Fiat 500 Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I believe the first batch of 500s are the Prima Ediziones which were only available in manual transmission. Only time will tell though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
The Automatic was a bit of a surprise when it was announced so I'm not surprised.
I'm still not sure if the automatic is a CVT from a PT cruiser, Panda or a 6 speed dual clutch like in the Fiesta. Maybe they haven't decided either.

The dealer's are supposed to have Demonstrators before we finalize our Prima Ediziones and allow for the general public to pre-order by the end of February. My understanding is that they already have been built in Mexico.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
AutoGuide.com reports Fiat is not ready for the February launch with only 20% of dealers ready :eek: Also the first batch of 500's will only come in manual transmission, sucks for those that can't drive manual.

Article: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/01/fiat-500-launch-looking-rocky-as-lacks-of-dealers-manual-transmissions-cause-problems.html
Don't waste your money on an automatic. Learn how the clutch works so you don't wreck it up. After about 10,000 miles, the action of shifting becomes, well, "automatic." This might not work for you if your lips still move when you read.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
Ahem. I think the point of the article was simply to point out that a lack of cars available with an automatic transmission could be a problem in selling cars. Americans like automatics; the Detroit News reported that over 90% of cars sold in the US in 2009 had automatic transmissions. Fiat is here to sell cars, and to so in the US will require lots of cars with automatic transmissions.

The 500 has a wonderful, easy manual transmission, and it would be essential for me on a 500. The mass market in the US, however, has a different preference.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
Cars are not interchangeable widgits that have only two pedals to operate, regardless of size or configuration. This is simply wrong thinking, not a mere preference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
AA,

Well, I think that cars are very much interchangeable to many persons; the Toyota Corolla is the dullest automotive widget that was ever spit out of a factory, and millions have been sold. Most, I suspect, with automatic transmissions.

Perhaps you and I both like the 500 because of the design thinking that has gone into it, and we both would never consider an automatic transmission. We might also both opt for an automatic if we were buying a big sedan.

But the point is that if 90% of Americans buy cars with automatics, then Fiat must have 500's with automatics available. Remember that they sold 124 and alpha spyders with auto boxes in NA- and that was because there was a market sector that would not buy a car with a manual transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Don't waste your money on an automatic. Learn how the clutch works so you don't wreck it up. After about 10,000 miles, the action of shifting becomes, well, "automatic." This might not work for you if your lips still move when you read.
You are very right to not waste money on an automatic. I do drive a manual transmission vehicle and wouldn't give it up for an automatic. However the point of this article wasn't to discuss the lack of automatics, but i do appreciate your opinion as i feel the same way!

We do have to keep in mind a lot of people drive automatics and automatics are needed. As much as Fiat may want to stick to manual transmissions, to be successful.....autos are needed.

With a manual transmission, you really get the full experience of the vehicle. It's something people who only drive automatics will never understand until they make the switch.

Ahem. I think the point of the article was simply to point out that a lack of cars available with an automatic transmission could be a problem in selling cars. Americans like automatics; the Detroit News reported that over 90% of cars sold in the US in 2009 had automatic transmissions. Fiat is here to sell cars, and to so in the US will require lots of cars with automatic transmissions.

The 500 has a wonderful, easy manual transmission, and it would be essential for me on a 500. The mass market in the US, however, has a different preference.
So are you saying you had the chance to drive a 500, darn i wish i did.

AA,

Well, I think that cars are very much interchangeable to many persons; the Toyota Corolla is the dullest automotive widget that was ever spit out of a factory, and millions have been sold. Most, I suspect, with automatic transmissions.

Perhaps you and I both like the 500 because of the design thinking that has gone into it, and we both would never consider an automatic transmission. We might also both opt for an automatic if we were buying a big sedan.

But the point is that if 90% of Americans buy cars with automatics, then Fiat must have 500's with automatics available. Remember that they sold 124 and alpha spyders with auto boxes in NA- and that was because there was a market sector that would not buy a car with a manual transmission.
Vaild points made here. Basically said what i wanted to say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
Jones,

Thanks for the posting, and I'm glad that I kept up with the topic. I have actually driven two 500's in Italy. We had them as rental cars over a combined period of about five weeks. Delightful cars to drive, they feel nimble and precise and the standard transmission was easy and fun to use. The engine did not have a lot of torque, but I think the cars we rented had 1.2 l engines. So you need a bit more welly on the gas off the line, but the shifter throw is short and clean. We just bought a subaru wagon (used) and it has an autobox. But for my 500 (wife willing or even asleep) it will be the 5-speed for sure.

We all want Fiat to succeed, and bring more fiats and alphas to our side of the pond. And success in NA means having automatic transmission cars available.

The other point that you reported was the state of dealer readiness. Here in Vancouver I have not seen a single official bit of Fiat advertising. Others have, I think, reported some here or elsewhere in Canada. I have only seen two ads on Craigslist, posted by dealers, saying that they are taking orders. The dealership near me that will sell Fiat doesn't even have a sign up. Oh well, now I'm rambling on again. It's all just so.... silent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Jones,

Thanks for the posting, and I'm glad that I kept up with the topic. I have actually driven two 500's in Italy. We had them as rental cars over a combined period of about five weeks. Delightful cars to drive, they feel nimble and precise and the standard transmission was easy and fun to use. The engine did not have a lot of torque, but I think the cars we rented had 1.2 l engines. So you need a bit more welly on the gas off the line, but the shifter throw is short and clean. We just bought a subaru wagon (used) and it has an autobox. But for my 500 (wife willing or even asleep) it will be the 5-speed for sure.

We all want Fiat to succeed, and bring more fiats and alphas to our side of the pond. And success in NA means having automatic transmission cars available.

The other point that you reported was the state of dealer readiness. Here in Vancouver I have not seen a single official bit of Fiat advertising. Others have, I think, reported some here or elsewhere in Canada. I have only seen two ads on Craigslist, posted by dealers, saying that they are taking orders. The dealership near me that will sell Fiat doesn't even have a sign up. Oh well, now I'm rambling on again. It's all just so.... silent.
Surprised at your good reaction to driving the 500 equipped with a 59HP 1.2 Liter engine which is the smallest engine in the line up. I bet you can't wait for the 1.4 Liter that gets nearly 100 HP.

I also have yet to see any advertisement where im at. No billboards, tv ad's, or anything at all. All ad's for the 500 have been online.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
Jones,

Yes, I liked the 1.2, but I am used to modest power. Often, well-designed small displacement engines seem to rev so easily, and without a feeling of strain. The small engine doesn't feel more stressed at 4500 rpm than it does at 2500. RPM sort of becomes a number, or a place on the tach where the needle is. But it is not like a lumbering V8 that is breathless at 4500.

For me the 500 is really a beautiful balance; modest weight, nimble handling, light, responsive controls and a power delivery that makes actually driving the car an involving experience. It's not about putting your foot on the loud pedal and watching the scenery fly by.

Sigh. There I go again; wander off into memory land.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Hey guys I'm the Manager of Maranello Fiat in Vaughan, Ontario (near toronto). Just to put an official word on things....

-Automatics will start being built on January 31st (as well as Lounge models)

-My first 'assigned' allotment in March will comprise of Manual trans. POP and SPORT models

- The first month of production for vehicles 'spec'd out' by customers is March Production due for arrival in april/may

Our preorders are half auto half manual......

Nice thing about the manual is that its pretty much almost impossible to stall and should be confidence inspiring for most customers who are new to Manual Trasnmissions...

cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
Hi MaranelloFIAT,

Thanks for the updates; your input will be very welcome here. So, we're cool with the transmission question.

Anything you can offer to us about the apparently underwhelming promotional campaign? I'm specifically thinking 'Canada' here, since I understand that there have been some more public launches in some US cities. Here in Vancouver I would expect the 500 to sell as well as, or better than, almost anywhere in Canada. And yet nothing announcing the arrival of the 500.

Do they expect to sell cars just to us fiat fans?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top