Future Fast and Frugal Fiats Come By Way of Electric and Abarth Models

By Jacob Brown | August 10, 2011
With the tiny Fiat 500 picking up in popularity as it continues to roll out in new dealerships opening around the U.S., the Italian brand is keeping things interesting with fresh variations on its subcompact car platform. Although Fiat sells different cars like the Panda five-door subcompact and Punto compact hatchback overseas, most variations U.S. shoppers get of those cars will be badged under the brands of Fiat's American partner, Chrysler. The 500 will remain Fiat’s leadoff batter, as well as its cleanup and designated hitters, in a rather shallow lineup for the time being. What’s Hot: The oft-raved about Abarth version of the Fiat 500 with a 1.4-liter turbocharged version of its award-winning MultiAir four-cylinder engine, making 160 horsepower. The Abarth will also come with a stiffer, sportier suspension and some styling tweaks. What’s Not: Where’s the rest of Fiat’s lineup, and why isn’t it coming to the U.S.?
Other changes include:
  • Fiat 500 EV: Expected to cost around $32,000 when it goes on sale next year, the Fiat 500 EV is going through the final stages of development as we speak at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills tech center.
  • Fiat 500 four-door: Perhaps the closest vehicle to the current Panda sold overseas, the Fiat 500 four-door will likely debut next March at the Geneva Auto Show. It will be a little larger than the three-door we have here and be built on a different chassis as well. It will serve as an extension of the Fiat 500 brand.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)