Fiat set for North American return with three 2012 models

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Fiat set for North American return with three 2012 models

James Raia

Fiat marked its return to the North American market with the unveiling of the 2012 Fiat 500 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show and showcasing the carmaker’s ingenuity to build a small car through simple design like it did 50 years ago.

Fiat set for North American return with three 2012 models 1The 2012 Fiat is available in three models: Pop, Sport and Lounge.

Fiat 500 Pop
Designed for the individual who wants Italian style, efficiency and personalization options, the new Fiat 500 Pop includes a manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels with chrome-accented wheel covers and all-season tires, seven standard air bags, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with auxiliary audio input, power windows, power door locks, power heated mirrors, speed control and reconfigurable Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with trip computer, miles-to-empty, average fuel economy and tire-pressure monitoring display (TPM).

Fiat 500 Sport
For the driving enthusiast, the new Fiat 500 Sport model encompasses modified springs, shock tuning, steering calibration and exhaust tuning to deliver a more firm ride and responsive handling. The Sport model also includes a manual transmission and (in addition to the Fiat 500 Pop features) styled front and rear fascias with “honeycomb” grilles and flared aerodynamic treatment.

Between its unique 16-inch aluminum wheels with Mineral Gray painted pockets and all-season tires, the Fiat 500 Sport incorporates new bodyside sill cladding and a liftgate-mounted roof spoiler for a sporty appearance.

The athletic design theme also featurees Performance Red painted brake calipers attached to a sport-tuned suspension, chromed exhaust tip and fog lamps. Inside, the new Fiat 500 Sport features unique sport-styled seating in a Gray/Black interior environment, a BOSE® Energy Efficient Series audio system with six premium speakers and subwoofer, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication technology with USB port and iPod control capability.

Fiat set for North American return with three 2012 models 2

Fiat 500 Lounge
Tailored for individuals who want their Fiat 500 to reflect their fashion-oriented lifestyles, the new Fiat 500 Lounge model features premium amenities (in addition to the Fiat 500 Pop features) including the all-new six-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable gear changes, front- and rear-fascia chromed accents, chrome mirror caps, fog lamps, fixed glass roof, 15-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires, premium cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, BOSE Energy Efficient Series audio system with six premium speakers and subwoofer, security alarm, Blue & Me Handsfree Communication technology with USB port and iPod control capability.

The Fiat 500 offers 1.4-liter MultiAir® engine with two transmission options, seven standard airbags and Blue & Me™ Handsfree Communication, its interactive driving software

The MultiAir technology offers up to 10 percent greater fuel efficiency and power while decreasing CO2 emissions. The new Fiat delivers 101 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 98 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Exclusively available for the North American market, an all-new six-speed automatic transmission provides the new Fiat 500 with smooth shifting and excellent fuel economy. For engaging driving, the transmission allows for driver-selectable gear changes. Should the driver select ‘Sport’ mode by pressing the button on the instrument panel, the transmission’s shift schedule and the steering response are automatically adjusted to provide even more sporty driving dynamics.

An upgraded five-speed manual transmission features new gear ratios for the U.S. market, improving fuel efficiency and acceleration. A new self-adjusting hydraulic-clutch system is standard with this transmission, benefiting drivers with consistent pedal efforts over the life of the clutch and virtually maintenance-free operation. Selecting ‘Sport’ mode with the manual transmission calibrates the pedal-to-throttle relation and the steering response to add greater driving enjoyment.

Key new adaptations for the 2012 Fiat include:

* Redesigned body structure for increased strength;
* Exclusively tailored suspension for the U.S. market to keep the Fiat 500 nimble while delivering a comfortable and quiet interior cabin for highway driving;
* More than 20 specific hardware modifications/additions for improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH);
* New four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system (ABS) with redesigned front calipers for optimum brake performance;
* Larger 10.5-gallon fuel tank for extended driving range;
* Upgraded heating and cooling system for North American climate extremes;
* Redesigned driver and front-passenger seats feature a new armrest and seat cushion for improved comfort on long journeys;
* Easy-entry system designed into the new front seats;
* New steering wheel controls and revised steering effort calibration to increase stability at highway speed (against crosswinds);
* New BOSE® Energy Efficient Series premium audio system features six premium speakers and a subwoofer;

The new Fiat 500 will be in 14 metallic, non-metallic and premium tri-coat pearl finishes, every new 2012 Fiat 500 two interior options, black or ivory.

A full line of authentic Fiat 500 accessories by Mopar will offer customers even more personalization possibilities at their local Fiat dealership, including unique striping packages, exterior and interior styling accessories and authentic Fiat-styled merchandise.

The starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2012 Fiat 500 is $15,500.

All 2012 Fiat 500 models will come with a standard four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and four years of unlimited roadside assistance. In addition, the new Fiat 500 includes a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance program that includes wear-and-tear items and trip-interruption reimbursement.

Customers are now able to configure their own Fiat 500 online at

Article Last Updated: November 20, 2010.

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