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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.beatnikbrotherhood.com/2012/03/fiat-500-abarth-dragster-500cc-no-more/

The Fiat 500 was originally denoted as such because of it’s 500cc engine. A bit optimistically, as it only had 479cc. It was ten feet long and featured exactly no airbags. Of course, no car had airbags in 1957. A lot has changed in 50 years. The new Fiat 500, the one that is now becoming somewhat of a sales flop in the U.S., has a 1400cc “Multiair” engine that produces 101 horsepower. It also has 7 airbags standard. Where they are fitted, we don’t know; this is still a very small car.

The point is, it’s no Ferrari. It’s “peppy,” “perky,” and perhaps “spirited.” However, if you like the 500 body but want a little more oomph in your life, there is another option. The Abarth. Taking the same 1400cc engine, it adds a turbo and cranks it up to 160 HP. That’s more like it.

But is that enough to boost lagging sales? Well, you know the old saying: race on Sunday, sell on Monday. They need to do something to get people to notice. Why not enter in some good ol’ fashioned drag races? With a supercharged V-8 engine with Multi-Air technology? If they can make 160 HP reliably from 1.4 liters, imagine what they could do with 8.4 liters.

Sure, it’d look funny, and it wouldn’t be so aerodynamic. Perhaps they could only use it as a specialty in-between-heats car. No doubt, it’d get Fiat some exposure…some desperately needed exposure.
 

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The fiat 500 has never been a car with oomph. Sure, the Abarth versions were considerably faster but were almost hobbled together. The new offering looks like it's going to be a solid car with decent performance. No one is buying the Abarth to drag race on the FNF circuit. If you want a fast car, buy a fast car. The Abarth ain't it.
The win on sunday sell on monday mantra works great for american car companies but probably lost its weight after the 70s.
If Toyota takes the checkered flag at Daytona, people aren't lining up to buy Camrys.

I am not a Fiat fan boi. I like the car. I appreciate it for what it is. The lineage of the model line is largely lost on me because I have had no prior dealings with anything wearing a Fiat badge. I wanted a small economical car and the Fiat stomps the Mazda2, Fit, and Yaris IMO. If not in performance, it does so with style and features for the money.

Lastly, the car is not a sales flop. At least not here. I think the lofty goal of 50k units sold in 2011 was retardulious. The car still outsold Mini in the same time frame and to me, those cars are direct competitors.


The supercharged V8 line in your post makes my eyes cross.
 

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The fiat 500 has never been a car with oomph. Sure, the Abarth versions were considerably faster but were almost hobbled together. The new offering looks like it's going to be a solid car with decent performance. No one is buying the Abarth to drag race on the FNF circuit. If you want a fast car, buy a fast car. The Abarth ain't it.
The win on sunday sell on monday mantra works great for american car companies but probably lost its weight after the 70s.
If Toyota takes the checkered flag at Daytona, people aren't lining up to buy Camrys.

I am not a Fiat fan boi. I like the car. I appreciate it for what it is. The lineage of the model line is largely lost on me because I have had no prior dealings with anything wearing a Fiat badge. I wanted a small economical car and the Fiat stomps the Mazda2, Fit, and Yaris IMO. If not in performance, it does so with style and features for the money.

Lastly, the car is not a sales flop. At least not here. I think the lofty goal of 50k units sold in 2011 was retardulious. The car still outsold Mini in the same time frame and to me, those cars are direct competitors.


The supercharged V8 line in your post makes my eyes cross.
Amen brother...... A v-8 500? Jesus....
 

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To answer the question, it's neither. Personally, I think it would be just plain stupid to make a Fiat 500 Abarth Dragster.
 

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Just one point:
"The new Fiat 500, the one that is now becoming somewhat of a sales flop in the U.S.,.."

This is not correct.
Sales were overestimated by FIAT, but they are very respectable ...and rising.
 
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I don't even think he wrote that - it looks like an excerpt from some automotive press writer's work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello all, sorry for just dropping a bombshell on you without proper explanation. I was going for a veil of intrigue, but in retrospect, it wasn't very clear. Yes, I am a real person, or rather, we are real people. The Beatnik Brotherhood is a collective blog and art gallery, featuring the work of my brother and I. www.beatnikbrotherhood.com
The Abarth dragster was a sketch I came up with on a whim, and thought I would share it with you all. My brother (who is not an official automotive journalist, but thanks zonker!) writes most of the content, including this post from a while back that you guys might enjoy a little more.


http://www.beatnikbrotherhood.com/2011/06/fiat-500-lowrider-welcome-to-america/


"Fiat is back in the good ol’ US-of-A, and it’s not pulling any punches. It’s bought up nearly a majority stake in one of our illustrious Big 3, and it’s making waves with it’s first model here – the Fiat 500. They aren’t doing it quietly, either. Fiat is launching a hip ad campaign to go with their new model; @FiatUSA even started following @TheBeatnikBros on Twitter (and you should, too).


All social-media glamour and business moves aside, can these cars fit within American culture? It definitely has potential in the tuner business, and a few tuner editions have emerged – not the least of which is the Abarth version. This little Italian gem certainly has some charm and definitely has some moves.


But let’s call a spade a spade here. It’s not fast. With 101hp pulling around roughly 2500 lbs., it’s what an optimist would call “spunky.”


Knowing this, the Beatnik Brotherhood decided to go ahead and give Fiat a leg up with American culture without trying to turn it into a supercar. While most American car-related traditions revolve around speed, there is one car culture that basks in slow-going glory.


Low-riders. They evolved within Chicano (Mexican-American) communities, and now have been become a part of USA culture. They’re meant to be enjoyed like a back-yard bar-b-q; there’s no sense of urgency, no quarter-mile bench-racing here, just guys and gals enjoying their cars. Of course, some hydraulic pissing contests have emerged, but that’s not really the core of the genre.


While the Fiat 500 isn’t the most obvious candidate for low-riding treatment, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Add in some 13” gold rims, a gold-plated grill, some fly paint and twin Frenched-in antennas, hydraulics, and voila: instant low-rider.


It can’t hold a candle to the gravitas that a “proper” Impala might have, but the Fiat was never meant to be a serious car. It is a fun car. And now it’s funky, too.


The Fiat 500 Lowrider. Chicano with an Italian accent."


So, cheers. Thanks for your feedback, I look forward to hearing from you.


-Mike @The Beatnik Brotherhood
 
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