Fiat Sales Soft in October

Fiat recently released October sales for the U.S. market, and the results are disappointing. Fiat sales of the 500 and 500C dropped to 1965, a 71% drop in sales from September. Also, this happened in a month that saw sales increase for many automakers, including Chrysler. There are various reasons for the decline including the 500 losing its “new car” appeal and the dealer network being small, but I only want to point to one source: Jenny from the Block.

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JLo looks hot in the new Fiat commercial

Coming off her breakup with Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez looks spectacular in this new ” target=”_blank”>Fiat commercial! (And the Fiat 500 isn’t looking bad either.)

  

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.

  

Scion IQ Priced

Scion, the “Youth Brand” of Toyota, has priced their newest car for the American market, the iQ. The Scion IQ is set to hit our shores with a price tag of $15,995. The iQ is Scion’s version of the Toyota iQ sold in foreign markets.

Personally, like the Smart car, I don’t really see the point of this car at all. People buy city cars for style and/or frugality. The iQ posses none of these traits.

First, the iQ looks like the design they threw away while making the Toyota Yaris, which is no looker itself. Short, squat, and wide, the iQ is the exact opposite of how to make a pretty car. In addition, it is a Scion. This may be a plus if you consume bucketfuls of energy drinks per day, and wear flat-brimmed baseball caps, but if you are an actual adult, the Scion badge is a detriment. The iQ’s Quasimodo looks especially come to light when sat alongside the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500, its European competition, who have won a case full of international design awards.

Secondly, it is not frugal in the slightest. At $15,995 it is nearly the most expensive in its segment outside the better equipped and better looking Ford Fiesta hatch (the Fiesta sedan is cheaper than the iQ). The Mazda2, Hyundai Accent, and Fiat 500 all undercut it in price and all offer either looks (Fiat), value (Hyundai with its 10 year warranty), or driving performance (Mazda). Not to mention all these cars are larger and will not be mistaken for windup toys when pulling up to someone’s house for a first date. The most glaring flaw is that across the sales floor, Toyota offers the Yaris for around 13K, which is also larger and at least boring to look at instead of outright atrocious.

Finally, you may think that it gets fantastic gas mileage because of its small size and light weight (around 2100 pounds). Wrong again. The iQ gets only 37mpg highway. All of the mentioned competition, except the Yaris, gets more miles out of a drop of gas. Plus, The Yaris only gives up one mpg on the highway to the iQ while also being larger.

At the end of the day, there is no point to the iQ. It is a three year old, warmed over Toyota with a Scion badge that is not cheap, not frugal, and not pretty. The urban commuters the iQ wants to attract are too focused on fashion and badge snobbery to even make a passing glance at a Scion. Fuel misers will go right for more efficient offerings, and people shopping on price won’t buy it either. In fact, Scion’s targeted youth clientele may not buy it either since nothing about a rebadged Toyota that looks like a melted ice cream scoop screams youthful exuberance. The iQ is just another sign that the Scion brand is floundering for life. The car enthusiast’s only hope for the Scion brand is the upcoming FT-86.

  

Fiat Commercial

With the upcoming launch of the Fiat 500 we now have the first Fiat television commercial in the U.S. since the early 1980’s. Things have been moving quickly at Fiat/Chrysler for the past 18 months which makes it hard to believe the Fiat 500 is actually ready to hit the ground. DashBoardNews and Bullz-Eye.com had a chance to view the car at the L.A. Auto Show and eagerly await an opportunity to drive the Fiat 500!

  

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