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After a 27 year absence, Fiat has had a very successful launch in North America. Currently, the 500 is available in three trim levels, but the model range is set to expand next year with the introduction of the sporty Abarth version and an all-electric 500. Fiat will also launch a fifth vehicle in 2013, a four-door, five-seat, taller subcompact. This vehicle will be built on a larger platform but will still use the 500 in its nameplate. It will be marketed as a more family-oriented car within the Fiat lineup.

The 500 Abarth will use an imported version of the 1.4-liter engine equipped with a turbocharger producing 160-hp. The Abarth will also have a stiffer suspension, wider tires and a tweaked exterior and interior design. Fiat feels this vehicle will be a serious competitor to the Mini Cooper S.

More: Fiat To Expand North American Model Range With Abarth, Crossover on AutoGuide.com
 

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I was hoping they'd price the Abarth below the Cooper, considering it has cheaper components, poorer performance and a less sophisticated suspension, but when I hear "Fiat feels this vehicle will be a serious competitor to the Mini Cooper S", I can't help but think the marketing division is going to price match it to the Cooper S.
 

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Given the facts from the article (I'm still hoping for a little more hp), why would it be cheaper than a Cooper? With 160 hp, it would easily run away from it, and hopefully the suspension will be at least as good as the Cooper's.

I have no idea why they'd price it under the Cooper. That would really be too much of a good thing. It will probably run into the 24-25k range, though my magic 8 ball says to ask again later. That would make it cheaper than the Cooper S, which would be deserved, given the lack of hp.

I don't think that the materials are that much cheaper in the 500, btw. It's certainly much more ergonomic than the Mini.
 

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Given the facts from the article (I'm still hoping for a little more hp), why would it be cheaper than a Cooper? With 160 hp, it would easily run away from it, and hopefully the suspension will be at least as good as the Cooper's.

I have no idea why they'd price it under the Cooper. That would really be too much of a good thing. It will probably run into the 24-25k range, though my magic 8 ball says to ask again later. That would make it cheaper than the Cooper S, which would be deserved, given the lack of hp.

I don't think that the materials are that much cheaper in the 500, btw. It's certainly much more ergonomic than the Mini.
Th 180HP euro Abarth SS version is slower than the Cooper S, so how is the 160HP US Abarth going to be faster?? The torsion beam rear suspension is quite inferior to a fully independent rear as used on the Cooper. You can tune it to handle as well, but you WILL lose driveability on anyhing short of a silk-smooth road. Go look at pre-2005 Golf GTIs...same cheap rear setup.

As I've said before on this site, the economics behind the 500 don't add up. They are using nearly the cheapest labor force (Mexico) to build the car, yet they price it like it was fab'd in Italy and claim to barely make any money on it. Fiat is not being honest, and too many people are taking the bait. They are about to do the same with the Abarth, I'm afraid.
 

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You're going to have to be a bit more accurate in your posts, then. By "Cooper", I'm consistently referring to the stock Cooper, not the S, to be equal with Mini's nomenclature.

I'm not sure how a particular country is inferior by design than any other country, but I think that we've had this discussion before.

I agree with you on how they should set the price, but I also think that they've tipped their hat with the current 500s, as being cheaper than the equivalently-equipped Coopers by a realistic margin, I think. And I don't anticipate this changing with the Abarth. But time will tell.
 

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I haven't seen any evidence that they're dumb enough to think that they could get away with $30k on this car. I've been wrong before, though!
 

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I want to see what the 'crossover' 500 model will look like. I would LOVE for my wife to have one, just so we could have 2 500's, one with more room. BUT I'll have a hard time getting her to give up her Prius......:rolleyes:
 

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I only know it seems to refer to the care being assembled in Mexico, (motor is built in Michigan though I believe it is). Beyond that where it mentions having had the discussion before, well that was before my time here.


Odd...I only mentioned Mexico due to economic reasons, not quality control reasons...if a car is manufactured/assembled in Mexico, you are generally guaranteed lower overhead than in the US or Europe. I guess some people can't help but be defensive. I'm with you, I'm not aware of past discussions about this in the past, but then I don't read every thread on here.
 

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I guess I owe you an apology, then. I had several discussions with someone here about Mexican quality issues a long time ago (his contention was that anything assembled in Mexico is by nature inferior, so we had a "discussion" about that). So have to say that I am sorry about the confusion.

Bygones! :)
 

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I only know it seems to refer to the care being assembled in Mexico, (motor is built in Michigan though I believe it is). Beyond that where it mentions having had the discussion before, well that was before my time here.

Speaking with my experience in dealing with Toluca built cars I have one issue. They don't have winter. Things like bolts aren't as "rust proofed" as Belvidere built cars. Paint also is much more "chippy" or chip prone I guess you could say. Again prolly because of the cheaper paint. There are a few smaller details/differences in assembly between the two, but I don't feel like nit pickin.
 

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I only know it seems to refer to the care being assembled in Mexico, (motor is built in Michigan though I believe it is). Beyond that where it mentions having had the discussion before, well that was before my time here.

Speaking with my experience in dealing with Toluca built cars I have one issue. They don't have winter. Things like bolts aren't as "rust proofed" as Belvidere built cars. Paint also is much more "chippy" or chip prone I guess you could say. Again prolly because of the cheaper paint. There are a few smaller details/differences in assembly between the two, but I don't feel like nit pickin.

While I would hope and assume they have taken into account the intended distribution areas of the car this is good info to consider, thanks.
 

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Is Dyluck inferring that Fiat / Chrysler has different material specs (fastener corrosion proofing, paint chemstry, etc.) for different plants? If so, I disagree. While individual plants have purchasing departments for local items (plant maintenance items, for instance), the plant purchasing function typically does not get involved in sourcing, and plant level engineering does not get involved in specifying materials used in product production directly. Instead, material used for production are spec'd by the platform engineering group (including fastener corrosion specs, paint chemistry, etc.) and these are sourced by central purchasing. Therefore, my contention is that a given car built in Toluca will use the same componentry as one of the same model / trim built in Belvedere, etc., etc.
 
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