Fiat Abarth 50th Anniversary Model

fiat-abarth-50th-anniversary-modelOk … so what I want to know is how on earth do they keep this thing on the road? It’s not much bigger than a pregnant roller skate and it has a top speed of 225km/h!

Maybe it’s a good thing that there’s only going to be 50 Fiat Abarth 50th Anniversary models brought into Australia and you’re probably going to be slightly crazy just to fork over $45,000 dollars (plus rego and government charges) for what is basically a four cylinder 1.4-litre car.

Oh of course the Fiat Abarth 50th Anniversary model is  turbo-charged and features an overboost function that takes the power up to 132kW at the press of a button. It also just happens to have a special exhaust so you can really hear the power.

And if that’s not enough the interior is designed to take you back … in a very modern way … to the Abarth of 50 years ago. There are rather vivid red and white leather seats and the interior panelling is a rather vivid red too.

There’s also a sunroof, automatic climate control and a bunch of other stuff including a hi-fi system with controls mounted on the steering wheel along with litany of other minor features that makes the specs for this car sound impressive.

Among the more important specs is electric power steering with a “sport” function, gear shift paddles on the steering wheel, sports tyres, rear parking sensors, a car cover, special edition sunglasses and luggage too.


I’m not so sure about the luggage … but then I prefer to travel light … one backpack and my packing is done … but I do like the idea of the car cover. Not everyone has the luxury of off-street covered parking and if you’re going to shell out $45k+ on this little monster then you’re going to want to protect it.

And maybe that’s going to be the selling point for Fiat Abarth 50th Anniversary model … not that it’s some fancy reminder of a bygone era … but that it is a little monster that will do 225km/h and sound like it at the same time.

By | May 29th, 2014|Featured, Fiat|0 Comments

Fiat Panda 4×4

Meet the Fiat Panda … the only A segment four-wheel drive or mini SUV … and if you’re not sure about what size is covered by the A segment then just think ‘very small’.

If you want measurements then the Fiat Panda 4×4 is just 3,680mm long … 1670mm wide and 1600mm high. The wheelbase is 2300mm. the front track is 1410mm and the rear track is 1400mm. Yes, it’s small but somehow Fiat have managed to build it as a 5-door and give it some  off-road capabilities.

Engine and transmission
The Fiat Panda 4×4 comes with a choice of two engines a new 85HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the older 75HP 1.3 Multijet II diesel … yes there’s even a diesel for this tiny off-roader. Both engines are combined with a six-speed gearbox and what Fiat calls a “torque on demand” tranmission system with two diffs and electronically controlled coupling.

This is a permanent four-wheel drive system that analyses various signals to distribute traction to the front and rear diffs to ensure optimum traction.

No fuel consumption figures have been released yet but you would expect that a vehicle this size is not going to guzzle down huge amounts of fuel.

fiat panda 4x4

Fiat’s engineers have juggled the need for passenger comfort with the need to be able to cope with off-road conditions so there’s basically nothing new in the suspension. At the front the Fiat Panda 4×4 has independent MacPherson suspension and an interconnected torsion beam layout at the rear.

The Fiat Panda 4×4 comes with electronic stability control and electronic locking differential and it rides on 15 inch rims.

Equipment levels
Equipment levels are what you would expect in this segment in this day and age. Manual climate control, a combination CD/MP3/radio, electric rear-view mirrors and remote central locking are all standard and there’s quite a range of options that you can add to the vehicle.

There’s no mention of prices for the Panda 4×4 yet … or if it will reach Australia … but I guess all will be revealed when it’s launched at the Paris Motor Show on Sept. 29

By | September 8th, 2012|Fiat|Comments Off on Fiat Panda 4×4

Fiat Falters

Way back at the beginning of May we reported that Fiat was well in the running to purchase GM’s European brands of Opel, Vauxhall and Saab … a move that would catapult it into second spot on the world rankings of car manufacturers.

However at the end of May talks between GM and Fiat broke down when the Fiat CEO claimed that he was unable to get full access to the financials of Opel. That doesn’t seem to have worried GM too much because waiting in the wings was the Canadian spare parts maker Magna.

Magna … with financial backing from Russia is now set to take control of GM Europe.

By | June 2nd, 2009|Fiat, General Motors|Comments Off on Fiat Falters

The Future for Fiat

While automotive companies around the world are struggling to survive in the current economic climate there’s one in Italy that’s poised to take a giant leap to the second biggest global car maker behind Toyota.

Only a few years ago Fiat was on the brink of collapse but in 2004 its fortunes began to change when a new CEO, in the form of Sergio Marchionne, was appointed. In the years since 2004 he’s turned Fiat around to the point where it’s now in discussions with General Motors to take over the European brands currently controlled by GM.

Industry experts now suggest that Fiat’s financials are so strong there will be no need for it to borrow any money to buy out GMs Opel, Vauxhall and Saab to add to the brands it already controls … brands like Alfa and Ferrari.

And in case you haven’t heard … Fiat already owns a share of Chrysler in the US.

By | May 5th, 2009|Fiat|Comments Off on The Future for Fiat

Fiat Bravo

Is it a rushed job?

by Stuart Livesey

Fiat launched it’s new compact car – the Bravo – on Tuesday just 18 months after design and development of the vehicle began. While the name has appeared in the Fiat lineup before it was dropped in 2001 when a completely new vehicle replaced it.

But now it’s back to compete with the VW Golf and the first impressions are very positive.

Fiat Bravo

It comes in several models including two with turbo-charged 1.4 litre engines that develop some interesting power figures.

Fiat Bravo dashboard

Some experts suggest that Fiat will also need to take market-share from the Opel Astra, Peugeot 307 and the Renault Megane so it will be interesting to see how sales go. It will also be interesting to see whether or not the Fiat Bravo makes it to Australia.

By | February 1st, 2007|Fiat, General News|Comments Off on Fiat Bravo

The World’s Sexiest Car!

Ummm … well … if you’re looking for photos of Aston Martins or serious muscle cars like a Mustang, Comaro or a fire breathing Valiant Charger then I guess you’re going to be disappointed.

And if you happen to drive one of those monsters and you wonder why you’re not pulling the chicks then maybe I can explain what your problem really is. It’s not that your getting a bit thin on top and a bit thick around the middle … it’s just that you’re not driving a Fiat 500 from the early 1960s.

That’s right, you’re not driving one of these sleek, sexy and charismatic examples of high-tech power

Fiat 500


Well it does have windows that wind down (the Mini that was out at the same time only had sliding windows).

Fiat 500
Photos courtesy of Clarita

Now I realise that you are probably doubting my sanity when I suggest that the Fiat 500 is the world’s sexiest car but it wasn’t me who made that stunning decision.

It was actually recently named as the world’s sexiest car by Britain’s Top Gear magazine because it has everyone from “strapping blokes to fainting flowers of womanhood” looking sexually charged when they sit behind the wheel.

The magazine goes on to say that “The Fiat 500 works irrespective of age, beauty, wealth or position – even a nun in a 500 seems to telegraph a faint tingle of the procreative urge.”

Sadly it’s never going to make me look sexy – at around 1.9 metres tall I would never have fitted into the thing. And as she who must be obeyed suggested, it’s not going to do much for the procreative urge either because it’s just too small (the car – not me 🙂 )

I always did wonder why none of the cars I ever drove seemed to pull the chicks … now I know (sigh)

By | September 12th, 2006|Fiat, General News|1 Comment

Fiat on the Road to Recovery – and GM Can’t Take a Trick

It’s been quite some time since Fiat sold anything smaller than a truck in Australia and that’s hardly surprising since Fiat almost disappeared in a cloud of financial dust back in 2003.

So bad did their future look back then that General Motors paid a cool $2 billion to buy their way out of an agreement they had with Fiat dating back to 2000. Perhaps now GM might be wishing that they had a little more faith in Fiat because, after five straight years of financial losses, the company is about to post a substantial operating profit.

Not only is Fiat about to post a profit but financial analysts are suggesting that there are even better times ahead. And those good times are, in part, due to this car:

Fiat Punto

the Fiat Punto.

If you can cast your mind back to the 1950s you’ll see that there is a certain amount of history in that small car and it’s helping Fiat back onto the road to recovery.

It may be sometime before we see Fiat back in Australia but they will certainly add interest to the local motoring scene if they do return.

By | May 23rd, 2006|Fiat, General Motors|Comments Off on Fiat on the Road to Recovery – and GM Can’t Take a Trick