Can The Scorpion's Sting Save Fiat's Flopping 500?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Fiat’s 500 may be flopping early in the game, but then, what do you expect from a car with barely 100 horsepower? Though I’m sure the Cinquecento is better with a stick shift, my brief time in an autobox version left me feeling that Fiat’s italophile morsel could use considerably more brio. Well, consider the problem solved, as the 160 HP Abarth version has finally been shown in US-market spec, and sales should start sometime early next year. And based on European reactions to the Abarth, it should be a little firecracker. So, enthusiasm solved… now Fiat just needs to do something about its high prices, uninspiring fuel economy and wretched marketing. Then everything will be just fine… although I still wouldn’t hold my breath for 50k units per year.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Solracer Solracer on Nov 19, 2011

    The 500 sure seems to be selling well in Seattle judging from how many I've seen recently. But then we have two dealers in the area already with a third to open pretty soon and we have a population with a penchant for efficient and odd cars (Seattle used to be one of the top markets for Peugeot back in the '80s). I'd give them more time before we declare them a failure, the 500 is selling as well as the Kia Rio and not that much less than the Honda Fit (with a much smaller dealer network I'll point out) and no one calls either of them failures.

  • Janet70 Janet70 on Nov 20, 2011

    After viewing the preview of a sexy Abarth commercial, I can tell you with certainty that FIAT has ramped up its marketing strategy, and that the little Abarth will generate some serious excitement! To really appreciate a 500, one really needs the standard shift car and don't be timid about revving the engine. My Prima Edizione loves to be pushed, and that's how to wring the performance out of the 101 horsepower engine. Forget that I am averaging 37.2 MPGs in city driving right now. Adding so much more power to the wee curve-hugger in the Abarth package will surely impress any skeptic who test-drives it.

  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help
  • 3SpeedAutomatic You mentioned that Mitsubishi cars had lost their character. Many brands are losing that that element as well. GM is giving up on the ICE Camaro and Dodge on the ICE Challenger. There goes the Bad Boy image. Might as well get your teeth pulled and dentures put in place. Would like to see a few EVOs with cherry bomb exhaust and true 4 cylinder BIG blower turbos; 4 wheel drift capacity is mandatory!!🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos Here in my overseas summer palace, I filled up my tank twice in May, at 68 and 52 euros (a full 90+ liter tank fillup has taken 130-135 Euros in the past, and I am 23 miles from downtown here, while only 1-2 miles in the US)Still, diesel here is MUCH cheaper than gas. Yesterday, I paid 1,488 a liter while gas was at least 1,899 (regular).Multiply by almost 4 for gallons AND by an additional 1.1 for $.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic IIRC, both China and the EU use a standardized charger connection. About time the US & Canada to follow.Would take some of the anxiety out of an EU purchase and accelerate adoption. 🚗🚗🚗