our story begins with the creation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. A journey that started over a decade ago, as Fiat sought to ensure its place in an increasingly complex marketplace, has brought together two organizations each with a great history in the automotive industry and different but complementary geographic strengths,” said John Elkann, chairman of Fiat. The restructuring plan also notes that FCA will be listed on the Milan and New York Stock Exchange, and will be controlled by a parent company known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. That company will be incorporated in Holland. “Five years ago we began to cultivate a vision that went beyond industrial cooperation to include full cultural integration at all levels. We have worked tenaciously and single-mindedly to transform differences into strengths and break down barriers of nationalistic or cultural resistance,” Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said today. “Today we can say that we have succeeded in creating solid foundations for a global automaker with a mix of experience and know-how on a level with the best of our competitors. An international governance structure and listings will complete this vision and improve the Group’s access to global markets bringing obvious financial benefits.” The plan still needs to get final approval from the board and shareholders which is expected to happen by the end of this year Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Fiat S.p.A. Reorganizes After Completion of the Purchase of Chrysler Group LLC January 29, 2014 , Turin, Italy - Today, the Board of Directors of Fiat S.p.A. (“Fiat”) approved a corporate reorganization and the formation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (“FCA”) as a fully-integrated global automaker. Following Fiat’s acquisition of the minority equity interest in Chrysler Group LLC, previously held by the VEBA Trust, the Fiat Board of Directors has reviewed options for the most appropriate governance and corporate structure. In order to establish a true peer to the major global automotive groups, in both scale and capital market appeal, the Board has decided to establish Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., organized in the Netherlands, as the parent company of the Group. FCA’s common shares will be listed in New York and Milan. “A new chapter of our story begins with the creation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. A journey that started over a decade ago, as Fiat sought to ensure its place in an increasingly complex marketplace, has brought together two organizations each with a great history in the automotive industry and different but complementary geographic strengths. FCA allows us to face the future with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor,” said John Elkann, Chairman of Fiat. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chairman/CEO of Chrysler Group said: “Today is one of the most important days in my career at Fiat and Chrysler. Five years ago we began to cultivate a vision that went beyond industrial cooperation to include full cultural integration at all levels. We have worked tenaciously and single-mindedly to transform differences into strengths and break down barriers of nationalistic or cultural resistance. Today we can say that we have succeeded in creating solid foundations for a global automaker with a mix of experience and know-how on a level with the best of our competitors. An international governance structure and listings will complete this vision and improve the Group’s access to global markets bringing obvious financial benefits.” Under the proposal approved by the Fiat Board, Fiat shareholders will receive one FCA common share for each Fiat share they hold and the FCA common shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with an additional listing on the Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) in Milan. FCA is expected to be resident for tax purposes in the United Kingdom, but this is not expected to affect the taxes payable by Group companies in the jurisdictions in which their activities are carried out. In order to foster the development and continued involvement of a core base of long-term shareholders, FCA will adopt a loyalty voting structure, under which Fiat shareholders who are present or represented by proxy at the Fiat shareholder meeting called to vote on the proposal and who continue to hold their shares until the closing, regardless of how they vote, are eligible to receive special voting shares equivalent in number to the newly-issued FCA common shares they receive. The special voting shares will be subject to specific terms and conditions. After the closing, shareholders who hold their FCA common shares for at least three years would also be entitled to participate in the loyalty voting structure. FCA shareholders will be eligible for loyalty voting until they transfer their common shares. This structure is intended to facilitate a stable shareholder base and reward long-term share ownership, while allowing the Group enhanced flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities. The proposed transaction is subject to approval of the final documentation by Fiat’s Board of Directors and shareholders. The transaction would also be subject to limited closing conditions, including listing on the NYSE and a €500 million cap on the exercise of withdrawal rights arising under Italian law by Fiat shareholders and opposition rights by Fiat creditors. Listing on the MTA in Milan is expected to occur after trading on the NYSE has commenced. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Today’s decisions, and the jurisdiction of the parent company in particular, are based on the needs and opportunities resulting from the creation of a large, global auto group through the union of Fiat and Chrysler. The existing organization based on four operating regions will remain central to the operating and management structure of the new Group. All activities forming part of FCA will continue with the same mission, including manufacturing plants in Italy and elsewhere around the globe, with no impact on headcount. The Group will present a long-term business plan to the financial community at the beginning of May 2014.
  13. Today marks a big occasion for Chrysler as it becomes a part of Fiat fully. The Italian automaker announced today in a statement that they have completed the purchase of Chrysler and "is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat". This comes three weeks after an announcement made by Fiat which said they had come to an agreement with the UAW's VEBA Trust to purchase the remaining 41.46 percent of Chrysler. The agreement states that Fiat would pay $4.35 billion for the shares. The next step for Fiat and Chrysler will take place on January 29th. That is when the board is scheduled to meet and discuss terms of the merger, including including the corporate organization, location of its headquarters, and where it would be listed on the stock market. Source: Chrysler Press Release is on Page 2 Fiat S.p.A. Completes Acquisition of Remaining Equity Interests in Chrysler Group LLC From VEBA Trust January 21, 2014 , Turin, Italy - Fiat S.p.A. (“Fiat”) through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fiat North America LLC (“FNA”) today completed its previously announced acquisition of all of the VEBA Trust’s[1] membership interests in Chrysler Group LLC (“Chrysler Group”). Chrysler Group is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fiat. The consideration for the acquisition consisted of: a special distribution paid by Chrysler Group on January 21, 2014 of U.S.$1,900 million (FNA directed its portion of the special distribution to the VEBA Trust as part of the purchase consideration); and a cash payment by FNA to the VEBA Trust of U.S.$1,750 million. Fiat funded the U.S.$1,750 million payment from available cash on hand. Chrysler Group funded the special distribution from available cash on hand. As previously announced, contemporaneously with the transactions described above, Chrysler Group and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (the “UAW”) entered into a memorandum of understanding under Chrysler Group’s existing collective bargaining agreements to provide for additional contributions by Chrysler Group to the VEBA Trust of an aggregate of U.S.$700 million in four equal annual installments, the first of which was paid in connection with closing of the transaction with Fiat. As part of the transactions and as promptly as practicable, FNA and the VEBA Trust will dismiss with prejudice the proceedings before the Delaware Court of Chancery with respect to the interpretation of the call option agreement.
  14. The first day of 2014 brings some good news to Fiat. The company announced that it and the UAW's VEBA Trust have reached a deal to purchase the remaining 41.46 percent stake of Chrysler. The terms of deal will see Fiat paying the VEBA trust a total of $4.35 billion. $3.65 billion of that will go towards the remaining stake. Also, Fiat will pay the trust $700 million annually over the course of the next four years. “In the life of every major organization and its people, there are defining moments that go down in the history books. For Fiat and Chrysler, the agreement just reached with the VEBA is clearly one of those moments,” said Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. Fiat says the deal is expected to happen on January 20th. Source: Chrysler Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Announces Agreement With UAW Calling for Contributions to VEBA Trust and Also Announces a Special Distribution January 1, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (the “UAW”) have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to supplement Chrysler Group’s existing collective bargaining agreement. Under the MoU, Chrysler Group will provide additional contributions to the VEBA Trust of an aggregate of $700 million in four equal annual installments. The initial payment will be made on closing of a transaction in which the VEBA Trust will sell to Fiat North America, one of Fiat’s wholly owned subsidiaries, all of the VEBA Trust’s equity interest in Chrysler. Additional payments of $175 million will be payable on each of the next three anniversaries of the initial payment. Chrysler Group expects to fund the initial contribution to the VEBA Trust from available cash on hand. In consideration for these contributions, the UAW will agree to certain commitments to continue to support the industrial operations at Chrysler Group and the further implementation of the Fiat-Chrysler alliance, including to use best efforts to cooperate in the continued roll-out of Fiat-Chrysler World Class Manufacturing programs, actively participate in benchmarking efforts associated with implementation of these programs across all of Fiat-Chrysler manufacturing sites to ensure objective performance assessments and provide for proper application of WCM principles and actively assist in the achievement of the Group’s long-term business plan. The Chrysler Group Board of Directors has also determined to support the declaration and payment by Chrysler Group of a special distribution in an aggregate amount of approximately $1,900 million,1 subject to the Board completing its diligence and receiving independent assurance regarding the distribution payment capacity of Chrysler Group, a process that management expects will be completed on or before January 20, 2014
  15. Fiat is planning to expand their 500 lineup once again by introducing a larger five-door model that will replace the aging Punto. Auto Express reports that Fiat engineers will use the Punto's platform as the base for the larger 500 and not use the current 500's platform. As for the design, the new model will retain many of the cues found the normal 500 such as the two-part headlights and short hood length. The new model could arrive in 2015 and slot in between the standard 500 and 500L. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. A name from Jeep's past will be resurrected for a new subcompact model. Drive.com.au reports that Jeep will be showing off a new model at Geneva Motor Show in March wearing the Jeepster name. The Jeepster will based on the upcoming Fiat 500X crossover and feature more a rugged appearance. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive will be a option. Production is expected to happen next fall at Fiat's Melfi plant. Sales begin sometime in 2015. Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 25, 2013 The Chrysler IPO will not happen this year. Forbes is reporting that Fiat has decided to not to launch the initial public offering of Chrysler before the end of 2013, citing that the short window before the end of 2013 is "not practicable." Not surprisingly, the hold up on the IPO is the disagreement between Fiat and the UAW's healthcare trust. Fiat currently owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, while the trust owns the remaining 41.5 percent. The company wants to buy the trust's share, but for how much is what the two cannot come to an agreement. The IPO was going to be the way of figuring out how much the UAW's healthcare trust share was. It's not entirely clear why Fiat decided to put the IPO on hold till next year. A possibility could be that advisers working for Chrysler are discussing a valuation of about $10 to $11 billion for the IPO. Given that amount, it would mean Fiat would be paying $4.15 billion for the share owned by the healthcare trust, a figure that considered to be much higher than what Fiat is looking to pay. Source: Forbes, Detroit Free Press William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Next week comes a bit of madness. I'm referring to the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show taking place in Las Vegas next week. The show gives automakers a chance to show what crazy things they have cooked up. For Chrysler, SEMA is where their Mopar brand can show off some of their new parts and accessories. Plus some crazy ideas as well. I had the chance to head down to Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan to see some of the twenty vehicles that will be at SEMA next week. Ram Sun Chaser Out of all the vehicles shown at Chrysler's SEMA preview, the Ram Sun Chaser was the most polarizing. Draped in a Vibrance Orange Blast color, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, the Ram Sun Chaser isn't for the faint of the heart. This concept was built with the surfer in mind and includes such touches such as concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack” and two adjustable support rails to hold varying sizes of surfboards. There is also a shower kit in the Ram Box which consists of a water tank, pump, hose, and shower head to rinse off items. Other modifications to the Sun Chaser include a two-inch lift, beadlock wheels, cut-back exhaust, and leather seats. Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver For Jeep, Mopar focused on making the Cherokee more capable, while keeping a distinctive looks on the road. Hence the Cherokee Trail Carver. Mopar started with the Cherokee Trailhawk and built from there. There is a set of meaty off-road tires, rock rails, and orange tow hooks shows it's ready to tackle anything. The Cherokee's exterior is dipped in a Auburn Pearl paint color. The hood and roof feature a topographic map graphic. The roof also sports a concept roof basket design. Fiat 500L Adventurer Mopar's take on the 500L is something quite unexpected. They took the subcompact crossover and made more rugged. To pull this off, Mopar raised the 500L by about an inch, added body cladding and a black stripe around it, and a set of eighteen-inch wheels. The body is painted in a Bright White with a 500L graphic on the doors. The roof is draped in a orange with a set of roof rails and a basket. Inside, the 500L Adventurer has a set of seats wrapped in black perforated suede and pearl leather. There is some orange trim pieces around the bezels, speaker surrounds, and the steering-wheel badge. 2014 Chrysler 300S Mopar didn't make many modifications to this 2014 300S, but the ones they did make really change the 300S. To start, this 300S is painted in a Phantom Black Tri-coat paint color. Adding some menace is a black “Gotham” grille surround and lowering kit. Finishing off the exterior touches is a SRT rear spoiler and a set of twenty-inch wheels from the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition finished in a bronze color. Inside, the 300S comes with black and Katzkin “Bisque” leather on the seats, center console, and doors. The seatbacks have the 'Imported from Detroit' logo embroidered. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Reveals Mopar-Modified Show Vehicles Ahead of 2013 SEMA Show Mopar Flashes Creative Muscle Twenty customized Chrysler Group LLC show vehicles to be exhibited in 15,300 square-foot SEMA Show display Exhibit to highlight hundreds of Mopar performance parts and Jeep® Performance Parts from the Mopar Off-Road Division Ram Sun Chaser show vehicle features makeshift shower kit and “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate bench Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver carries a unique concept roof-rack basket design to store off-road gear Fiat 500L Adventurer takes new five-seater off the beaten path And even more Mopar magic applied to the Chrysler 300 Mopar news and images, as well as link to the livestream broadcast from SEMA, are available at mopar.com/sema October 29, 2013, Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC is preparing to head west with a Mopar-customized contingent of creations along for the ride. At the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 5-8, 20 vehicles customized with existing Mopar parts and accessories, as well as concept products designed to elicit feedback, will take the spotlight in the 15,300 square-foot Mopar display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Mopar-modified vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, SRT, and FIAT brands will be prominently featured at the premier aftermarket event. “The SEMA season is our favorite time of the year,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “It’s a chance for us to flex our creative muscles and showcase our vast portfolio of proven, quality-tested performance parts and accessories.” Following are select Mopar-modified 2013 Chrysler Group LLC SEMA display vehicles headed for this year’s SEMA show: Ram Sun Chaser When Ram isn’t hard at work, it’s back to the beach with the Ram Sun Chaser show truck. Vibrance Orange Blast, with two-tone Brilliant Black paint, color this Ram 1500 Quad Cab. A unique concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack,” and two adjustable support rails housed within the tracks of the truck’s bed, accommodate a long surfboard. As an added bonus, hooks on the side of the rails can also carry up to four boards. To wash off salt water or seaweed, Ram Sun Chaser’s exclusive RamBox bed-side storage features a concept water tank equipped with a hose and a portable shower head, forming a makeshift shower kit that may be clipped on to the rack for a quick rinse. A bed step enables easy access to gear. Surfers or paddle boarders can take a seat when taking off gear or waxing their board with the concept “Flip-Up” seatback tailgate, which converts into a bench by folding back toward the cab of the truck. New concept 17 x 8-inch beadlock wheels with color-keyed rings, concept flares with exposed fasteners and modified black tubular side-step rails fit the sand dune-ready theme of the vehicle. Orange tow hooks, a satin badge, and a spray-on bedliner are also added by Mopar. Inside, Katzkin leather seats feature stitching accented to match the Vibrance Orange Blast paint, as well as the dash, display bezels and door inserts. Sill guards and all-weather mats also accent the interior. Powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI® engine, the Ram hits the sand with a sport performance hood, a 2-inch performance lift kit and a Mopar cat-back exhaust. Fiat 500L Adventurer The Fiat 500L Adventurer illustrates the versatility of the new five-seater, with modifications that transform the vehicle and equip it with a tough, rugged appearance. The exterior is enhanced with Bright White body paint, two-tone accent wheel flares and rockers painted in Satin Black. Color is added with Vibrance Bright Orange on the roof, which totes Mopar roof rails and a large roof basket. The vehicle sits on 18 x 7.5-inch custom concept wheels embellished with FIAT logo center caps. A custom 500L graphic augments door panels, with the L painted orange to match the roof. Orange mirror caps, tinted taillights, tinted chrome exhaust tips, molded splash guards, and a chrome FIAT logo ring further enhance the exterior styling. The interior is upgraded with black perforated suede Katzkin seats and pearl leather seatbacks. Matching orange accents are featured inside as well, with orange-painted bezels and orange accents surrounding the speaker grills and steering-wheel badge. The two-tone instrument panel is black with a white leather insert. A Mopar seatback coat hanger, all-weather mats, a pedal kit, doorsill guards and a cargo organizer are included from the Mopar catalog. A performance boost is achieved with a Mopar cold-air intake and Mopar cat-back exhaust. Jeep® Cherokee Trail Carver Jeep Cherokee is for trail addicts seeking a vehicle with the capabilities to handle the rugged off-road, while projecting a unique, customized and luxurious look on the streets. Going to the next level of customization, the Mopar-modified Jeep Cherokee uses the Trailhawk 4x4 package powered by a 3.2-liter V-6 engine as a starting point. Its exterior is colored in Auburn Pearl paint, with low-gloss black and Granite Crystal with low-gloss clear touches. Unique Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk hood and roof topographical graphics are bordered in Crush Orange, with matching orange tow hooks. The top of the modified Jeep Cherokee sports a concept roof basket design, with orange accent side panels wrapped in woven metallic fabric. A front wind deflector, which includes the Mopar logo, completes the design. Aggressive tires highlight the off-road flavor of the vehicle, and rock rails protect this Jeep Cherokee from trail obstacles. The inside is enhanced with Katzkin Amaretto leather seats, with colored leather in the center, ensuring a premium feel. Leather wrapping on the center console, storage door and armrest, and matching color stitching on the seats, offer even more appointments. The top and bottom of the steering wheel are leather, and painted trim provides highlights throughout the inside. Other Mopar goodies include bright door-sill guards with the Jeep Cherokee logo, a wireless smartphone charger, and WiFi. The Jeep Cargo Management Receiver System (JCMRS), a unique option that features a running bar along the left interior, to which Mopar items may be mounted, is also utilized. The Mopar roadside emergency kit, Trailhawk bag and first-aid kit are mounted to the JCMRS. In the Jeep Performance Parts department, a Mopar cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust are put to work to achieve horsepower gains. 2014 Chrysler 300S The iconic and elegant Chrysler 300 is elevated even further to reach the ultimate in style and street cred with a variety of Mopar appointments utilized to create the 2014 Chrysler 300S for the SEMA Show. Phantom Black Tri-coat colors the exterior, maintaining the elegance of the Chrysler 300S, while adding a menacing edge. Fitting its gritty, big-city vibe, the front is reinforced by a 13-bar black “Gotham” grille surround, with a lowering kit, dropping the 2014 Chrysler 300S closer to the streets. The wheels pull from the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition with 20 x 8-inch wheels finished in a Mopar bronze, accented with Mopar wheel center caps. A black SRT spoiler embellishes the tail and helps drive the rear towards the pavement when in motion, enabling the 300S to corner urban canyons with impressive agility. Luxurious touches rule the interior, with seats and door bolster inserts wrapped in Katzkin “Bisque” leather. Leather seatbacks are embossed with the “Imported From Detroit” logo, and matching Katzkin “Bisque” threads border the seats, door and console armrests. All bright trim is changed to Satin Black, and the Mopar Lite Bronze found on the wheels is also featured in the trim accents.
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2013 Fiat has become the sole owner of VM Motori after paying General Motors 34.1 million Euros ($47.1 million) to buy out its stake in the company. A Chrysler spokesman tells Automotive News that the transaction was completed yesterday. VM Motori currently supplies diesel engines for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. VM Motori manufactures approximately 90,000 engines per year for automotive, marine, industrial and other uses. The company employs around 1,150 people. Chrysler executives have said they'll be watching how consumers react to the new diesels and make decision on whether to expand diesels to other models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 30, 2013 Today, Chrysler announced its earnings for 2012 and the results are staggering. The company reported a net income of $1.7 billion, up substantially from minuscule $183 million profit earned in 2011. Chrysler also saw their 4th quarter net income increase from $225 million in 2011 to $378 million in 2012. The massive increases is due to Chrysler's market share increasing to 11.4%. Chrysler also unveiled a updated product plan for all of its brands. The big news is that Chrysler and Dodge have dropped their Fiat-based models. Instead, Fiat will introduce five new models including compact and subcompact cars. Here is the full breakdown: Alfa Romeo: 2013 will hopefully see the arrival of the 4C In 2015, four new models will be arriving. Chrysler: Originally Chrysler was to have three small vehicles built by Fiat in 2013. However those have been cut. New 200 is due out in 2014. Another model will get a refresh. 2015 sees three new models Dodge: Much like Chrysler, Dodge is dropping two Fiat built models. One model will see a refresh this year. Two models will get a refresh in 2014. New models are coming in 2015 and 2016. Fiat: The three Chryslers and two Dodges will become Fiats. Those will be coming in 2015 and 2016. 500L coming sometime this year Jeep: 2013 will see new Liberty/Cherokee 2014 is the new subcompact model based on a Fiat platform 2015 sees two new models. One of them is expected to be a new seven-seat Grand Wagoneer 2016 will see two models be refreshed Ram: Ram ProMaster (Sprinter replacement) due out sometime in 2013. 2014 will see the Ram van based on the Fiat Doblo 2016 will see two new Rams SRT: 2014 will see the 300, Charger, and Challenger get a refresh. 2015 is the Viper refresh. A new model is expected to join in 2016. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Reports Full-year 2012 Net Income of $1.7 Billion Full-year Modified Operating Profit Totaled $2.9 Billion, Up 47 Percent, and Free Cash Flow Was $2.2 Billion Chrysler Group LLC’s full-year 2012 net income improved more than eight-fold to $1.7 billion, from $183 million a year ago Net revenue for the year was $65.8 billion, up 20 percent from $55.0 billion a year ago; fourth-quarter revenue was up 13 percent to $17.2 billion Modified Operating Profit(b) improved to $2.9 billion for the year, up 47 percent from the prior year; fourth-quarter Modified Operating Profit was up 40 percent to $711 million Cash(d) at year’s end was $11.6 billion compared with $9.6 billion a year ago and $11.9 billion at Sept. 30, 2012; Free Cash Flow(e) for the year was $2.2 billion compared with $1.9 billion a year ago Net Industrial Debt(f) was $1.0 billion at Dec. 31, 2012, an improvement of $1.9 billion from a year ago Worldwide vehicle shipments were 2.4 million for the year, up 20 percent from 2.0 million a year ago; fourth-quarter shipments were 613,000 Worldwide vehicle sales for the full year 2012 totaled 2.2 million, up 18 percent from a year ago; fourth-quarter sales were 533,000 January 30, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported preliminary net income of $1.7 billion for the full year 2012, up from net income of $183 million a year ago, exceeding the guidance provided earlier in the year. Full-year 2011 Adjusted Net Income(a) was $734 million, after adjusting for the $551 million loss on extinguishment of debt recognized in the second quarter of 2011. “While we are pleased to have achieved strong financial results in 2012, the enterprise we are crafting is not complete,” Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne said. “The goals we’ve set for the year ahead reflect a common desire by everyone from leadership to the shop floor to succeed and sustain the power of the house we are building. Our aim is meaningful, but it is not complicated, and only a preoccupation with quality can achieve it. We pause for a moment to enjoy our accomplishments, but we will not stop. Our continued achievement relies upon maintaining a humble spirit and an intense focus on the integrity of our work. And so we press on.” For the fourth quarter, net income was $378 million on revenue of $17.2 billion, up 68 percent from $225 million a year earlier. For the year, the Company reported revenue of $65.8 billion, an increase of 20 percent from a year ago, primarily due to higher vehicle shipments. Modified Operating Profit was $2.9 billion for the year, or 4.4 percent of revenue, up 47 percent from $2.0 billion reported in the prior year. The increase resulted from continuing strong sales and pricing, partially offset by an increase in the proportion of sales from passenger cars, including the Dodge Dart and Fiat 500, versus trucks and SUVs; increased research-and-development costs for future models; and increased spending on advertising. Modified Operating Profit for the quarter was $711 million, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. Modified EBITDA© was $5.5 billion for the year, or 8.3 percent of net revenue, an increase of 15 percent from the prior year. For the fourth quarter, Modified EBITDA was $1.3 billion.
  21. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 30, 2013 When Jeep introduces the new Liberty SUV at the New York Auto Show later in March, it might be wearing a new nameplate. “There are clearly only two options for the name of this vehicle: It’s either going to be Cherokee or it’s going to be Liberty. We are going to make that decision in the very near future. Both of them are historical names, Cherokee more so than Liberty,” said Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley. The Liberty replaced the Cherokee in 2002 and has been struggling for sales during its lifespan. Outside of North America, Jeep has left the Cherokee nameplate. Also coming from Jeep is a new subcompact SUV coming within the next two years. The subcompact model would be based on the Fiat Panda and replace the Compass and Patriot models. Manley says the vehicle will be "a Jeep with Jeep DNA.” Source: Wards Auto William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 Today at the L.A. Auto Show, Fiat is showing a trio of new 500 models coming soon. The three are the 500e, 500C Abarth, and the new 500L. We'll start with the 500e. Fiat released a teaser picture and some information last week and now we have some more information on the electric model. The 500e drops the 1.4L inline-four for a electric motor that produces 111 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque. A 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is located in the car’s floor and gives the 500e a estimated range of 85 miles. Charging a fully depleted battery takes around 24 hours on 120V charger or under 4 hours with a 240V Level 2 charger. The 500e weighs about 600 lbs more than the regular 500 due to the battery. To compensate, Fiat revised the suspension by increasing the spring rates and giving the 500e specific front struts and rear shocks. These changes help give the 500e a better weight distribution than the normal 500 (57/43 for the 500e, 64/36 for the 500). As for the exterior, Fiat made some changes which include perforated (Fiat calls it "dot matrix") front fascia and side sills, re-sculpted mirror caps and rear spoiler, bellypans underneath the car, and 15-inch wheels with flush faces. This helps the 500e get a 13% improvement in aero and a decrease in coefficient of drag from .36 to .31. Also, Fiat will offer a e-Sport Package which brings forth tinted headlights and taillights, orange mirror caps and side stripes, and black-painted aluminum wheels with orange accents. The 500e's cabin is almost the same as a normal 500 except for the push-button transmission and a 7-inch color screen that displays driving range, vehicle speed and battery level, among other information points that takes the place of the analog gauges. Fiat will offer applications for iPhone and Android phones that give owners the ability to remotely monitor and control the charging process, find charging stations. and change the cabin’s temperature. The new 500e arrives sometime in the second quarter of 2013 for California only. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2, Second 500 Model on Page 3 2013 Fiat 500e DESIGN • All-new Fiat 500e pushes its iconic Italian design forward with its wind-tunnel-sculpted shape and purposeful electric vehicle (EV) cues for a cutting-edge look • Inside, 2013 Fiat 500e blends retro-futuristic design with unique EV technological elements for an environment that fuses simplicity with innovation • Inspired by 1960s Italian furniture and print design, the graphical dot-matrix, circular-gradient pattern is reinterpreted to provide the Fiat 500e with a state-of-the-art look • Segment exclusive e-Sport Package features a blacked-out exterior and interior appearance with contrasting Electrico Arancione (Electric Orange) accents for a high-voltage look With its iconic proportions, wind-tunnel-sculpted Italian curves and graphically enhanced design elements, the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e redefines electric vehicle (EV) styling while adding to the Cinquecento's global reputation of automotive efficiency for more than 55 years. And with the available e-Sport Package, the Fiat 500e adds a more aggressive blacked-out appearance that hints at its athletic character. "Designers are always anticipating what the future could look like, and for the all-new Fiat 500e, we went back and looked at contemporary design themes that surfaced around the time of the historic Cinquecento," said Roberto Giolito, Head of FIAT Style. "With its dot-matrix gradient patterns, Electrico Arancione accents and aerodynamically enhanced Cinquecento silhouette, the all-new Fiat 500e takes a retro-futuristic approach to match its advanced propulsion and zero-emission powertrain." Improved aerodynamics via retro-futuristic styling cues harking back to 1960s-era design The all-new 2013 Fiat 500e takes the city-friendly proportions and iconic Cinquecento cues of the Fiat 500 hatchback model further with purposeful aerodynamic treatment and retro-futuristic styled design cues to highlight its environmentally friendly battery-electric capability. For designers and engineers of the Fiat 500e, minimizing drag while keeping the iconic styling of the Cinquecento was of the upmost importance. The recognizable Fiat 500 physiognomy – its "whiskers and logo" face with bi-halogen headlamps and lower park and fog lamps – continue the FIAT brand's familiar DNA. Below, a two-piece front fascia features a uniquely sculpted surface for minimal drag, while providing the necessary airflow inlets to cool the 500e's electrical components. With its lower dot-matrix patterned fascia, the all-new Fiat 500e recalls a futuristic theme that was present during the popularity of the original Cinquecento's birth. For added detail, the fascia insert features projector-beam fog lamps and the "500e" logo. Unique to the Fiat 500e, designers developed wind-tunnel-sculpted front and rear fascias, exterior mirror caps, side sills, and introduced a liftgate mounted aero spoiler extending the vehicle's roofline. All of these elements work to reduce the Fiat 500e's drag coefficient and improve the vehicle's aerodynamic performance. The vertically enhancing side sills also tie in the gradient pattern and "500e" logo from the front fascia. Below, the two-piece rear fascia echos the dot-matrix styled diffuser and "500e" logo featured on the front of this electrified Cinquecento. A Fiat 500e exclusive wheel design features a premium painted Argento (silver) face with Nero (black) finished aero inserts. Unique 15 x 5.5-inch (front) and 15 x 6.5-inch (rear) wheel fitments feature a flush design for optimal aerodynamics. More than 140 hours of wind-tunnel sculpting for a 13 percent aero improvement For the all-new Fiat 500e to achieve a 0.311 coefficient of drag (Cd) (compared to the 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge model's 0.359 Cd), eight exterior refinements were developed in the wind tunnel to enable the 48 count drag reduction. The result of hours of wind-tunnel testing is a design that enables this battery-electric Cinquecento to achieve an additional five miles of range. The 2013 Fiat 500e's eight functional exterior system improvements include: - Front fascia sealing - Aerodynamically optimized front fascia design - Flush profile 15-inch aluminum wheels - Streamlined exterior mirror caps - Under vehicle bellypans - Wind-tunnel-sculpted side sills - Drag reducing rear fascia design - Liftgate-mounted aerodynamic spoiler Three head-turning exterior appearances, including the "high voltage" styled e-Sport Package Keeping with the FIAT brand's tradition of personalization, the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e offers three exciting exterior appearances: Nero - Included with the Fiat 500e's Nero interior environment, this Cinquecento features front and rear lower dot-matrix patterned fascia accents painted in Nero, along with body-color spoiler and mirror caps - Available in Argento, Grigio (gray), Bianco Perla (pearl white) and Nero exterior paint Bianco Perla - With the Fiat 500e's optional Steam (white) interior environment, this Cinquecento features front and rear lower dot-matrix patterned fascia accents, spoiler and mirror caps painted in tri-coat Bianco Perla paint - Available in Argento, Grigio, Bianco Perla, Nero and exclusive Electrico Arancione Perla (Electric Orange Tri-coat paint) - e-Sport Package - Offering customers an EV with an aggressive exterior attitude, the 2013 Fiat 500e with e-Sport Package features the first "blacked-out" styled EV in the segment. Paired with the Nero interior environment, this Cinquecento includes front and rear lower dot-matrix patterned fascia accents painted in Nero, headlamp, park lamp and tail lamp surrounds in Nero, uniquely finished cast-aluminum wheels painted Nero with Electrico Arancione Perla accented inserts, Electrico Arancione Perla mirror caps and gradient-style lower bodyside graphic for a high-voltage look - Available in Argento, Grigio, Bianco Perla and Nero exterior paint Interior environment styled around simplicity and innovation Expanding on the no-nonsense design and high attention to detail found on the Fiat 500, the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e features a retro-futuristic interior environment in Steam or Nero with Electric Orange accents and unique EV technology elements for an environment that ties in to its high-tech propulsion system. Communicating that this battery-electric Cinquecento is fun-to-drive, a Steam or Nero thick-rim steering wheel features a unique Electric Orange leather inner accent. For easier operation, and to keep the driver's eyes on the road ahead, the steering wheel includes cruise, audio and BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology controls. Behind the steering wheel, an all-new 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) display provides increased functionality with more attractive and intuitively delivered information of the power gauge, driving range and state of charge. In addition, the new Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) utilizes its full-color capabilities with the use of picture graphics to illustrate vehicle functions including a trip computer, tire-pressure monitoring and vehicle status messaging system. Integrating a convenient and portable vehicle navigation solution, the available TomTom navigation pairs with the Fiat 500e's standard BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology and features a 4.3-inch touchscreen display mounted on top of the instrument panel. Below its instrument panel bezel, the 2013 Fiat 500e includes an all-new electronic shifter with easy-to-use, push-button transmission mode selection. The 2013 Fiat 500e also includes leatherette seating in corresponding Steam or Nero that ties in the dot-matrix pattern through a two-layer cloth design with accented Nero or Bianco showing through the gradient. For added style, both Steam- and Nero-colored seats feature an Electric Orange accent on the seat cushion and are stitched together in the high-voltage accent color. Unique to the Steam seats are head restraints and door arm rests in Electric Orange, while a two-tone Bianco/Nero door design adds even more design character to the Fiat 500e. Thanks to careful analysis of the interior space, designers of the Fiat 500e made an amazingly roomy and capable cabin within its city-friendly size. With built-in storage spaces, including two in the instrument panel, map pockets in the door panels and another below the center console's shifter bezel, this high-tech Cinquecento can quickly and conveniently store mobile devices and travel gear. MARKETING - All-new 2013 Fiat 500e builds on the Cinquecento legacy of city-friendly, environmentally responsible and fun-to-drive small cars - Fiat 500e is designed to keep electric vehicle (EV) ownership simple with its familiar no-nonsense design, convenience features and intelligently integrated approach to battery-electric propulsion - More than 80 miles of estimated range, with city driving range typically greater than 100 miles - e-Sport Package adds athletic style to the Fiat 500e's handling capabilities with a blacked-out exterior and contrasting Electrico Arancione Perla (Electric Orange Tri-coat) accents With its iconic style, world-class dynamics and environmentally responsible zero-emissions design, the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e builds on the Cinquecento legacy, while offering customers a no-compromise electric vehicle (EV) that embodies the FIAT brand's simple, purposeful and fun-to-drive values. "The all-new Fiat 500e expands our Cinquecento lineup with its electrified personality and simplified approach to electric vehicles, illustrating yet again how our Italian icon is, and always will be, the right car at the right time," said Matt Davis, Head of FIAT Brand product marketing, Chrysler Group LLC. "And with its battery-electric powertrain, innovative technology features and zero emissions, the new Fiat 500e exemplifies the FIAT brand's commitment to environmentally responsible design." Keeping EV ownership simple During the development of the all-new Fiat 500e, designers and engineers ensured that the electrified Cinquecento would not compromise on the brand's core values: simple, purposeful and fun. The result, the best of the Fiat 500's familiar no-nonsense design and engaging dynamics – plus an intelligently integrated approach to electric propulsion and innovative connectivity features. Loaded with standard technologies and convenience features The 2013 Fiat 500e takes an "all-in" approach to technology, convenience features and purposeful styling appointments. Standard equipment on the Fiat 500e includes: Innovative technologies - More than 80 miles of estimated range, with city driving range typically greater than 100 miles - 111 horsepower (83 kW) electric-drive motor - Less than 4 hour charge time with Level 2 (240 volt) on-board charging module (OBCM) - 24 kWh hour liquid-cooled/heated lithium-ion battery - Power inverter module (PIM) for DC-to-AC and DC-to-DC - Push-button e-shift transmission - Regenerative brake system - 15-inch Firestone Firehawk GT low-rolling-resistance tires - LED-illuminated state-of-charge indicator visible through windshield - 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument cluster with Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC): Power gauge with real-time feedback, Primary speedometer and trip computer, State-of-charge indication - Fiat 500e Smartphone App (compatible with iPhone or Android): Vehicle status, Manage charging and preconditioning (remote start and charge now), Driver's energy consumption tracking, GPS enabled route planning, location of nearby charging stations and ability to send destination to car, Text-messaging alerts, Includes 3 years of connected services - TomTom Navigation with voice activated commands, EV friendly route planning, power meters and battery driving-range indicators Comfort and convenience - Premium heated (front) leatherette/cloth seats - BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology with USB and iPod control - SiriusXM Radio (with one-year subscription) - Alpine premium audio system with six speakers and 276-watt amplifier - Automatic climate control - Leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls - Power windows, door locks, mirrors and locking charge port door - Auto-dimming rear-view mirror - Cargo compartment organizer with covered load floor to accommodate charge cord and tire-inflator kit Safety and security - Seven airbags - Advanced multistage driver and front-passenger - Front and rear side-curtain - Driver inflatable knee air bag - Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side air bags (pelvic-thorax) - Bi-halogen headlamps - Daytime running lamps (DRL) - Audible pedestrian warning system - Active head restraints - ParkSense rear park assist - Electronic stability control (ESC) e-Sport Package: an EV with athletic attitude Adding a menacing look to the 2013 Fiat 500e, the segment's first e-Sport Package rewrites the EV rule book, offering the most fun-to-drive EV with an athletic and aggressive personality. "We started with a no-compromise approach, designing the Fiat 500e to appeal to customers looking for a gasoline- and emissions-free alternative, while embracing the dynamic Cinquecento qualities our driving enthusiasts enjoy," added Matt Davis. "Like the dual personalities we offer with our Fiat 500 and Fiat 500 Abarth model range, the all-new Fiat 500e with e-Sport Package illustrates our brand's athletic attitude paired with highly capable handling to deliver a bold and exciting entry into the EV segment." The e-Sport Package includes blacked-out headlamp, park lamp and tail lamp surrounds in Nero (black), staggered 15-inch aluminum wheels in Nero with Electrico Arancione Perla (Electric Orange Tri-coat paint) accents and bodyside graphic and matching mirror caps. ENGINEERING/CHASSIS - World-class handling for an electric vehicle (EV), thanks to the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e's unique chassis hardware and specific suspension tuning - World-class braking provided by larger vented front-disc brakes and a high efficiency energy-regenerating system. Heat energy typically lost during braking is instead converted to electricity to recharge the battery - Strategically located battery pack improves this electrified Cinquecento's front-to-rear balance - Fiat 500e features a quieter interior thanks to 12 product-specific improvements to reduce noise in the cabin while driving - Redesigned body structure delivers a 10 percent improvement in bending stiffness, while accommodating the powerful 97-cell lithium-ion battery pack Rather than compromising the essence of a fun-to-drive icon, the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e was engineered to deliver world-class electric vehicle (EV) handling and braking performance, while further solidifying the engaging European driving dynamics the FIAT brand and Cinquecento are known for. Upgraded chassis with an emphasis on handling The all-new 2013 Fiat 500e features a specially engineered suspension tailored for its EV architecture and capable of highly engaging dynamics in an electric vehicle. The suspension of the Fiat 500e is re-engineered with new increased spring rates and unique front-strut and rear-shock tuning, for optimum ride comfort and body control, fully retaining the fun-to-drive character that the Fiat 500 is already known for. In addition, Fiat 500e's 15 x 5.5-inch (front) and 15 x 6.5-inch (rear) aluminum wheels add stability at high speeds. The 2013 Fiat 500e features a 16.3:1 steering-gear ratio to enhance responsiveness, maneuverability and performance feel. In addition, this electrified Cinquecento features a uniquely tuned electronic power steering (EPS) calibration for increased steering response and feedback. In addition, the Fiat 500e's EPS system is designed to compensate for temporary road crown and crosswind situations where there is a constant push of the car to one side or another, assisting the driver to not have to drive against such a condition. Energy-regenerating disc brakes The all-new Fiat 500e features 2.1-inch (54 mm) diameter single-piston front-brake calipers with larger 11.1-inch (284 mm) (up from 10.1-inch; 257 mm) diameter ventilated rotors for additional braking surface and heat dissipation. The 9.4-inch (240 mm) rear disc-brake system also features single-piston brake calipers. Taking advantage whenever the driver slows, the Fiat 500e's regenerative braking system converts kinetic energy to electricity, while helping to provide additional range by charging the lithium-ion battery. In addition, the Fiat 500e provides the driver with the traditional "connected" feel of an internal combustion vehicle when coasting. Tying it altogether is the Fiat 500e's regenerative braking controller (RBC) that receives the driver's brake-pedal input and determines the total amount of brake power requested. Depending on input levels, the RBC is able to adjust the level of friction and regenerative braking instantly. The Fiat 500e features a four-channel electronic stability control (ESC) system that monitors the speed of each wheel individually. The four-channel system allows individual wheel braking for superior control and provides backup braking in the unlikely event that one of the two braking circuits would fail. The anti-lock brake (ABS) software uses a steering wheel angle sensor that allows the system to differentiate between straight-line braking and braking in a turn, resulting in better straight-line braking with minimal yaw. ESC helps maximize driver control in all conditions by combining both engine torque and brake control to regulate wheel spin at all driving speeds. When the system senses impending wheel slip during acceleration, it signals the throttle control to reduce drive wheel torque. Under extreme situations, such as going from pavement to ice during acceleration, the system will selectively apply the brakes to maintain control. An ESC button on the center stack allows the driver to partially turn off the system. Other features in the Fiat 500e's ESC system include: - Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) - Electronic rollover mitigation (ERM) - Hill-start Assist (HSA) - Brake Assist Fiat 500e provides a quieter interior With 2013 Fiat 500e's electric powertrain, and redesigned body structure, engineers took the opportunity to develop an all-new noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) package to improve interior quietness. In addition to the reduction in wind noise gained through the Fiat 500e's eight exterior aero dynamic improvements, this electrified Cinquecento includes 12 product-specific improvements aiding in the vehicle's reduction in interior cabin noise while driving. These NVH improvements include: - Additional mastic patches on floor - Additional sound-deadening material in rear quarter body cavity - Additional acoustic pads to wheelhouse liners - New gasket between the mirror flag and door - New mirror flag and B-pillar applique foam seals - Additional 8 mm acoustic pad to rear floor behind rear seats - New antenna with strakes - New carpet mass layer - New noise absorption pads in front doors - New isolated engine torque mount - Improved door glass belt and channel sealing - New acoustic windshield glass Redesigned body structure adds rigidity and improved weight distribution A new lower-body structure design provides packaging and protection for the 2013 Fiat 500e's battery, while delivering a 10 percent improvement in bending stiffness. With extensive use of advanced steels, composites and advanced computer-impact simulations, the Fiat 500e's redesigned architecture delivers world-class torsional stiffness for optimum control of body geometry, while accommodating its powerful 97-cell lithium ion battery. Engineers ensured that the revised underbody's design was minimally intrusive to interior space, while providing a tighter and stiffer feel, with an added sense of confidence and control during higher speed maneuvers. In addition, the design change from internal combustion to battery-electric enabled the Fiat 500e to repackage its weight for a 57/43 (compared to Fiat 500's 64/36) front-to-rear weight distribution to improve handling performance. Powertrain - All-new Fiat 500e delivers an estimated 116 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city and 100 MPGe highway battery-only electric power and zero emissions from a single charge - More than 80 miles of driving range on a single charge (estimated) - No-compromise performance from 111 horsepower (83 kW) motor - Unique "creep" feature mirrors conventional powertrains - Distinctive push-button shifter The 2013 Fiat 500e has driving enjoyment and environmental stewardship all buttoned up Unshackled by a performance-draining "eco-button," the likes of which found on competitive vehicles, the stylish all-new, all-electric hatchback delivers an estimated 116 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city and 100 MPGe highway (186 and 160 km) of worry-free driving. As Chrysler Group LLC's first road-going retail electric vehicle, the Fiat 500e forgoes the addition of an "Eco" button. Eco-buttons deaden throttle-response in exchange for marginal range improvement. In deference to the driver, the Fiat 500e holds nothing back "Our objective was to make the full potential and excitement of the e-powertrain immediately available and apparent to 500e customers," says Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine and Electrified Propulsion Engineering - Chrysler Group LLC. FIAT 500e buyers, empowerment starts with a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery that energizes a 111 horsepower (83 kW), permanent-magnet, three-phase synchronous drive-motor. Dubbed "e-Drive" and showcased by a studded, logo-adorned "engine cover," it generates 147 lb.-ft. (200 N•m) of peak torque – all of which is available at tip-in. Protected by a four-year warranty, its behavior – relative to conventional powertrains – is pleasingly familiar. Other EVs are benign and lifeless until the accelerator is pressed. In keeping with its sporty, fun-to-drive character, the Fiat 500e incorporates a "creep" feature, which launches the car smoothly and assuredly as soon as its brake pedal is released, just like a vehicle powered by an idling engine. The Fiat 500e also affords fingertip-control of its emissions-free driveline. A distinctive array of center-stack-mounted push buttons replaces the conventional shifter and connects the driver with the car's smooth-running, single-speed gearbox. 2 / FIAT 500e POWERTRAIN media.chrysler.com Park is enabled by a unique parking mechanism. Powered by an electric motor attached to the single-speed gearbox, the Fiat 500e's e-Park prawl is activated when the driver pushes the park button. This locks the gearbox in park mode, preventing movement. The Fiat 500e's gearbox shines brightest when the car is taken out of park. Its robust design enables increased torque output while allowing for lower motor input speeds, an attribute that conserves battery energy and extends range. Further benefiting the refinement, the single-speed gearbox helps maintain the correct installed axle-shaft angles of the driveline. Other enablers of the Fiat 500e's top-flight performance are the lithium-ion battery pack and power inverter module (PIM). The high-voltage battery is housed in the floor of the 500e. It serves both the eDrive motor and vehicle systems, such as HVAC and other electrical accessories tied to the 12-volt battery. Comprising 97 individual cells, the battery features a power-management system designed to monitor and adjust current, cell voltage and operating temperature – conditions that are critical to safety and life expectancy. A stout capacity to handle charge/discharge cycles is backed by an eight-year warranty, which covers the entire battery. The battery's thermal-management system maintains optimal operating temperatures, which maximizes driving range and minimizes recharging times – less than 4 hours with its Level 2 (240-volt) on-board charging module (OBCM) and 24 hours via Level 1 (120-volt) when fully depleted. The system supplements passive cooling by circulating through the high-voltage battery a blend of ethylene glycol and corrosion inhibitors. This ensures consistent cell-to-cell temperature and boosts battery life. Passive cooling occurs via the brazed aluminum radiator, which removes heat from the coolant as air enters the front of the vehicle. The radiator also provides cooling benefits for the eDrive motor and the all-important PIM. Subject to accelerator-pedal inputs, the PIM regulates the amount of voltage sent to the eDrive. It does so by converting the battery's direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which powers the drive-motor. In addition, it features an auxiliary power module, which reduces the battery's high-voltage output to 12 volts to support the standard vehicle electrical system. Complementing the familiar feel of the Fiat 500e's "creep" feature, the PIM controls the eDrive and delivers the kind of accelerator-pedal feedback drivers experience with finely tuned conventional powertrains. Apply the accelerator and the car surges; release it and experience a corresponding deceleration. Apply the brakes and the PIM also plays a role. True to the Fiat 500e's mission, the PIM increases efficiency by using the eDrive to assist with braking. It's a strategy that neatly accommodates regenerative braking, simultaneously boosting the battery while reducing brake wear. TECHNOLOGY The all-new 2013 Fiat 500e does more than inspire. It engages. The Fiat 500e's advanced technologies allow customers to connect with the vehicle, the outside world and themselves. Screen gem The Fiat 500e's all-new 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument cluster display delivers the one thing we crave most in today's chaotic, mind-cluttering culture. Such advancement accommodates crisper graphics, which are critical to the kind of instant recognition drivers need to maintain proper focus on the task at hand. On entry, the driver is greeted by a "welcome screen" that features an image of a Fiat 500e. The integrated Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) also displays data such as estimated time to fully recharge. If an attempt is made to start the vehicle while it is plugged in, the cluster will alert the driver accordingly. Large digital readouts indicating speed and range are ringed by dynamic gauges that give real-time feedback on state-of-charge and driving style. Odometer, time, date, gear-selection and driving mode also are showcased. Layered in and around the display are familiar vehicle indicators critical to safe vehicle operation, from restraint-system and tire-pressure warning lights, to status of the Fiat 500e's electronic stability control (ESC) system. Easy-to-reach buttons on the instrument panel and turn-signal stalk provide convenient access to additional information, such as average speed, average energy consumption and travel distance. Go with the flow The Fiat 500e's TomTom Navigation system is explicitly designed to highlight the car's unique features. The removable, dash-mounted display shares the chic look of the TomTom Navigation systems in other Fiat models. It has a touchscreen, but also responds to voice commands. It offers up-to-the-minute access to traffic and weather information and its maps are dotted with more than 7 million points of interest. A free PIN-protected app downloaded from the FIAT owner's website makes trip-planning more convenient. Users can send destinations from their mobile devices directly to the Fiat 500e's TomTom navigation system. The system will then calculate routes and visually indicate whether the destinations are in range. Charge station locations and their real-time availability also are displayed. The system further distinguishes itself with its capacity to deliver vehicle-status information. Energy management is made easy with digital "flow gauges" that track demands on the car's battery. Monitored systems range from the drive motor to climate-control, while low-charge and Safety & Security At FIAT brand, safety is a priority, and this objective has enabled the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e to fuse active and passive safety technologies together, providing piece of mind and driving confidence for today's conscientious consumers. Seven standard air bags and reactive head restraints The all-new 2013 Fiat 500e features optimized protection for its passengers. It's seven standard air bags include: driver and front-passenger advanced multistage air bags, driver's knee air bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, all to offer enhanced occupant protection to all occupants in the event of a collision. Reactive head restraints, which activate during a rear impact, are another innovation designed to minimize injuries by reducing the gap between the head restraint and the passenger's head. Electronic stability control (ESC) The Fiat 500e features standard electronic stability control (ESC) for improved handling stability as well as improved braking in inclement weather or panic conditions. Behind the scenes, the ESC system is ready to intervene by integrating key chassis control systems including electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction control systems (TCS) to control all four wheels in response to yaw and steering input. In effect, ESC determines the driver's intentions and adjusts the vehicle's dynamic forces to maintain the driver's intended course. Should the driver exceed the performance limits of the road surface - such that the vehicle starts to oversteer or understeer - ESC instantly analyzes input from the wheel sensors and corrects the pending loss of control by applying any one, several or all of the system's brakes. More than 35 available safety and security features The following is a list of the 2013 Fiat 500e's more than 35 available safety and security features, which include: 1. Active turn signals: Turn signal flashes three times when stalk is depressed for 1 second to indicate a lane change (standard) 2. Advanced multistage air bags: Inflates with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact. In addition, Fiat 500e's unique driver's air bag design includes tethers to shape the air bag. The passenger airbag has a unique air bag venting system, allowing one vent of the air bag to remain open while the air bag is fully inflating. A secondary vent is actuated as the passenger contacts the air bag at the end of a crash event, offering protection of passengers of all sizes 3. All-speed traction control: Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning during acceleration from a stop or during all speeds by applying individual brakes alone or in combination with engine torque limitation to prevent wheel slip 4. Anti-lock brake system (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions (standard) 5. Auto-dimming rearview mirror: Detects and reduces glare from rearward headlamps without driver intervention (standard) 6. BeltAlert: Activates a chime and/or illuminates an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to buckle up if the Fiat 500e is driven without belted front-seat occupants (standard) 7. Bi-halogen projector headlamps: Provides wider, more focused light spread and improves forward visibility at night (standard) 8. BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology: Provides an in-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows the driver to operate a Bluetooth compatible phone while keeping his or her hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Using a series of voice commands, the driver can place phone calls, access the phone's address book or listen to MP3s (standard) 9. Brake Assist: In an emergency brake situation, the system applies maximum braking power, minimizing the stopping distance (standard) 10. Brake Override: When a disagreement exists between the throttle and the brake, the brake signal causes the engine controller to reduce engine power, allowing the operator to stop the Fiat 500e (standard) 11. Brake/Park interlock: Prevents a Fiat 500e from being shifted out of Park unless the brake pedal is applied (standard) 12. Brake-traction control system (BTCS): Helps to keep driving wheels from spinning during acceleration from a stop or during slow speeds by applying individual brakes to the slipping wheel(s) (standard) 13. Child seat anchor system: LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) is designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats (standard) 14. Constant-force Retractors (CFR): Regulates the force exerted on the occupant by the seat belt and then gradually releases seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner. The system features a digressive load limiter for the driver and adaptive load limiter for the front-passenger (standard) 15. Crumple zones: Designed to deform during an accident in order to absorb energy from an impact which decreases transfer of that energy to occupants (standard) 16. Daytime running lamps (DRL): Provides additional forward illumination for improved vehicle awareness (standard) 17. Electronic stability control (ESC): Enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. Provides the benefit in critical driving situations, such as turns, and is valuable when driving on mixed-surface conditions, including snow, ice or gravel. If there is a discernible difference between driver input through the steering wheel and the Fiat 500e's path, ESC applies selective braking and throttle input to guide the vehicle back on to the driver's intended path (standard) 18. Energy management system: Three front load paths designed from high-strength steel manage vehicle crush and minimize cabin intrusion (standard) 19. Express down windows: One-touch powered express down window button located on the center console (standard) 20. Full-length side-curtain air bags: Extends protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers. Each side air bag has its own impact sensors that autonomously trigger the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. This type of air bag is housed in the headliner just above the side windows (standard) 21. Head restraints: Includes all seating positions (standard) 22. Hill-start Assist (HSA): Assists drivers when starting a vehicle from a stop on a hill by maintaining the level of brake pressure applied for a short period of time after a driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal If throttle is not applied within a short period of time after the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal, brake pressure will be released (standard) 23. Knee air bag (driver's side): Located below the instrument panel, air bag deploys when the driver's air bag deploys and is designed to properly position the occupant during impact and offer additional lower leg protection (standard) 24. Occupant restraint controller (ORC): Detects an impact and determines whether a crash is severe enough to trigger air bag deployment and whether the primary or secondary stage inflation is sufficient. In addition the controller detects side impacts and determines whether the rail-curtain and side seat-mounted (pelvic-thorax protection) airbags should deploy. Engagement of front seat belt pretensioners are also managed through the controller (standard) 25. ParkSense rear park assist system: Assists at low speeds in reverse to detect stationary objects. Consists of audible warnings for the driver (standard) 26. Reactive head restraints: Activates in the event of a rear collision. Restraints are designed to reduce injuries by minimizing the gap between the driver and front-passenger head restraint and the passenger's head (standard) 27. Remote keyless entry: Locks and unlocks doors and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with the optional security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system (standard) 28. Safety cage body structure: Protects occupants by managing and controlling energy in the event of an impact (standard) 29. Seat belt pretensioners: During a collision, impact sensors initiate front seat belt pretensioners to remove slack in the seat belt system, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupant's head and torso (standard) 30. Sentry Key engine immobilizer: Uses a key fob that has an embedded transponder with a preprogrammed security code to shut off the engine after a few seconds and discourage vehicle theft (standard) 31. Seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags: Provide enhanced protection to the driver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts. Each side air bag has its own impact sensors that autonomously trigger the air bag on the side where an impact occurs. Standard side air bags are housed within the outboard side of each front seat (standard) 32. Side-curtain air bags: Provide enhanced protection to all outboard occupants (standard) 33. Side-guard door beams: Provide occupant protection during a side impact (standard) 34. Supplemental turn signals: Located on the front fenders, the turn signals provide better notification to other drivers that the driver is about to make a turn or lane change (standard) 35. Three-point seat belts: Front seating positions and all rear seating positions have lap and shoulder belts (standard) 36. Tilt steering column: Allows steering column to achieve a safe and comfortable driving position (standard) 37. Tire-pressure monitoring (TPM): Informs driver when tire pressure is too low. Pressure-sensor modules within the valve stems of all four road wheels send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver and the system. Individual tire pressure can be displayed in the EVIC (standard) 38. TomTom Navigation: This innovative navigation system features real-time traffic, real-time weather updates and more than 7 million points of interests (standard) 39. Vehicle theft security alarm: Deters vandalism and theft, frequently lowering insurance premiums. System protects the vehicle from theft by monitoring door-ajar switches and the ignition circuit for unauthorized entry (standard) Model number two in the 500 trio is the 2013 500C Abarth. This comes with the same 1.4L MultiAir good for 160 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque in standard mode and 170 lb-ft in sport mode. A five-speed manual is your only transmission choice. 0-60 takes around seven seconds. This being the 500C Abarth, it trades in its hardtop for a folding canvas roof. The roof can lowered all the way at up to 50 MPH, and will slide back to the rear spoiler at up to 60 MPH. Other changes to the 500C Abarth include a reworked suspension with stiffer springs, larger half shafts and CV joints, quicker steering ratio, larger brakes, a three-setting ESC, and optional 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the 500C Abarth is swathe in black leather, new front seats, and a Beats by Dr. Dre audio system, which includes six speakers and a subwoofer. The 500C Abarth arrives at Fiat Studios in the first quarter of 2013. Press Release is on Page 4, Third 500 Model on Page 5 New 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth: The Ultimate High-performance Italian Small Car Adds Open-air Driving Excitement - New Fiat 500 Cabrio (500c) Abarth combines turbocharged, track-capable performance with a clever open-top design for a high-performance four-passenger cabrio with the most interior space, rear-seat legroom and shoulder room among key competitors - Turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine provides the Fiat 500c Abarth with 160 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque, and is mated to a track-proven five-speed manual transmission - Abarth-tuned performance hardware delivers world-class ride and track-ready durability with a lowered ride height, beefier suspension, larger brakes and wider tires - Fiat 500c Abarth builds on the Abarth brand's tradition of exterior and interior design enhancements added only for performance gain - Fiat 500c Abarth includes a segment-exclusive full-day Abarth Driving Experience and arrives to FIAT Studios in the first-quarter of 2013 The Fiat 500 Abarth brought world-class performance and precision, purposeful and aggressive styling, high power-to-weight ratio and limited-production volume to North American driving enthusiasts in 2012. Adding even more excitement to Karl Abarth's line of "small but wicked" cars, the new 2013 Fiat 500 Cabrio (500c) Abarth harks back to his open-air track cars of the 1960s, while delivering the most visceral experience of any modern Cinquecento to date. "The new Fiat 500c Abarth delivers the wicked attitude and track-proven capabilities of the hatchback model, now with the rush of open-air Italian performance," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand for North America - Chrysler Group LLC. "And with the push of a button our new turbocharged cabrio can unleash that added sense of freedom, while offering one of the most respected soundtracks of all-time, the rasp from its signature Abarth-tuned dual exhausts." Open-air freedom with an intelligent power cloth top and rigid structural design With the Fiat 500 Abarth's high-performance DNA intact, the new 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth is engineered with the same track-proven attributes that have made the hatchback model a success on European and North American roadways and racetracks, but now brings even more fresh air and the unmistakable Abarth-tuned exhaust note into the cabin. With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500c Abarth's power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to a best-in-class 60 mph (a midway point can be chosen by pressing the button anytime in between). Press the roof button again, and the roof will neatly fold all the way open and tuck neatly behind the rear head restraints (up to 50 mph). The power operated cloth top is also intelligently designed. For access to the Fiat 500c Abarth's trunk, premium "parallelogram" liftgate hinges conveniently position the liftgate out of the way, while the power-operated cloth top automatically retracts back to the rear-spoiler position to avoid any obstruction. In addition to its cleverly designed multi-position power-retractable cloth top, the Fiat 500c Abarth's fully stamped body-side silhouette retains the iconic Cinquecento form while delivering added structural strength and 70 percent less header shake than key competitors. In addition, its longer windshield and minimized header design maximize rear-seated passengers' outward visibility, while minimizing cabin turbulence. "Abarth treatment" and tradition continue to deliver extraordinary results In the late 1950s, Karl Abarth believed that race cars with brilliant performance could be derived from small, lightweight, everyday driving cars - including the original Cinquecento (500). And his tradition of track-ready small cars continues today by utilizing the high-performance 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth as a base point for the new cloth-top Fiat 500c Abarth. Staying faithful to the performance principles that made the Abarth name a success, the 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth continues the brand's motorsport traditions, including: • Everyday performance car: Track-ready capability, high horsepower-per-liter engine, combined with the quality, efficiency and refinement expected in a world-class small car • Competitive: Benchmark levels of performance, track-proven reliability and durability • Aggressive: Purposeful and functional performance design, Abarth-tuned powertrain control module (PCM) and performance-tuned exhaust with menacing sound • Attainable: State-of-the-art powertrain and chassis technology once limited to premium-priced performance cars • Racing heritage: More than 60 years of performance and competition tuning, including active international series races today 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine with 117 horsepower per liter Like the Fiat 500 Abarth, the new 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth features the track-proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine for 160 horsepower, up to 170 ft.-lb. of torque and 0-to-60 mph performance in the low 7 second range. Compared with the Fiat 500c's naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine, the boost to 160 horsepower on the Fiat 500c Abarth is largely due to its single turbocharger that operates off engine exhaust and utilizes energy that would normally be wasted through the tailpipe. The turbocharger spins up to 230,000 rpm to convert exhaust heat and pressure to a rotational force that drives a compressor. The compressor draws cool air and pumps it into the intake manifold at increased pressure (maximum 18 psi / 1.24 bar) that results in a greater amount of air in the cylinder and, hence, more power. The 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo's induction system includes two intercoolers located behind the driver- and passenger-side air inlets of the Abarth-styled front fascia. The intercoolers are designed to remove heat in the air charge that the turbocharger generates while compressing incoming air (higher air density for more power). Reducing heat provides a cooler, denser air charge that helps increase the potential for more power. Other high-performance engine component upgrades include an Abarth-designed fresh-air intake system with high-flow air filter and smooth-flowing plumbing for maximum power. And to make sure the engine is operating with minimal exhaust gas restriction, an Abarth-designed concentric "double-tip" dual-exhaust system delivers a high-performance look with menacing Abarth-tuned sound. Developed for high-output applications, the Fiat 500c Abarth is equipped with the track-proven C510 five-speed manual transmission. Proven on the European 500 Abarth models, this transmission features a 3.35 final-drive ratio for quick acceleration and faster top speed, while maintaining fuel efficiency. Designed to handle the increased torque loads, the Fiat 500c Abarth's C510 transmission includes an intermediate shaft with equal-length half shafts to mitigate torque steer. Compared with the Fiat 500c, the 500c Abarth features 23 percent larger half shafts (28.1 mm diameter vs. 22.8 mm diameter in the Fiat 500c) for increased strength and to reduce torsional stress in the driveline during performance driving on the road or track. To handle the increased power and torque of the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, larger constant velocity (CV) joints with 53 percent greater torsional strength (2,600 N•m vs. 1,700 N•m in the Fiat 500) deliver added durability and refinement. Track-ready performance hardware For more than fun under the sun, the new 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth is designed, engineered and tested to deliver the high-performance driving and enduring capabilities needed for track use. Like the hatchback, the new 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth features an enhanced front- and rear-suspension design to deliver the precision handling, steering and refinement needed for high-performance driving. Compared to the Fiat 500c, the Fiat 500c Abarth features a unique MacPherson suspension design with 33 percent stiffer front spring rates and 0.6-inch (15 mm) lower ride height (compared to the Fiat 500c) for improved handling and minimal body roll. Abarth-designed cast-iron front lower control arms provide improved lateral stiffness, while an increase in negative camber to -1.5 degrees delivers improved grip and steering precision. In addition, dual-valve frequency selective damping (FSD) KONI twin-tube struts deliver road control and maximum grip, while actively filtering out high-frequency suspension inputs from uneven road surfaces to adjust for comfort and smoothness. The beefier rear-suspension design of the Fiat 500c Abarth takes the Fiat 500c model's (already 300 percent stiffer than the European Fiat 500) twist-beam design further, with a torsionally rigid rear axle designed with strengthened coil-spring supports for greater durability. A 0.87-inch (22 mm) Abarth-specific solid rear stabilizer bar increases cornering grip. For improved handling, minimal body roll and ride-height control (when fully loaded), the new Fiat 500c Abarth features 12 percent stiffer rear springs with 0.6-inch (15 mm) lower ride. For 10 percent quicker steering to enhance responsiveness, maneuverability and high-performance feel, the Fiat 500c Abarth features a 15.1:1 (up from the Fiat 500c's 16.3:1) steering-gear ratio. Compared to the Fiat 500c, the 500c Abarth features a uniquely tuned electronic power steering (EPS) calibration for increased steering response and feedback. In addition, the Fiat 500c Abarth features a road crown and cross wind compensation algorithm, which automatically compensates for temporary situations where there is a constant push of the car to one side or another, assisting the driver against driving during such conditions. The Fiat 500c Abarth features a high-performance brake system with semi-metallic brake linings at all four corners, and larger 11.1-inch ventilated rotors for greater stopping power (up from 10.1-inch). Both front and rear brake calipers are lacquered in Rosso (red) paint for an athletic look. An Abarth-tuned electronic stability control system (ESC) features a three-mode calibration to maximize the Fiat 500c Abarth's handling capabilities on and off the track. When ESC is selected from "On" to "Partial Off" or "Full Off" on the instrument panel, the 500c Abarth's innovative torque transfer control (TTC) system maximizes throttle performance during on-throttle cornering. Standard on the Fiat 500c Abarth are 16 x 6.5-inch cast-aluminum wheels with 195/45 R16 Pirelli Cinturato P7 tires that deliver all-season traction and low-noise characteristics. For even more performance, larger and wider 17 x 7-inch forged-aluminum wheels keep this Cinquecento lightweight at each corner and feature high-performance three-season Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires with a 205/40 R17 size for a wider stance and reduced profile for improved handling. Exterior and interior design enhancements added only for performance gain The aggressive styling of the Fiat 500c Abarth embodies the Abarth brand tradition in full - purposeful and intentional details all designed to improve the car's performance, while enhancing the clean and simple design language of the Cinquecento. To improve aerodynamics and the necessary engine compartment space for the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, the Fiat 500c Abarth's features a more pronounced front fascia. For additional air intake, the signature "Abarth" shield floats on a finned surface and a larger intake below consists of three inlets with broader openings than the Fiat 500c. For a more aggressive look, twin "nostrils" are precisely positioned on the front fascia to maximize airflow in and out of the two engine intercoolers (both intercoolers are visible through the "nostril" inlets). Abarth-designed side skirts give the Fiat 500c Abarth an athletic profile, while 16-inch or optional 17-inch lightweight forged-aluminum wheels fill the flared wheel arches and provide ventilation for the performance brake system. From the rear, an Abarth-designed cloth-top-mounted spoiler extends the roofline and improves the vehicle's aerodynamic behavior by creating additional downforce. Below, the two-piece Abarth-styled rear fascia accentuates the road-holding stance and optimizes airflow output with its rear diffuser. In addition large concentric "double-tip" exhausts provide an exclusive Abarth-tuned sound and look. The interior design theme of the 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth is an artistic blend of clean lines and functional performance appointments. An Abarth-designed steering wheel features a thick rim, perforated leather and flat bottom to provide the look, feel and increased roominess desired during at-the-limit driving. A large concentric instrument cluster with 160-mph speedometer, tachometer and trip computer sits behind the steering wheel, and features a leather-wrapped cluster brow wrapped in Nero (black) leather with Rosso (red) accent stitching. To the left, an analog turbo-boost gauge with integrated LED shift light in the center that illuminates to an instant before redline to optimize gear changes. Below the instrument panel, Abarth-designed aluminum pedal covers feature Nero rubber trim for a decidedly racing look, while the Nero leather shift knob with Rosso accent stitching provides a precise feel of the shifter. Unique Abarth-styled front performance seats feature a one-piece design with large side bolsters, a racing-harness pass through, accent stitching around the perimeter and integrated side-thorax air bags. To highlight that this cabrio has the most interior space, rear-seat legroom and shoulder room among key competitors – the rear passengers' upper seatbacks are raised and bolstered for added back support. New Beats by Dr. Dre audio system adds to Fiat 500c Abarth's innovative technologies New for 2013, the segment-exclusive-and first-time-ever-in-a-cabrio integration of Beats by Dr. Dre audio system offers passengers of the Fiat 500c Abarth a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended. The 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 amplifier with Beats Audio digital sound processing (DSP) algorithm. Abarth-tuned "Sport" mode The Fiat 500c Abarth features a standard-equipped "Sport" mode calibration for more engaging driving. Should the driver select Sport mode on the instrument panel, the Abarth-tuned PCM unleashes the full power of the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo (torque increases from 150 ft.-lb. to 170 ft.-lb.) with linear throttle response and a more performance-weighted steering feel. When Sport mode is not engaged, the Cabrio returns to "Normal" mode and limits the torque in first and second gears to enhance fuel efficiency and minimize CO2 emissions. Abarth shift light with turbo-boost gauge An additional benefit of the Abarth-tuned PCM is the driver's shift light with turbo-boost gauge mounted left of the instrument cluster. Should the driver choose to switch to "Sport" mode, the Fiat 500c Abarth's LED-illuminated shift light flashes as the engine speed approaches the redline - giving the immediate feedback needed on the track or during high-performance driving. BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology is an in-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows the Fiat 500c Abarth driver to operate a Bluetooth-compatible phone while keeping his or her hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Using a series of voice commands, the driver can place phone calls and access the phone's address book. BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology supports most mobile phones with Bluetooth technology. Innovative TomTom navigation With the available TomTom navigation with BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology, the Fiat 500c Abarth integrates an innovative 4.3-inch (10.9 cm) TomTom portable navigation device that docks on top of the instrument panel. With its large touchscreen, simple map displays with available real-time traffic, weather and points of interest, TomTom Navigation with BLUE&ME Handsfree Communication technology is intuitive for the driver to use. And with its direct integration into the Fiat 500 Abarth's interior system, the driver is able to use steering-wheel-mounted controls to make operation even easier. More than 35 safety and security features including Abarth-tuned electronic stability control (ESC) State-of-the-art connectivity and more than 35 safety and security features keep passengers of the 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth connected, comfortable and secure. The Fiat 500c Abarth features seven standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger advanced multistage air bags, driver's knee air bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, all offering enhanced protection to all occupants in the event of a collision. In addition, the Fiat 500c Abarth features a unique three-mode electronic stability control (ESC) system standard for improved braking performance in wet or panic conditions. The Abarth-tuned ESC system features a three-mode calibration including "ESC On" to "ESC Partial Off" and enthusiast-desired "ESC Full Off." Abarth Driving Experience for new owners Included with each 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth is the opportunity for new owners to attend a segment-exclusive driving experience at no additional charge. The Abarth Driving Experience is an entire day of full-throttle training, guided by professional instructors from the Richard Petty Driving Experience to ensure fun and top-level instruction in a safe and structured setting. Rounding out the trio of 500 models is the new 2014 500L. Fiat has shown this model earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, but its the official North American debut. The 500L is about twenty-six inches longer and six inches taller and wider than a normal 500, placing it between a MINI Countryman and Ford Focus. The 500L will come in four different trims: Pop, Easy, Trekking and Lounge. Trekking models come with different front and rear fascias as well as a two-tone interior, bulging fender arches and standard 17-inch alloy wheels which is supposed to offer "rugged styling and versatility". The 500L's cabin will offer Chrysler's Uconnect 5.0 infotainment interface as standard equipment.Trekking models can be had with the 6.5 system and its larger touchscreen. Options include Beats audio, a backup camera, and a optional dual-pane moonroof. Power will come from a 1.4L MultiAir turbo four-cylinder engine producing 160 HP and and 184 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual and a dual-clutch transmission are your transmission choices. The 500L arrives at your local Fiat Studio in mid-2013. Press Release is on Page 6 World premiere of all-new Fiat 500L Trekking and North American debut of all-new Fiat 500L expand the FIAT brand's product lineup and its commitment to innovative cars Leveraging – taking the FIAT brand's DNA, the all-new Fiat 500L expands the appeal of the iconic 500, while adding two more doors plus comfortable accommodations for five passengers Large – a Fiat 500 designed on the new "small-wide" architecture for 26 inches more length, plus 6 inches more in height and width, all to deliver an EPA Large Car size interior with best-in-class headroom and front legroom, adde
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 16, 2012 Fiat has released a few teaser pictures of the new 500e ahead of its official debut at the LA Auto Show. The electric version of the 500 differentiates from the normal 500 by going with a accenting color grille, new wheels and badging, and a push-button drive selector. We'll have more info when the 500e is officially revealed later this month. Source: Fiat William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 31, 2012 Bloomberg is reporting that earlier this month, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne sat down with PSA-Peugeot/Citroen GM earlier this month about creating an alliance that would become the largest automaker in the region. Marchionne's proposal was to have the three companies form an alliance in exchange for stock. Marchionne also had another proposal on the table where Fiat would take Opel off GM's hands if the company was given between $5 to $7 billion in cash for restructuring costs. PSA-Peugeot/Citroen passed on the alliance because it favors its partnership with GM. Also, if PSA-Peugeot/Citroen went ahead with this idea, this would have complicated a $9.1 billion guarantee from the French government. “It’s an indication that it’s getting increasingly difficult, especially for the southern European carmakers. Marchionne seems to be afraid to go under in the wave of joint ventures in Europe,” said Frank Schwope, an analyst with Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale. “Don’t read anything into having a coffee at the bar. There are other things than combinations and mergers that people talk about from time to time,” said Marchionne when asked about this. General Motors and PSA-Peugot/Citroen declined to comment. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  25. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 23, 2012 Back in 1983, American Motors signed an agreement with Beijing Auto Works to build the Jeep Cherokee XJ. Two years after the agreement, Jeep Cherokees would roll off the line in Beijing. The agreement would solider on when Chrysler brought American Motors in the late eighties. Chrysler would end the agreement in 2009. But now, Jeep vehicles could be rolling off the line again in China. According to Bloomberg, Fiat, Chrysler's parent company, is in talks with their Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group, to build Jeeps locally. This could include building Jeep's full lineup. “The volume opportunity for us is very significant. We’re reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity” as well as “should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio,” said Mike Manley, COO of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia and Jeep's president. Manley was quick to say if this was to go ahead, building vehicles in China would only augment production in the U.S., not kill it. Why is Fiat consider building Jeep vehicles overseas? Sales have been rapidly growing overseas, with 117,189 vehicles sold so far this year. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
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