Save the Date

November 16-17, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, one of the most anticipated cars of 2012 will debut. The Fiat 500 Abarth. Yes, you read that right. The Abarth is not a V8, RWD sports coupe or a trillion horsepower, billion dollar supercar, but the sporting version of the Fiat 500.

Powered by a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, the Abarth should produce around 180hp, 10 more horsepower than the European version. Also, it only weighs around 2300 pounds, and will probably get close to 40mpg on the highway. This isn’t just eating your cake and having it too, it’s like eating the whole bakery and looking like Brad Pitt.

Not to mention, the Abarth name is steeped in racing history. Founded in the 1950s, Abarth started as an unofficial tuner for Fiats. However, they slowly began to be incorporated into the company to modify cars officially, and organize Fiat’s racing activities, from sports car racing to rallying. For reference, the M badge for BMW has only been around since the 1980s.

After its debut, the Abarth should be on showroom floors the first half of 2012. In these times of austerity, the Fiat 500 Abarth is a battle ax of fun to cleave through the continuing stream of boring cars.

You can view the rest of this story here.

Stay tuned to Dashboard News since this car will be among others in a post outlining the upcoming Italian automotive renaissance in the U.S.

  

Fiat 500 to go into production in December

The folks at Chrysler/Fiat have to be excited about the news that the Fiat 500 will go into production in Mexico this December! This little machine is an eye grabber and can’t come soon enough for the dealerships that will well it as a Fiat 500. The competition with the Ford Fiesta and Chevy Cruze should make for some good sport. I hear some of the salespeople at Chrysler dealerships are already comparing Marchionne to the legendary Lee Iacocca! Time will tell but hey, nothing like setting the bar high!

From AutoNews.com:

TOLUCA, Mexico (Reuters) — Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Chrysler will invest $550 million in Mexico to begin production of the compact Fiat 500 model car.

The investment will retool a production site developed by Chrysler, which emerged from bankruptcy in June under the management control of Fiat. The investment will allow the plant outside Mexico City to begin production by December, said Marchionne, who also heads Fiat.

Read full article here.

  

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