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Fiat Officially Announce Details of the Facelifted Punto Evo


TURIN – August 31, 2009: The Fiat Punto Evo, the evolution of the Grande Punto, will make its debut at the next Frankfurt Motor Show. It aims to repeat the success of its predecessor and become the new pacesetter for innovation, safety and style, thanks to its many innovative features. The epithet “Evo” identifies a level of car design that is capable of satisfying even the most demanding customers in terms of technology, driving pleasure and respect for the environment.


The Punto Evo expresses its technical excellence first and foremost through a wide choice of Euro 5 engines, including a 1.3 second generation Multijet diesel and a 1.4 petrol engine with the revolutionary MultiAir technology developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies and eventually to be incorporated in all Fiat Group engines. Fiat’s innovative and conventional powerplants are also joined by dual-fuel methane and petrol units to create the most complete and ecological range of engines in the segment. With reduced consumption and emissions in mind, the new Punto Evo also offers Start&Stop, the system that switches off and restarts the engine in stop-and-go traffic. Start&Stop is being introduced as standard on all Euro5 petrol and diesel engines. Another system making its first appearance on the Punto Evo is “Blue&Me–TomTom”, the new portable satellite navigation unit that lets you manage telephone, navigation and information functions on a practical colour touch-screen.


In the area of safety, the Punto Evo sets new standards thanks to 7 airbags, including a driver knee airbag. The Punto Evo is one of very few cars in its segment with a driver knee airbag fitted as standard on all versions. Other innovative safety systems are also available, including Hill-Holder to help with hill starts, adaptive 'cornering' front fog lights that switch on automatically with dipped headlights according to the angle of steering, and Fiat’s tried and tested ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) systems.


Finally, the new Punto Evo is even more attractive thanks to the work of Fiat’s Centro Stile. The interiors (fascia, seats and instrumentation) have been completely renewed to become even more prestigious and elegant, and the outside has been given a thoroughly restyled look too. The Fiat Punto Evo goes on sale in the second half of October with the precise objective of consolidating its role as one of Europe’s market leaders in the highly important compact segment.

Technical innovation
The Punto Evo expresses its technical excellence first and foremost through a wide choice of engines Euro 5, including petrol units equipped with the revolutionary MultiAir system and second generation Multijet diesels. Developed and patented by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies – MultiAir technology will gradually be adopted by all engines fitted to Fiat Group cars. The heart of MultiAir is a new electrohydraulic valve management system that reduces fuel consumption by controlling air directly via the inlet valves (without using the throttle). MultiAir reduces emissions (thanks to improved combustion control) and also improves performance by boosting both power and torque.

Similar results have been achieved in diesel versions thanks to the adoption of second generation Multijet units across the range. These engines incorporate new common rail injectors that, thanks to a balanced hydraulic servo-valve, control the quantity of fuel injected into the combustion chamber with improved precision, and in a faster and more flexible sequence than in the past. The choice of engines available for the Punto Evo is the most complete and ecological in this market segment, and even includes two alternative fuel engines, a methane and an LPG unit.

The new Punto Evo is even equipped with the latest version of the Blue&Me system. “Blue&Me–TomTom” is a fully integrated infotainment system that lets you manage telephone, navigation and information functions on a practical colour touch-screen. The system is the result of a partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles and TomTom, European leader in portable navigation systems, and integrates with the car’s other systems thanks to the Blue&Me system developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli. The new system also incorporates “eco:Drive Info” for real time information on your driving style and useful suggestions for reducing environmental impact and optimising consumption by changing gear and using the accelerator to suit the nature of the route.

Respect for the environment
At Fiat, innovation means greater respect for the environment too. In fact, the environment is one of the main issues driving product development, and ensures that the Fiat range is the greenest in Europe. The Punto Evo is no exception to this rule. The new MultiAir engines prove the point. Compared to a conventional petrol engine of the same size, a MultiAir engine develops more power (up to 10%) and torque (up to 15%), while consuming significantly less (up to 10%) and emitting less CO2 (up to 10%), less particulates (up to 40%) and less NOx (up to 60%).

In the same way the second generation of Multijet diesel engines also offers more accurate combustion, with benefits for consumption, emissions, NVH and drivability. This has been achieved through a new common rail injector that modulates fuel injection into the combustion chamber and gives, for the Euro 5 engines, an improvement of around 2% in consumption and CO2 emissions on the homologation cycle, and a reduction in NOx emissions of up to 30%. Still with reduced consumption and emissions in mind, the new Punto Evo will also offer Start&Stop, the system that switches off the engine when you stop and restarts it for you to move off again (at traffic lights for example). Start&Stop will be standard on all Euro5 petrol and diesel engines.

The methane-fuelled engine is not only the most ecological dual fuel engine in segment B, producing only 115 g/km of CO2, but is also the most economical thanks to record running costs of under 4 Euros per 100 km. Among other advantages, methane-fuelled engines benefit from the highest government incentives in Italy: 5,000 Euros if combined with a contribution for scrapping your old car. Then there is the LPG-fuelled version, developed using Fiat’s longstanding experience in alternative fuels to respond to the extraordinary growth seen in this market. The Punto Evo GPL boasts record autonomy of 1,500 km in the extra-urban cycle, and running costs up to 50% lower than a petrol equivalent.

Safety
The Punto Evo is designed and built to achieve the highest levels of safety. The model boasts a large number of safety systems (standard or optional depending on market and version) starting from those dedicated to passive safety: 2 front airbags, 2 front side airbags, 2 window bags and a driver knee airbag (the Punto Evo is one of the few cars in this segment on which this device is standard on all versions). The Punto Evo is also one of the few cars in its class equipped with adaptive 'cornering' front fog lights that switch on automatically with dipped headlights according to the angle of steering. And don’t forget that the new Punto Evo also guarantees constant and reliable road holding thanks to electronic dynamic control systems for braking and steering. The ABS system that is available across the complete engine range incorporates EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and Hill-holder to help with hill-starts.

Style and comfort
The Punto Evo is more stunning than ever thanks to the work of Fiat’s Centro Stile. In particular, the interiors of the new model have been completely redesigned to represent the most evolved expression of Italian style, with top quality materials and superb attention to detail. The result is a bright and elegant cabin with completely renewed fascia, seats, storage compartments and instrumentation. On the outside, both the front and the rear have been thoroughly restyled, as shown by the attractive lines of the new bumpers and the incorporation of innovative and original headlights and taillights. The latest design has also “stretched” the car to a total length of 406 centimetres, so that its winning characteristics of driver and passenger comfort remain unchanged. The other external dimensions remain the same, with a width of 169 cm, a height of 149 cm and a wheelbase of 251 cm.

LINK: Fiat Officially Announce Details of the Facelifted Punto Evo
 

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Souped-up Fiat 500

With Fiat's little 500 subcompact officially heading our way in the near future, we're taking a greater interest in the tuner market for what could be one heck of a hot hatch. Sure, the base 500 engine that we're likely to see - a 100-hp, 1.4 liter mill - isn't much to write home about, but we're already drooling over the 135-hp, 152 lb-ft turbocharged Abarth version. And before you chime in that 135 ponies isn't a lot of power these days, remember that the 500 only weighs 2200 lbs.

Still, there's always room for improvement, and German tuner company Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge has taken that phrase to heart. Schnorr shares more than just a derivative of Abarth founder Carlo Abarth's first name. He also shares a passion for making small, modestly powered cars go really fast. At first the Karl Schnorr 500 Abarth could be just another tarted-up Cinquecento, what with its red OZ Seria Rossa 17-in. wheels, additional red stripes, red side mirror covers, and lowered stance. But there's a lot more to it underneath.

Sixty-five more, to be precise. That's how much more horsepower the 5050-euro ($7218) 'Power Level 2' 200-hp Schnorr-tuned 500 Abarth makes over the standard version, courtesy of a remapped ECU, larger turbocharger, and sports exhaust system. Not quite ready for that big of a gain? Try the 'Power Level 1' kit and get 28 more ponies (163 hp) for just 950 euros ($1358). Just want your 500 Abarth to be a little more aggressive in the corners? Schnorr will also sell you a coilover suspension kit for 1270 euros ($1815) including installation.





Article Continued Here w/ more pictures:

Double-Tuned: Schnorr Reworks Abarth's Souped-Up Fiat 500 | Motortrend News & Auto Blog - Wide Open Throttle
 

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Fiat Punto Evo to Feature "Blue&Me

TomTom": The New Integrated Infotainment System for Fiat Drivers from Fiat and TomTom

Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:59am EDT

AMSTERDAM--(Business Wire)--

Fiat Group Automobiles and TomTom announce that the two companies have jointly developed an integrated portable navigation solution: Blue&Me - TomTom. This solution, which is the result of a partnership between the two companies, will be showcased for the first time in the new Fiat Punto Evo at the upcoming IAA Motorshow in Frankfurt, Germany. The Blue&Me - TomTom will deliver Fiat drivers the latest, award winning TomTom portable navigation technology by integrating it into multiple car models of Fiat Group Automobiles.

The partnership has resulted in the tightest integration between a portable
navigation device and a car the industry has ever seen and is offering the most optimal driving experience by providing cutting-edge technologies to the market.

With Blue&Me - TomTom, Fiat is answering customer demand for flexible and
user-friendly navigation solutions thanks to TomTom`s expertise in products that are easy to use and updateable.

Blue&Me - TomTom will offer the latest features available on TomTom devices, such as IQ RoutesTM for the fastest route and accurate arrival times. The new system also incorporates Fiat`s EcoDrive Info for real time information on driving style and useful suggestions for reducing environmental impact and optimising consumption by changing gear and using the accelerator to suit the nature of the route.

Lorenzo Sistino, CEO of Fiat Automobiles, said, "Blue&Me-TomTom is a fully
integrated infotainment system that lets you manage telephone, navigation and driving information on an easy to use colour touch-screen."

"We are thrilled to work with such a leading car manufacturer and we look
forward to see our partnership grow in the future," said Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom. "This deal marks another important step in our automotive strategy and is incomparable in the automotive industry. For the first time ever a new car will offer the latest navigation innovations available."

Further details on the solution will be fully revealed at the IAA Motorshow in
Frankfurt, Germany which runs from 17-27 September, 2009, with press days on 15-16 September.

About Fiat Group Automobiles

As a pioneer of the car industry, Fiat built its first car in 1899. Over 90
million cars and light commercial vehicles have been produced since then and
many of its models have marked important milestones in motoring history.

Fiat Group Automobiles designs, produces and sells vehicles under the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Abarth brands, and light commercial vehicles under the Fiat Professional brands. Each brand has a specific identity with defined, recognized characteristics, and employs distinct commercial and marketing strategies. Fiat stands for its creativity, versatility and practicality. Lancia features an elite and exclusive line of models, while Alfa Romeo combines sportiness, technology and elegance in a unique design. Abarth is a synonym for determination and a sportive spirit, and Fiat Professional is a reference point for a straight forward and productive driving experience with low consumption rates. Fiat Group Automobiles is made up of four companies: Fiat Automobiles, Alfa Romeo Automobiles, Lancia Automobiles and Fiat Professional. All these companies are 100% owned by Fiat Group Automobiles.

On twelve occasions Fiat Group Automobiles models won the Car of the Year Award, the automobile industry`s most prestigious recognition of excellence worldwide. The award has been won nine times by Fiat, twice by Alfa Romeo and once by Lancia.

To round out the range of products and services offered, Fiat Group Automobiles activities include sales financing and a broad array of support programs for customers and the dealer network. The Sector`s main financing activities in Europe are grouped into FGA Capital, a 50-50 joint venture with Crédit Agricole.


Fiat Group Automobiles is part of the Fiat Group, an automotive-focused
industrial group. The Fiat Group designs and manufactures trucks, wheel loaders, excavators, telehandlers, tractors and combine harvesters and automobiles. The Group is active on world markets through five different business areas and their operating companies that employ over 180,000 people.

About TomTom

TomTom NV is the world`s leading provider of navigation solutions and digital
maps. TomTom NV has over 3,300 employees working in four business units -
TomTom, Tele Atlas, AUTO and WORK.

TomTom's products are developed with an emphasis on innovation, quality, ease of use, safety and value. TomTom's products include all-in-one navigation devices which enable customers to navigate right out of the box; these are the award-winning TomTom GO family, the TomTom XL and TomTom ONE ranges and the TomTom RIDER. Additionally, independent research proves that TomTom products have a significant positive effect on driving and road safety.

Tele Atlas delivers the digital maps and dynamic content that power some of the world`s most essential navigation and location-based services (LBS). Through a combination of its own products and partnerships, Tele Atlas offers digital map coverage of more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The AUTO business unit develops and sells navigation systems and services to car manufacturers and OEMs. WORK combines industry leading communication and smart navigation technology with leading edge tracking and tracing expertise.

TomTom NV was founded in 1991 in Amsterdam and has offices in Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. TomTom is listed at Euronext Amsterdam in The Netherlands. For more information, go to TomTom, portable GPS car navigation systems.

LINK: Fiat Punto Evo to Feature Blue&Me - TomTom: The New Integrated Infotainment System for Fiat Drivers from Fiat and TomTom | Reuters
 

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Fiat unit in battery deal for electric vehicles

Fiat unit in battery deal for electric vehicles

Mon Aug 31, 2009

MILAN - Italian vehicle group Fiat SpA's Magneti Marelli unit has signed an agreement with Italy's FAAM SpA for development, production and sale of lithium batteries, Fiat said on Monday.

The electronics and components unit sees joint development of the batteries for electric propulsion of cars, motorbikes, buses and other vehicles, leading to product sales in the second half of 2010, it said in a statement.

A Milan-based analyst, who asked not to be named, said Fiat had filled its shortfall in electric vehicle technology via its recent alliance with the U.S. vehicle manufacturer Chrysler, which is further ahead of Fiat in this area.

FAAM is based in the Marche region of eastern Italy and apart from Italy has plants in Uruguay for the Mercosur region and in China for the Asian market.

A company spokeswoman said FAAM's 2008 sales were 80 million euros ($114 million).

LINK:Fiat unit in battery deal for electric vehicles | Reuters
 

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Fiat's 2009 Alfa Romeo sales to rise 11 pct

Fiat's 2009 Alfa Romeo sales to rise 11 pct -CEO

Tue Sep 8, 2009 6:51am EDT


2009 Alfa Romeo Spider

BALOCCO, Italy, Sept 8

Alfa Romeo, the sporty saloon car maker owned by Fiat expects to sell up to 120,000 cars this year, up 11 percent from 2008, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

"In 2008 we sold 108,000 vehicles, this year we should be at the level of 115,000-120,000," Sergio Cravero said at a presentation of the MiTo Multiair model.

"The 300,000 level remains our target for the future, but that can't be reached in 2010," he said.

Alfa Romeo's sales in Europe rose 10.4 percent in the first six months of this year to 59,283 units, according to figures from European carmakers' association ACEA. That gave it a 0.8 percent share of the market.

LINK:Fiat's 2009 Alfa Romeo sales to rise 11 pct -CEO | Industries | Consumer Goods & Retail | Reuters
 

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The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari"

[
PRESS RELEASE

The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari"

The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" makes its world debut at Frankfurt. This new performance version of the Abarth 500 confirms the link between Abarth and Ferrari based on shared values that include a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style.

Abarth and Ferrari are two great names that have contributed, with conviction and dedication, to the legend of Italian racing that is known around the world. The legendary men behind both marques followed very similar careers: first drivers, then tuners and finally heads of companies that command genuine respect in the world of motor racing. These extraordinary men were associated in the past: in 1953, for example, a unique Ferrari-Abarth was born, the Ferrari 166/250 MM Abarth. The car raced in various international trophies including the legendary Mille Miglia. The tie between the two companies has been reinforced above all by the exhaust systems designed by Abarth specifically for the cars built at Maranello: numerous exhaust systems have been made for various Ferrari models, some of which have won World Championship titles.

The two brands have recently renewed their collaboration. The first result of this was the supply of a limited and numbered series of Abarth 500's to Ferrari's European dealers in recent months for use as "courtesy cars".

Now, attention turns to the new Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari", an exclusive vehicle that not only enables Abarth to extend its range by entering into the luxury sports car market, but also offers Ferrari customers a small but exciting small car for all their mobility needs, including practical urban mobility.

The new Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" is distinguished by a number of stylistic changes, but more importantly by substantial modifications developed by Abarth and Ferrari engineers. The engine, for a start, is a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v, tuned to develop over 180 HP. This is combined with an MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical gearbox with race-inspired paddle gearshift that makes full use of the engine's performance by reducing gearshift times.

To improve acceleration, the car is fitted with performance tyres on 17'' alloy wheels featuring a design inspired by Ferrari wheels. The suspension and braking systems have also been strengthened to cope with the extra power: 284 mm multi-section discs with fixed four-piston calipers, both by Brembo, and special shock absorbers let you enjoy performance in total safety.

And of course there is a "Record Monza" variable back-pressure "dual mode" exhaust, designed to improve engine performance and deliver an inspiring sound over 3,000 rpm.

On the outside, the car is finished in Scuderia Red, with carbon fibre door mirrors and with details like the wheels and rear air intakes in Racing Grey. This new Abarth is equipped with Xenon headlights with dipped and main beam functions for improved light emission and excellent efficiency under all weather conditions. Made by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, these elements deliver three times the light intensity and duration of standard halogen lamp headlights.
The interiors are also personalised and demonstrate the attention to detail and the sporting style that are common to both brands. "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" seats are fitted and finished in black leather with a shell and seat base in carbon fibre. These seats offer a perfect blend of racing characteristics – light weight (10 kg less than the standard seat) and the ability hold the body steady against lateral and longitudinal forces, thanks to body support elements filled with crush-resistant foam – with the ergonomics and comfort of road seats.

The black leather steering wheel is characterised by red leather inserts and a tricolour hub on which the MTA gearshift paddles are mounted, while the instrument panel is specially made by Jaeger, and inspired by typical Ferrari instrumentation. Attention to detail has gone into the floor too: the foot wells are covered entirely in non-slip aluminium and the racing pedals are personalised with the Scorpion logo. The interior is embellished with other details too, like special kick plates and a plate bearing the vehicle series number.

More @: Officially Official: Fiat confirms Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari" for Frankfurt debut — Autoblog

Pictures: Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari 0 — Autoblog
 

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2010 Fiat Punto Evo

2010 Fiat Punto Evo - Auto Shows
We could see this car in Chrysler’s U.S. showrooms soon.




Remove the Fiat logos and this new Punto Evo debuting at the Frankfurt auto show is likely a car you’ll see on U.S. roads within a few years’ time—wearing Chrysler badges. The Fiat Punto Evo is a mild face lift of and replacement for the successful Grande Punto, which has been on sale in Europe since 2005. While much has been made of the importance of the tiny Fiat 500 city car in Chrysler’s future—and Fiat Group’s imminent return stateside—the Punto has been Fiat’s bread-and-butter model on the Continent for many years.

When the model was introduced only five years ago, Fiat was still flush with cash it received from General Motors after the American auto giant paid billions of dollars to opt out of a forced merger. But Fiat was nevertheless still battered by years of sliding sales, shoddy quality, and outdated vehicles. The revitalized Grande Punto boosted sales, improved quality standards, and led the charge to help revive the company.

Now the Punto Evo must continue the success of its predecessor, while perhaps also working some sales magic for the sputtering Chrysler brand. The Punto Evo stretches 159.8 inches in length, making it roughly six inches shorter than the VW Golf, and about a country-mile shorter than most of Chrysler’s lineup. Exterior changes include new headlamps and taillamps, along with revised bumpers and a new grille treatment.

Speaking with us before the show, a spokesperson for Fiat Group told us the biggest leap forward was made with the Punto Evo’s interior. From the press photos, the quality of materials immediately looks much better. The dark and sometimes cheap-looking cabin of the Grande Punto is long gone. Safety has also been given a boost, with the Punto Evo sporting no fewer than seven airbags, including a driver’s knee bag. Electronic stability control and intelligent fog lamps that turn into a corner are also available.

Like most European cars of its class, the Punto Evo will offer a wide range of diesel and gas engines. One of the most exciting—and a serious candidate for U.S. models—is the new 1.4-liter MultiAir gasoline engine. The electrohydraulic variable valve system adjusts intake-valve lift, thereby offering more power and improved fuel mileage. A stop/start system should also help the Punto Evo reduce its appetite for fossil fuel.

A classier cabin, updated body, and efficient engines spell good news for Fiat, and provide a much-needed ray of hope for Chrysler.


Continued here w/pictures:2010 Fiat Punto Evo - Auto Shows - Car and Driver
 

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Fiat Made Cleanest Cars Sold in Europe

Fiat Made Cleanest Cars Sold in Europe in 2008, Group Says




Sept. 15 - Fiat SpA produced cars with the lowest average carbon-dioxide emissions sold in Europe in 2008, while Daimler AG made the most-polluting cars, according to the European Federation for Transport & Environment.

Turin, Italy-based Fiat made cars with average emissions of 138 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, while PSA Peugeot Citroen’s cars averaged 139 grams of CO2, followed by Renault SA, whose autos emitted an average 143 grams, the Brussels-based environmental group said today in its fourth annual report since 2006.

Overall, carmakers reduced emissions by 3.3 percent to 159 grams of CO2 per kilometer in 2008, short of a voluntary industry commitment to cut average emissions to 140 grams last year, researchers led by federation director Jos Dings said. The European Commission has set targets for manufacturers to reduce average emissions to 130 grams by 2015 and 95 grams by 2020.

Reaching the 130-gram target is “a piece of cake,” Dings said in a telephone interview. “Take a company like Volkswagen -- all they have to do is bring their entire fleet up to the level of their best models now.” Volkswagen AG ranked 12th in the average amount of CO2 emissions.

Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG, the world’s second- largest maker of luxury cars, and Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest automaker, made the least environmentally friendly cars, according to the study. Daimler-built cars including Mercedes-Benz produced an average of 175 grams of CO2 per kilometer, while Nissan’s cars averaged 161 grams.

BMW’s CO2 Reduction

Munich, Germany-based Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the largest luxury-car manufacturer, cut average CO2 emissions by more than 10 percent, to 154 grams, the biggest decline of any carmaker, the researchers said.

The overall 3.3 percent improvement this year is more than in any other year under the industry’s voluntary commitment to reduce emissions, Dings said.

“This shows that the industry can do more than it was doing the whole time the pressure was not on,” he said. “It shows that voluntary commitments do not work and regulation is much more effective.”

Among European Union member states, the most fuel- efficient cars w
ere sold on average in Portugal, France and Italy. The most environmentally unfriendly cars were sold in Sweden, Estonia and Latvia, the report said. Germany, the region’s biggest car market, was ranked 20th.

The report included the world’s 14 largest car manufacturers by number of cars sold. The study was based on vehicle-registration data collected in 2008 by the European Commission in 25 of the 27 EU countries. Bulgaria and Slovakia failed to provide data in time to be included.


LINK: Fiat Made Cleanest Cars Sold in Europe in 2008, Group Says - Bloomberg.com
 

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HP Fiat 500 US Bound?

Fiat considering 500 Abarth for US market
09.15.09

FRANKFURT -- Fiat Abarth chief executive Harald Wester says Fiat is "seriously thinking" of bringing the higher-performance 500 Abarth version to U.S. markets in addition to the base model.

Fiat already has said it would bring its subcompact 500, or Cinquecento in Italian, to the U.S. market as part of its new partnership with Chrysler but hasn't said when.

Wester said Tuesday on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Auto Show that the Italian automaker is "seriously thinking the 500 Abarth might be an opportunity for U.S. customers."

Fiat is considering which technology to launch in the United States after gaining a foothold in North America with a 20-percent stake in Chrysler LLC in June.

Fiat models from the company's Abarth sub-brand are higher performance with sportier suspensions and steering.

LINK:Fiat considering 500 Abarth for US market - Forbes.com
 

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Fiat Qubo Trekking

2009 Frankfurt Motor Show: Euro-spec Fiat Qubo Trekking




The Fiat Qubo, the passenger hauling version of the Italian automaker's Fiorino panel vans, will receive rugged credentials courtesy of the new Trekking trim. Debuting at the Frankfurt auto show, the Qubo Trekking is equipped with Fiat's Traction+ system, which improves the MPV's drive and handling in low-traction environments with an electronic differential lock for the front wheels in lieu of a full four-wheel drive system.


The Traction+ system improves performance in slippery situations by braking the wheel with the lowest grip and transferring additional power to the opposite wheel. Since the Qubo Trekking does not have the added weight and power loss associated with a four-wheel drive system, fuel economy and maintenance costs are not affected. According to Fiat, the standard Qubo is capable of achieving 52.27 mpg when equipped with the 75-horsepower, 1.3-liter Multijet diesel engine.

The Qubo Trekking will also come with a front bumper with engine guard, Trekking-specific wheel arches, Pirelli 2500 M+S tires, a 20-millimeter-raised suspension, and rear Trekking stickers. The Trekking will start at 12,650 GBP, or about $21,000, when it is introduced to the UK later this month.

Source: Fiat
Fiat Qubo Trekking - 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show Coverage - Truck Trend
 

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Fiat Punto - Gimme red!



What is common between a Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and the new Fiat Punto?

September 18, 2009

Red is a colour that has very few associations.

Ferrari is one of them, Alfa Romeo is another and well, Fiat India thinks you should be associating red with their spunky new small car, the Punto. Yes, you read it right, Punto and not the Grande Punto. You see, when the 'Grande Punto' first came out some three years ago, Fiat was still manufacturing the 'Punto', which is why this one got the name Grande or 'big'. Now that the erstwhile Punto has been retired, the Grande Punto has lost its Grande, so there. But let's get back to our discussion about the colour, and I admit, it looks good in red. Heck, it looks good in any colour and if I may dare say, it is the best looking small car on sale in India today, at least until Fiat introduces a scorpion-badged Abarth version. It also has one of the most sorted rides, has very good high speed stability and feels like it's built to last a pounding for a couple of Raid de Himalayas. Is that enough dope for you to stop reading further and go ahead and book yourself a Punto? I fear not, so let me explain in as structured a manner as possible.

LOOKS AND INTERIORS
Really, I mean it when I say it looks stunning. And it's not a case of form overruling function, but a genuine attempt to marry both. Like with the Linea, the association of the design language with Maseratis is quite strong and that can only be a good thing. The large ovular headlamps sweep back to create a pear drop effect, while the large checkered grille with the MultiJet badging looks smart. The integration of the bonnet shutline is a work of art too, and instead of resorting to fuzzy pinch lines, Fiat left the bonnet clean.

The flowing lines and the large A-pillar make the car appear larger than it actually is. With clean door panels and a well-integrated tail-lamp cluster, the Punto is a study in design. Even the boot lid has no fuzzy detailing with just badging to round off the exteriors. The MultiJet we have here comes with fantastically carved 14-inch alloy wheels, but the 15-inchers on the 1.4 FIRE look even more exciting.

On the inside, you are greeted by now familiar interiors of the Linea, a sign that this is how much Fiat could differentiate between two cars base on the same platform. The Punto is priced a couple of lakh lower than the Linea and that shows on the interiors. Some of the plastics feel poorly built and the finish on some others isn't the same as on the Linea. Yet the dashboard feels solid, the control stalks feel strong and the dials are, well, as you will find on the Linea - pretty good indeed.

Continued here w/ more pictures

Article Link:Fiat Punto - Gimme red!
 

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Hamann Largo Fiat 500



2009 Frankfurt Auto Show: Hamann Largo Fiat 500

LAUPHEIM, Germany — Hamann unveiled a customization package for the Fiat 500 at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, and it makes the rally-bred Abarth variant look as if it's barely upgraded from stock. Keeping up with the creative names seen on its other vehicles, the tuner is calling this the Hamann Largo.

Hamann outfits the hot hatch with a dual sport exhaust and a performance engine kit that increases output to 265 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque — quite an upgrade for a vehicle that weighs just over 2,000 pounds. The German tuner also upgrades braking with perforated 11.0-inch front and 9.2-inch rear brake discs, while handling is improved thanks to a coil-over suspension that lowers the car as much as 2.4 inches.

External modifications include a new front bumper with LED lights, front and rear lip spoilers, side skirts and a rear diffuser. Anodized matte-black 18-inch alloys shod in 215/35 or 225/35 rubber finish off the look of the hot hatch. The ground effects package widens the vehicle 1.2 inches in the front and 1.4 inches in the back, giving it a much more aggressive stance when combined with the dropped suspension.

An aluminum pedal set and floor mats with the Hamann logo are the only additions to the Fiat's interior.

Article Link:Hamann Largo Fiat 500 - 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show
 

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Fiat Sedici Review

Fiat Sedici Review


Review

Think of off-roaders and Fiat is undoubtedly not the brand that springs to mind. That's something that the Sedici is meant to change - a compact "soft roader" that's been developed in conjunction with Suzuki.

If this is bringing back memories of the disastrous partnership between Nissan and Alfa Romeo in the 'eighties then don't worry - the Sedici is far better than the dreadful Alfa Arna. It's looks are boxy but not unappealing, courtesy of Giugiaro's legendary design pen. The running gear and state-of-the-art transmission system have been developed by Suzuki, which knows a thing or two about how to build tough off-roaders.

The cabin is spacious and well equipped - although bland design limits the feeling of specialness. Rear space is relatively tight for a car in this segment - and the boot offers less capacity than a typical family hatchback.

Two engines are available - a 1.6 litre 16 valve petrol and a 1.9 litre Multijet turbodiesel. Unsuprisingly, it's the oilburner that makes the most convincing package thanks to a combination of gutsy performance, refined manners and seriously impressive economy. The 1.6 litre petrol version can only muster a relatively disappointing 107 bhp and sounds loud under hard use.

The Suzuki-sourced transmission is also a smart piece of kit. It uses an electrically controlled centre diff that allows the car to remain in front-wheel drive mode in most conditions and only calls the rear axle into play if slip is detected. Although primarily designed for on-road use, the Sedici is surprisingly adept when it comes to handling mud and slime.

Sussing out the market for the Sedici - and the Suzuki version for that matter - isn't quite so straightforward. If there really is a queue of customers waiting for a supermini-sized off-roader, they've yet to make their presence felt.
Ratings Breakdown

*
Styling

3 star out of 5

Not one of Giugiaro's best efforts. Neat, tidy and well executed, but shouldn't we be expecting a bit more style from a modern Fiat?
*
Comfort

3 star out of 5

Suzuki looked after the interior and there are few complaints inside. The seats are comfortable - although legroom in the back is limited.
*
Performance

3 star out of 5

The 1.9 litre Multijet turbodiesel is a fine engine and provides the Sedici with ample performance. Sadly, the petrol engine isn't quite as convincing and lacks the torque for the job.
*
Roominess

3 star out of 5

There's plenty of space inside the Sedici, it's just that not all of it is usable. It's a pity Fiat didn't push through any innovative design features such as removable rear seats in order to mark it out from the crowd.

LINK:Fiat Sedici Review
 

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2010 Ferrari 458 Italia

Fiat Group Automobiles designs, produces and sells cars world-wide under the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat Professional (light commercial vehicles) and Abarth brands. Maserati and Ferrari, which manufacture luxury sports cars embodying exclusivity, innovative technology, and high-level performance, are also part of the Fiat Group.

Debuts from the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show



2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
Ferrari unveiled the successor to the F430, the 458 Italia. The mid-engine 458 features an aluminum chassis and an all-new body by Pininfarina. The heart of the 458, and the origin of the name, is the 4.5-liter V8 that puts out 570-horsepower. It is bolted to a new dual-clutch seven-speed automated manual transmission with steering wheel shift paddles. The steering wheel also houses many of the controls, which Ferrari says allows the driver to fully concentrate on driving and have maximum control. Performance is heart-stopping: 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph. The 458 Italia goes on sale next year as a late 2010 model.

LINK:21 Must-See Debuts from the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show
 

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UK News: Vertu Motors & Fiat

SLOUGH, UNITED KINGDOM – September 25, 2009:

One of the largest motor retailers in Britain has been awarded the Fiat car franchise for the first time.

Vertu Motors, which operates 54 dealerships throughout the country, is preparing to open new Fiat outlets at former Brooklyn sites it acquired in Cheltenham and Worcester three months ago.

Operating under the Bristol Street Motors and Bristol Street Motor Nation brand names, Vertu Motors already represents the Fiat Group with the Iveco franchise in Swindon, Bristol and Gloucester, and Fiat Professional in Swindon.

“This is a very exciting development for the Group since we have long wanted to add the Fiat car franchise to our portfolio,” says Robert Forrester, CEO, Vertu Motors. “To begin our representation in two towns in the same region is a bonus. We would like this to be the start of a major long term relationship between us and Fiat.”

“We are delighted to welcome Vertu Motors into our growing dealer network,” says Tim Head, dealer development director, Fiat Group Automobiles UK. “They bring with them a wonderful reputation and I am sure this will be a long and successful partnership.”


LINK:Vertu Extends Partnership With Fiat Group to Take on Cars
 

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Fiat's New Plant

Fiat Putting the Final Touches on New Plant in Serbia to Build Unnamed New Car

09/25/09


While Fiat may have its hands full figuring out what to do with Chrysler here in the U.S., the company hasn't forgotten about its operations in the rest of the world. The company is finalizing plans to convert the old Zastava plant in Serbia (which once built Yugos) into a modern operation that will produce a new, unnamed Fiat car.

If all goes to plan, the former Zastava plant located in Kragujevac, outside of Belgrade, should be up and running and rolling out cars by 2011, though Fiat won't say what new car will be built there. The Serbian president and deputy prime minister will travel to Italy in early November to meet with Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to inspect a prototype of the new car to be built in Serbia. The plant is expected to build upwards of 200,000 cars per year.

Serbia expects the plant to create at least 10,000 new jobs in the cash-strapped country, which has become an attractive manufacturing site for Italian companies. The country claims that more than 200 Italian companies have operations within its borders employing more than 18,000 Serbs. The country has been using big incentives like low taxes, plus provided land and infrastructure and a $7,500 cash incentive per new job to lure Italian companies across the Adriatic Sea. The country is also hoping to lure Fiat's suppliers over to Serbia as well to stock the new plant.

Source: Fiat

Article Link: Fiat Putting the Final Touches on New Plant in Serbia to Build Unnamed New Car - Wide Open Throttle - Motor Trend Magazine
 

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Alfa 166 Replacement To Be U.S.-Built



IL Exclusive: Alfa 166 Replacement To Be U.S.-Built

Date posted: 09-23-2009


LONDON — Alfa Romeo will likely manufacture a rear-wheel-drive replacement for its defunct 166 executive sedan exclusively in North America, where most will be sold, Inside Line has learned.

The plant, probably Chrysler's 300C site in Brampton, Ontario, will also supply Europe with the car.

The new big Alfa, originally codenamed project 169, will share a brand-new, Chrysler-developed platform planned for the next-generation 300C and Dodge Charger sedans, although the Alfa version will feature bespoke suspension and powertrains.

Alfa believes a rear-drive platform to be essential for models in this class, and its integration with Chrysler suddenly provides it with a potentially suitable architecture.

Alfa is to collaborate closely with Dodge in future, this being the most sporting brand in the Chrysler portfolio.

Insiders report that the tieup with Chrysler has prompted Alfa to rewrite much of its product plan as a result of the new opportunities that this alliance presents. Apart from the possibility of producing Alfas in the U.S., once a fertile market for the brand, higher potential sales volumes, reduced component costs and enhanced distribution have all improved the prospects for the return of this famous brand to the U.S., which is slated for 2011.

Fiat will be announcing its product plans for the Chrysler Group in more detail in Detroit in mid-November.

The Chrysler rear-drive platform could also provide the basis of a new Alfa Spider and Brera — in shortened form, it is the base for the Challenger — although there is no confirmation of this, and the architecture may prove too large to suit European buyers. But Alfa is believed to be exploring the return of the Spider, and possibly its mainstream coupe siblings, to the rear-wheel-drive format last used by the Duetto Spider in the '90s, and the Alfetta GTV in the '80s. The company has already completed the design of the Spider, and will be looking for another rear-drive platform if Chrysler's does not suit.

Chrysler Group in turn will be taking three platforms from Fiat known as A (500, Panda), B (Grande Punto) and C, the last being new and the basis for the 147-replacing Milano which debuts early next year. The C platform will be stretched to provide architecture for the new Giulia, which replaces the 159. In theory, the Giulia and Milano could also be manufactured in the U.S. once Chrysler and Dodge are producing their own models on these platforms.


Article Link:IL Exclusive: Alfa 166 Replacement To Be U.S.-Built
 

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Alfa Romeo Giulia making its US debut in 2012!

Alfa Romeo Giulia making its US debut in 2012! Mito and Milano not coming!

10/6/2009



Fiat’s current lineup of cars, only the larger models are being considered to debut in the US . Included in the vehicles meant for the US market is the Alfa Romeo Giulia that now appears to be set for a 2012 launch. Despite the Fiat 500 getting a Chrysler distribution, the company doesn’t seem to be interested in naming it the flag bearer of Italian trendy style in that market.

Also of smaller size and hence, not going to the US , are the Alfa MiTo and yet-to-be-released Milano. For now, the plans are for these two cars to appear only in Europe . Since the MiTo debuted, it has been getting a steady stream of sales. It’s unknown what will become of the Milano and Giulia.

LINK:Alfa Romeo Giulia making its US debut in 2012! Mito and Milano not coming! - AutoSpies Auto News
 
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