Motorshow, Convertible, Sports Car, News

Abarth reveals 124 spider

Fiat's Performance division, Abarth, has unveiled its new 124 spider.

Developed with input from the Abarth Racing Team, the rear wheel drive roadster features a mechanical Limited-Slip differential as standard to secure drive and traction. Weighing just 1,060 kilograms, most if it concentrated between the axles and the engine for better handling, the 124 has a weight-to-power ratio of 6.2 kg/HP - the best in its category says Abarth.

The suspension has a high double-wishbone layout in front and a five-link set up in the rear, specifically tuned for greater braking and cornering stability. The Abarth dynamic vehicle set-up ensures drivers can get the most out of the car, while the “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers, together with stiffened anti-roll bars, provide ‘ultimate handling and driving comfort’.

Powered by a four-cylinder 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine, it delivers 170 HP and 250 Nm of torque for a top speed of 143mph and a 0 to 62mph time of 6.8-seconds. The spider is available with a six-speed manual or the automatic Sequenziale Sportivo gearbox with paddles behind the steering wheel. Shifting is described as extremely fast and the performance of the car is boosted even further by a “Sport” setting mode. Stopping power comes from the Brembo braking system, with aluminium front callipers. To provides a 'proper race car feeling' when driving on track, the new 124 Spider lets the driver disengage the electronic controls to experience the mechanical balance and linear engine response.

Fitted with the Racing Anti-glare kit, a matt black treatment for bonnet and boot lid, the interior Racing Alcantara Kit, a standard-fit ‘Record Monza’ exhaust is also installed to ensure outstanding engine performance and an 'unmistakable sound'.

Styling wise, a horizontal line rises from the front and stretches rearward to join with the rear line near the rear light cluster: this is a reference to the classic Fiat 124 spider. Both the front bumper, with its larger air intake, and the rear bumper’s aerodynamic extractor were both shaped in the wind tunnel, as were the rear spoiler and wind stop which both contribute to improving air flow. The 17-inch alloy wheels, the windscreen surround and the roll bars are finished in “Forgiato (forged) Grey”. The bonnet humps suggest the longitudinal position of the engine, also a direct reference to the original 124 spider. At the rear, ‘swallow-tail’ rear wings and the horizontal rear lights pick up particular features of its classic predecessor.

On the inside, the leather seats are supportive and allow for a sporty driving position as far back and as low as possible. The controls are in tune with the car's sporty set-up with the position of the aluminium pedal board, the small-diameter steering wheel, the short gear lever and the start button on the dashboard and three-point seat belts all contributing to a sporty driving experience. The instrument panel includes a large rev counter with red background arranged in a central position.

Five body colours are available: special solid "Turini 1975 White " and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic  "Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, "Portogallo 1974 Grey" and “San Marino 1972 Black” - the nomenclature a tribute to its Abarth’s rallying success.

The Abarth 124 spider will be available from September with UK pricing yet to be confirmed but expected to start around the £30k mark.

Events, Hatchback, News

Fiat 500X strikes a pose in Zoolander 2

Fiat’s 500X has starred alongside supermodel Derek Zoolander in the eagerly-anticipated “Zoolander 2” sequel.

At a fan screening of the new film in Rome, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles was present as a main partner on the red carpet, with a Fiat 500X finished in its special Tri-Coat Yellow livery. Produced by Paramount Pictures and shot predominantly in Rome, the film brings the Fiat 500X together for the first time with one of the most famous film and fashion characters.

The collaboration between Fiat and Paramount has also produced a new Fiat 500X advertisement called "Selfie” in which Zoolander fools around with a rather special camera.. a safety camera. Driving his yellow Fiat 500X, he poses for photos by the safety camera as though he were on a fashion shoot, showing off his best expressions, especially his mythical ‘Blue Steel’ pose. It’s an unconventional fashion shoot which Zoolander thinks shows him at his dazzling best but which is ultimately interrupted by the police.

Zoolander 2 is set for a UK release on February 12, 2016. The Fiat 500X range starts at £14,595 OTR.

City Car, News

'Eco' model joins Fiat 500 range

Fiat is now offering the most popular engine in the 500 range with an enhanced 'Eco' specification.

 The 1.2-litre 69hp 'Eco' is equipped with additional efficiency technologies including a smart alternator, improved underbody aerodynamics and low rolling resistance 15-inch tyres, as well as Start & Stop which is already standard across the 500 range. 

Despite no drop in performance, says Fiat, compared to the standard 69hp 1.2 (0-62mph in 12.9 seconds and top speed of 99 mph), these modifications result in the official CO2 emissions for the 1.2 'Eco' being reduced from 110 to 99g/km which, in turn, cuts the annual road tax bill from £20 to £0 and reduces company car BIK tax liability from 17% to 14%.

Official fuel economy also improves with 58.9 mpg (urban cycle), 70.6 mpg (extra urban cycle) and 65.7 mpg (combined cycle) compared to the standard car's 51.4-, 65.7- and 60.1 mpg respectively.

Available in Pop Star and Lounge trim levels, prices for the Fiat 500 1.2 'Eco' start at £11,865 OTR for the hatchback and £14,515 OTR for the convertible 500C version.

Pick-up, Diesel, News

New Fiat Fullback pick-up revealed

Fiat has unveiled a new pick-up called the Fullback.

The new pick-up truck is named after the cornerstone Fullback position in rugby and will be available in the UK in autumn 2016.

Unveiled at the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show, the new, medium-duty pick-up will join Fiat's Professional range and will be available in double cab body style configuration only for the UK, making it an 'ideal vehicle' for both commercial and leisure time activities, says Fiat.

Measuring up to 1,780mm in height, 1,815 mm in width and 5,285mm in length, with a wheelbase of 3,000mm, the Fullback will offer a 'competitive payload' of 1,045 kg and will be powered by a 2.4-litre, aluminium, turbo-diesel engine with a power output of either 150hp or 180hp. Two transmissions will be available, a new six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission with sports mode, and both will be combined with a four-wheel drive system.

The Fullback is Fiat Professional's first contender in the medium-duty pick-up truck segment in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region. Visitors to the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show will also be able to see the Fiat Fullback equipped with a selection of special accessories currently under development by Mopar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' brand for after-sales service.

Available in the UK in two trim levels, pricing and specifications will be announced closer to the vehicle's launch in autumn 2016.