By on August 19, 2016

Fiat

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]

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18 Comments on “Buy a Hotter Fiat, Get Free Track Time: FCA...”


  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Bravo.

    Let us hope for the sake of public works departments all over that Ford adopts this with the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Ford already has a similar program for ST and RS buyers – nothing for the Mustang buyers.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Ford does with the GT350. The program is called the GT350 track attack ( or Trak Atak the name escapes me right now )

      But your going to spend 55-70 large for the privilege of 1 free day of track instruction or a paid 2 day experience.

      Ford might offer it on another SE since they started the track experience with the Boss ( Shelby GT500 owners were left out in the cold – they could have at least offered a drag race experience for the big bruiser).

      The everyday GT even with performance pack I doubt it.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Honestly this should be offered for just about every car out there. However with RWD “sports car” this is a MUST. It is especially true if in any commercial or ad the car is show on a track. Its funny how people pick a car because they heard its good on track yet never take it out. I’ve got a neighbor with FRS that I doubt has any idea what makes that car interesting (aka: its handling). As someone who instructs at track days the disconnect between what the car can do and how one should drive around a turn is a gap as wide as the Grand Canyon. Its like some people with performance cars have never seen a racing event or have a clue as to what an apex is. Minimum these people should have a quick lesson in Gran Turismo or Forza!

    • 0 avatar
      bricoler1946

      Throw in a free tow truck and a mechanic named Tony and I MIGHT be interested!

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      About time they did this for the Abarth customers. SRT has done this for years.

      And yes, getting to know the limits of your car is a fun pursuit. I have some favorite on- and off ramps on my regular commute that are (on days when I drive my desk and nothing more) the highlights of my day.

      Speaking of ramps, they have the yellow “suggested” speed limits. Does that mean that, technically, they don’t have maximum limits?

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        “Speaking of ramps, they have the yellow “suggested” speed limits. Does that mean that, technically, they don’t have maximum limits?”

        I know this bit is tongue-n-cheek but in some states ( VA I believe being one ) you can be cited for exceeding the suggested limit under what I assume is the so called ” safe and prudent ” bit leaving it open to the officer’s discretion.

        Good I guess if you get some young buck with a fast car and a hot shoe, bad I suppose if you happen to fly around an off-ramp and the officer you failed to catch hanging off your six is fiscally responsible and never buys anything flashier than a Toyota Corolla.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

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

  • avatar
    NoID

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      This. I have been waiting for an Abarth modified 500L. I would sign on the dotted line for one of those. But you and I might be the total market for the 500L Abarth in the US.

      OTOH, a 500L Living may be a better choice…

      NoID: You may be thinking of the 500L Urbana package. It’s really nice take on the Trekking package.

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        I get the feeling you work at a Fiat studio or for the brand…you know way too much about a car nobody likes.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          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…

  • avatar
    geozinger

    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…

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Yes, since day one with the 500 Abarth. What do you drive, Steph Willems?

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      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.

  • avatar
    Tosh

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

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