Thursday, August 12, 2010
2011 Fiat 500
Know About the 2011 Fiat 500
Consumer Guide’s Impressions of the 2011 Fiat 500
It’s the Italian Mini Cooper: Retro-cute, fun-to-drive small, and super-stingy with gas. What We Know About the 2011 Fiat 500
Remember Fiat? Remember the joke about Fiat meaning “Fix It Again, Tony”? That was the American rap on these cars: Mechanical maladies, early rust, poor resale value, and mediocre service from a rag-tag dealer body. This dramatic comeback is widely credited to Sergio Marchionne, the Italian-Canadian turnaround specialist who took over in 2004 as CEO of Fiat Auto Group, the vehicle division of the Fiat SpA combine. More recently, Fiat formed a global strategic alliance with Chrysler. Future product plans have yet to be finalized, but early reports say Fiat products and platforms will play a significant part in future Chrysler offerings
There are some interesting parallels between the British-sourced Mini and the expected U.S.-market 2011 Fiat 500. First, both were designed by Frank Stephenson, who joined Fiat after creating the 2002 Mini. (He subsequently moved to head of styling for the Alfa Romeo division, but recently left Fiat’s employ.) The wagon may be a reprisal of the classic Fiat 500 Giardinetta; think Mini Cooper Clubman with an Italian accent. As a 2-door hatchback, which will surely be the mainstay seller, the 2011 Fiat 500 is about 5 inches shorter, over an inch slimmer, and 3.2 inches taller than the equivalent Mini Cooper. Both cars have front-wheel drive, pert retro styling, and seating for four. But where the Mini is built on a purpose-designed platform, the" fiat 500" shares underpinnings with Fiat’s entry-level Panda. Fiat will offer one; perhaps a weight- and fuel-saving automated-manual gearbox.
Today, Peter fills his time writing songs about global warming, which is rather wearisome, but back in 1969 he wrote the definitive guide on how life should be led if Mammon were suddenly to vomit untold riches into your bank account. Aha-haha”.
Similarly, if you were to buy a bolt hole in Paris, as somewhere to keep your old Rolling Stones records, you might go for an apartment on the rue Saint-Honoré. Pah. Nonsense. You should go, as Peter suggests, with “the others of the jet set” to St Moritz.
One chap introduced me to his companion and I’d nearly died of old age by the time he’d finished. God knows where the locals buy a box of Winalot or some bog roll.
Of course, you can buy a watch. Nope. I like this car very much but in St Moritz it was wrong as well. The new Fiat 500. Really cheap. It’s well priced as well.