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SeaDawg
09-13-2011, 05:01 PM
New at the Frankfurt Motor Show;

“It’s phenomenal, and it’s coming to the U.S., probably in 2012,” said Mr. Marchionne, dressed in his trademark dark blue, crew-neck wool jumper, to a group of gathered journalists. He affectionately patted the Fiat’s roof. “It’s perfect for there, and we’ll build it there,” he said, presumably meaning Mexico, where Chrysler builds the Fiat 500 for North America.

The two-seat Competizione, based on the 500 and with a roll bar where the rear seats would otherwise be, is powered by a 1.4-liter turbo motor generating 180 horsepower. Cosmetically, it is separated from the workaday 500 by a rear diffuser, dual exhaust pipes and a lot of scorpion badging.

Before Mr. Marchionne continued his tour down the aisle of Fiat subsidiaries, which included Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia and Jeep, he asked one of his associates the price of the new Abarth. “About 35,000 euros,” he was told, or about $52,000.

“It’s a steal,” said the chief.

geeded
09-13-2011, 05:39 PM
<snicker>
I'm buying an Abarth but anyone that would pay that much cash for ANY kind of 500 is a "little" off....

If they sell more a dozen, I'd be surprised.

small car lover
09-13-2011, 08:42 PM
<snicker>
I'm buying an Abarth but anyone that would pay that much cash for ANY kind of 500 is a "little" off....

If they sell more a dozen, I'd be surprised.

It really depends on the content of the car. Nobody bats an eye at a $50k BMW Z4, $55k for a M-B SLK or $60k for a M-B C-class AMG. Those can all be considered "lifestyle" cars as well. If they work the car over, say take weight out with the use of carbon fiber, stiffen the chassis, add to the motor, give the interior higher end materials and finishes, etc there is no reason the car would not sell in limited numbers (more than dozen but less than a thousand). In terms of relative pricing between the standard 500 and a 695, this would not be that different from AMG doing a Black Series on their C class.

Just because the 500 is a small car does not mean there would not be any interest in a premium version.

If the car delivers the goods I would consider waiting for the 695 over the regular Abarth. I would much rather have the 695 than any of the cars I mentioned above. Lots more character, much more exclusive, and I'd be willing to bet much more fun and involving to drive. The only competition for the 695 in my eyes would be the Alfa 4C, but that will be a little different car (IE no manual tranny) and may not have the involvement of the 695.

Chris
09-14-2011, 07:38 PM
Agreed s-c-l but at that price, if I wasn't buying it to rally, I'd spend elsewhere... an S5 for example.

I wonder though, if we can surmise from this that the talk of a 170-180bhp Abarth is this beast and that the standard Abarth will indeed be more like 130bhp.

geeded
09-14-2011, 10:47 PM
OK, maybe 50 here in the USA. The 695 is ONLY available with a single-disc automated manual transmission, NOT a DSG dual-clutch. Here is the description right off the Abarth site in Europe:

C510 "The innovative MTA-derived (Manual Transmission Automated) system is based on a conventional mechanical gearbox on which the traditional gear lever has been replaced with an actuator electronically controlled by the TCU (Transmission Control Unit) to optimize gear changes and mechanical efficiency. The gearbox can be used in two modes: auto for maximum comfort, and manual for maximum performance. "Sport" mode can be engaged in both gearbox modes and reduces gear shift times."

This is a FAIL in my book for a 50+k auto. Porsche gets away with charging "more for less" but FIAT is not exactly a household name in the US as yet.... I thought the auto-manual was stupid in the Beetle back in the early 70's, stupid in the Smart, and ditto in the 500. It's the answer to a question no one asked. In Europe it must make some sort of sense, perhaps it lowers C02 emissions or something else. Maybe they've never felt how a well sorted, properly geared torque converter auto responds....or even better a DSG.

I like to shift for myself but if I wanted a "flappy paddle" gearbox, it would have TWO clutches not one.

As always, YMMV and never underestimate the gullibility of the general public.:greedy_dollars:

small car lover
09-14-2011, 11:01 PM
That is a good question Chris. If I remember correctly the 695 has been in europe for several years. I believe it has been 180ps all along. I also believe all the European 500 Abarth's have not used the multiair head. The standard 1.4 turbo is 135hp, the SS kit brings it to 160 I beleive, and the 695 version is the 180hp. I was under the impression all three of those motors do not have the multiair head. The multiair 1.4 turbo used in the Alfa Mito is in the 170-180hp range. I believe a variant of that motor that has been announced for the US Abarth. What I am very interested to see is if Fiat can apply some "hand tuning" to the 170hp multiair and install it into a limited production 695 for the US. Perhaps get a special 1.4 multiair up above the 170hp. My complete speculation and wish would be to see a special motor in the neighborhood of 200hp. I have seen a UK tuner offer a kit for the Mito 1.4 with 200hp so I am hopeful it's possible here in the US, in spite of our poor quality fuel.

The S5 is a nice car. I have a friend with a S4. Really nice car, but totally different concept. The light, small, nimble, quick is my idea of the 695. The Austin Cygnet is somewhat close in concept to the 695, if the cygnet actually had some power, say double.

I'm really looking for a small, lightweight fun car. I have the idea of picking up a used Elise/Exige in the back of my mind if I end up not liking the Abarth when it finally comes out. I'd rather have the Abarth, as the Elise is not a easy car to live with and will be somewhat demanding. Certain mods are necessary for reliability (radiator, suspension links, oil line fittings all have issues), it is nearly impossible to carry more than two grocery bags, visibility is challenged, etc.

Like everyone else, I wait for the Abarth with bated breath.

Fiat500USA
09-15-2011, 01:56 AM
New at the Frankfurt Motor Show;

“It’s phenomenal, and it’s coming to the U.S., probably in 2012,” said Mr. Marchionne, dressed in his trademark dark blue, crew-neck wool jumper, to a group of gathered journalists. He affectionately patted the Fiat’s roof. “It’s perfect for there, and we’ll build it there,” he said, presumably meaning Mexico, where Chrysler builds the Fiat 500 for North America.

The two-seat Competizione, based on the 500 and with a roll bar where the rear seats would otherwise be, is powered by a 1.4-liter turbo motor generating 180 horsepower. Cosmetically, it is separated from the workaday 500 by a rear diffuser, dual exhaust pipes and a lot of scorpion badging.

Before Mr. Marchionne continued his tour down the aisle of Fiat subsidiaries, which included Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia and Jeep, he asked one of his associates the price of the new Abarth. “About 35,000 euros,” he was told, or about $52,000.

“It’s a steal,” said the chief.

Do not fall into the trap of comparing European prices to American prices. It is much more complicated than a straight conversion. We saw that when we figured the price out on the 500.

A 500 lounge in Italy roughly equipped like a US car is 18,395 Euro w/get ready ($25,057) ours is $20,000

35,000 Euro is currently $47,674. By the way, the 500 Abarth starts at 18,800 Euro ($25,608) in Italy.

small car lover
09-15-2011, 08:04 AM
Do not fall into the trap of comparing European prices to American prices. It is much more complicated than a straight conversion. We saw that when we figured the price out on the 500.

A 500 lounge in Italy roughly equipped like a US car is 18,395 Euro w/get ready ($25,057) ours is $20,000

35,000 Euro is currently $47,674. By the way, the 500 Abarth starts at 18,800 Euro ($25,608) in Italy.

Excellent point. Using that rough correlation of the 500 lounge Italy to US price, the 35,000 Euro 695 would come in somewhere around $38,000. Considering the price and being a 2 seater, the 695 would be something like a Fiat version of a JCW mini GP.

Reaperman
09-15-2011, 08:51 AM
I second the math on $38k--it's bound not to be 100% accurate, but probably more so than a straight euro-dollar conversion.

At that price they'll probably sell a few, but it will be a fairly exclusive car. It seems like it was designed as such. I could probably make myself afford it, but I don't really want to. At that price, I see a lot of cars which provide better value (IMO). There's really only so far that I want my souped-up cheap hatchback to go before I start wanting a better base car.

F500
09-15-2011, 09:36 AM
OK, maybe 50 here in the USA. The 695 is ONLY available with a single-disc automated manual transmission, NOT a DSG dual-clutch.

.........in other words the old Chrysler 'Push-Button' Transmission makes a return....in a FIAT! now the pics I've seen of it make sense! :D

F500
09-15-2011, 09:44 AM
A 500 lounge in Italy roughly equipped like a US car is 18,395 Euro w/get ready ($25,057) ours is $20,000

35,000 Euro is currently $47,674. By the way, the 500 Abarth starts at 18,800 Euro ($25,608) in Italy.

so with that rationale, the Abarth would be about the same price as our Lounge model? SWEET!!!!!

small car lover
09-15-2011, 09:59 AM
I like to shift for myself but if I wanted a "flappy paddle" gearbox, it would have TWO clutches not one.

As always, YMMV and never underestimate the gullibility of the general public.:greedy_dollars:

I have never had the opportunity to experience a single clutch automated manual. Only a DSG which I did not particularly care for. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the difference in driving experience between the two systems.

geeded
09-15-2011, 06:36 PM
I have never had the opportunity to experience a single clutch automated manual. Only a DSG which I did not particularly care for. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the difference in driving experience between the two systems.

Ok, this is the way I understand it. DSG, one gear engaged by one clutch, next gear queued up with the second clutch, push/pull the flappy paddle, first clutch disengages and second one engages within milliseconds (depending on how it's tuned) and repeat. If done correctly, the only thing you notice is the change in the engine note (of course the new Focus has a DSG which is not exactly garnering rave reviews).

The single clutch "auto-manual" works like a modern, fully automatic version of the old Cord "preselector" gearbox. When the transmission changes gears (or you push/pull, a button, lever, whatever), a bunch of servos, hydraulics, gizmos, etc disengage the clutch from the flywheel, "buzz/click/whirrrr" an actuator changes the gear for you, and the same clutch is engaged. Same thing you can do with a clutch pedal and shifter. Of course, the clutch pedal & shifter does the same thing as the "manumatic" for much less money both when bought and (Heven help you) when the automanual needs repair .

There is a reason Abarth has had to add a manual to the European Abarth C that launched with only the 510 automated manual. A LOT of people do/did not like it. Read some reviews on the C model.

That's the way I understand it. If I'm wrong, no doubt I will be corrected. Remember what free information is worth!

Cheers

small car lover
09-15-2011, 07:42 PM
Ok, this is the way I understand it. DSG, one gear engaged by one clutch, next gear queued up with the second clutch, push/pull the flappy paddle, first clutch disengages and second one engages within milliseconds (depending on how it's tuned) and repeat. If done correctly, the only thing you notice is the change in the engine note (of course the new Focus has a DSG which is not exactly garnering rave reviews).

The single clutch "auto-manual" works like a modern, fully automatic version of the old Cord "preselector" gearbox. When the transmission changes gears (or you push/pull, a button, lever, whatever), a bunch of servos, hydraulics, gizmos, etc disengage the clutch from the flywheel, "buzz/click/whirrrr" an actuator changes the gear for you, and the same clutch is engaged. Same thing you can do with a clutch pedal and shifter. Of course, the clutch pedal & shifter does the same thing as the "manumatic" for much less money both when bought and (Heven help you) when the automanual needs repair .

There is a reason Abarth has had to add a manual to the European Abarth C that launched with only the 510 automated manual. A LOT of people do/did not like it. Read some reviews on the C model.

That's the way I understand it. If I'm wrong, no doubt I will be corrected. Remember what free information is worth!

Cheers

Thanks, I do understand the theory of operation of both units. When you mentioned you would want a dual clutch design rather than a single clutch, I thought you had prior experience with both and had a preference for the dual. I was trying to understand the reason, and how the driving experience differs between the two. Sorry for the confusion.

Cheers

geeded
09-15-2011, 09:10 PM
I've driven a VW with a dual and a Smart with a single. The VW was fine (for an auto) and the Smart was a joke. You had to lift off the throttle in the Smart to speed the shift. I swear you could knit a sweater between shifts, and this with a VERY underpowered car.

Go drive a Focus or VW, the only single I know of right now is the Smart.

So, the DSG drives at least 5 times better than the Smart single. For what it's worth.

Cheers

small car lover
09-15-2011, 09:59 PM
Thanks. I have driven a VW DSG. Not my cup of tea. I have not driven a Smart. I do agree the Smart seems to be regarded as worst transmission in recent history by the auto journalist community. I have to believe the Smart transmission is not representative of all single clutch automated manuals. For example the Ferrari F355 and F360 were available with single clutch automated manuals (http://www.autozine.org/technical_school/gearbox/tech_gear_manual.htm). If I remember correctly those shift times eventually came down to 150 milliseconds or less. Unfortunately I don't think I will never have the opportunity to drive a good single clutch unit (like the Ferrari). Oh well, I guess I'll never know... :sorrow:

Cheers

Fiat500USA
09-17-2011, 11:17 PM
Thanks. I have driven a VW DSG. Not my cup of tea. I have not driven a Smart. I do agree the Smart seems to be regarded as worst transmission in recent history by the auto journalist community. I have to believe the Smart transmission is not representative of all single clutch automated manuals. For example the Ferrari F355 and F360 were available with single clutch automated manuals (http://www.autozine.org/technical_school/gearbox/tech_gear_manual.htm). If I remember correctly those shift times eventually came down to 150 milliseconds or less. Unfortunately I don't think I will never have the opportunity to drive a good single clutch unit (like the Ferrari). Oh well, I guess I'll never know... :sorrow:

Cheers

The dualogic is a direct decendant from the F355's transmission. The below description of the MTA is by Magneti Marelli:

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT, also known as Selespeed) from Magneti Marelli is a mechanism for automating manual transmission which derives from Formula 1. It combines comfort of use with a reduction in consumption. It allows the driver to change gear without using the clutch, either sequentially or fully automatically.

The device from Magneti Marelli operates on the manual transmission of a car in the same way as the driver would: it opens and closes the clutch, engages and disengages the gears and, when necessary, it also controls the choice of transmission (automatic or sequential mode for changing gear).

The heart and intelligence of the gear control system is the TCU (Transmission Control Unit). Taking into account the driver’s requirements and the operating conditions of the vehicle, it manages the gear changes by controlling the clutch, the gears and the engine.

The fact that it is well coupled with the engine control means the AMT is able to ensure less consumption than a car with manual transmission: lower consumption also means lower emissions, especially of CO2.

The latest generation of AMT is known as “mechatronic”, as for the first time, it combines the electronic control part and the hydraulic actuation part of the transmission in a single kit.

This allows considerable improvements to performance, both in terms of speed and comfort when changing gear.

In addition to Selespeed having been installed in numerous small and medium cylinder vehicles, versions of the robotized transmission have been installed in several supercars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

small car lover
09-17-2011, 11:51 PM
The dualogic is a direct decendant from the F355's transmission. The below description of the MTA is by Magneti Marelli:

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT, also known as Selespeed) from Magneti Marelli is a mechanism for automating manual transmission which derives from Formula 1. It combines comfort of use with a reduction in consumption. It allows the driver to change gear without using the clutch, either sequentially or fully automatically.

The device from Magneti Marelli operates on the manual transmission of a car in the same way as the driver would: it opens and closes the clutch, engages and disengages the gears and, when necessary, it also controls the choice of transmission (automatic or sequential mode for changing gear).

The heart and intelligence of the gear control system is the TCU (Transmission Control Unit). Taking into account the driver’s requirements and the operating conditions of the vehicle, it manages the gear changes by controlling the clutch, the gears and the engine.

The fact that it is well coupled with the engine control means the AMT is able to ensure less consumption than a car with manual transmission: lower consumption also means lower emissions, especially of CO2.

The latest generation of AMT is known as “mechatronic”, as for the first time, it combines the electronic control part and the hydraulic actuation part of the transmission in a single kit.

This allows considerable improvements to performance, both in terms of speed and comfort when changing gear.

In addition to Selespeed having been installed in numerous small and medium cylinder vehicles, versions of the robotized transmission have been installed in several supercars such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

Excellent information! Thank you. This gives me hope the Abarth 695 will still be involving even with the AMT. I'm a manual transmission person to the core, but I'm willing to be open minded to a AMT, especially one derived from the Ferrari F355! If the 695 AMT retains the sporting character of the F355 (something the DSG unit in the VW sorely lacks) it will be a winner. This is good news!

fiat for life
09-23-2011, 03:21 PM
Is there any info on where the 695 will be sold? Will it be sold through FIAT dealers of Ferrari dealers?

Fiat500USA
09-23-2011, 10:56 PM
Here is how the Fiat Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDT) / Alfa TCT works:


http://youtu.be/uKuqAw3PKMw

fiat for life
09-29-2011, 06:04 PM
Is there any info on where the 695 will be sold? Will it be sold through FIAT dealers of Ferrari dealers?
*cough cough*