Buy a Hotter Fiat, Get Free Track Time: FCA

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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buy a hotter fiat get free track time fca

If the one thing stopping you from buying an Abarth-spec Fiat model is the nagging question of whether you’ll get free track time out of the deal, consider your question answered.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced yesterday that anyone buying or leasing a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth or 500 Abarth model has a year to sign up for the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, free of charge. Your tiny turbo won’t know what hit it.

Bondurant normally deals in horsepower monsters like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Viper, but size isn’t everything, especially when there’s an FCA promotion brewing.

The newly formed Fiat Trackside and Road Rally driving programs kick off this November. Abarth owners, as well as Abarth fans (how many of you guys exist, really?) can learn how to put the tiny Italians though their paces on the track.

First, you’ll need to book a weekend in Chandler, Arizona. There, instructors from the school will guide drivers through skid, slalom, autocross and team rallycross activities, hopefully boosting owners’ racing status from “novice” to “somewhat experienced.” The next day brings a 180- to 220-mile rally on sun-baked Arizona highways.

FCA wants “to provide (Fiat) fans with the knowledge, skills and setting they need to fully experience the performance that the Abarth models can deliver,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of FCA’s North American passenger car brands, in a statement.

The automaker’s announcement comes as the Fiat 500 continues its sales decline in North America, and the 124 Spider attempts to gain traction in the marketplace.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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11 of 18 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Aug 19, 2016

    Has anyone asked Bob Bondurant what he thinks of the Fiat Lesser-Miata?

    • See 1 previous
    • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Aug 20, 2016

      @rpn453 They certainly have had some longevity. I went to that school at Ontario Speedway in California in 1973. Back then they were affiliated with Nissan and had mostly Datsun 240z cars with some 510s and Formula Fords.

  • NoID NoID on Aug 19, 2016

    Oh man, if only I didn't need a back seat! If they Abarth'd the 500L and made it look less like an ovary, I'd totally make it my first company lease. Actually, to be fair, I've seen a 500L with a pretty slick looking wheel/tire package and a gray body/red roof and accent appearance package that I could stomach. But only if they Abarth'd it.

    • See 2 previous
    • Geozinger Geozinger on Aug 20, 2016

      @NoID Riiigght. Like Google doesn't exist and one cannot find any info on just about any car that has existed within minutes... If I were still selling, I wouldn't mind having a five marque dealership to sell from. Just maybe not FCAs five marques, though...

  • Geozinger Geozinger on Aug 19, 2016

    Track time has always been a perk of buying a 500 Abarth. It's one of the reasons that got me interested in the car. Well, that and the fact that it's one of the less expensive options for a high performance car with track time instruction as part of the purchase price...

    • See 1 previous
    • JuniperBug JuniperBug on Aug 21, 2016

      While I agree that track instruction is a cool perk if it's included in the price for a car that you wanted to buy anyway, I feel the need to point out that you can get track instruction for any car which passes basic track safety requirements. In my case, I paid a $100/year membership plus $20 per 20 minute session. Much cheaper than buying a new car.

  • Tosh Tosh on Aug 20, 2016

    Great way to avoid warranty claims! Sergio is a fracking genius: First he wins the F1 championship and now this.