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  1. #11
    Chief Car Looker Upperer Lifetime Member Andree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post

    Below is an image of the trunk of a pre-production Fiat 500. Notice the un-carpeted seat backs. This was deemed too unfinished for the North American market and was changed. If the general public was allowed to view that at car shows, it would have given a false first impression, so that is why they are careful with the previews.



    photo source: anonymous Fiat500USA.com fan
    I *LIKED* the metal seat backs. Or plastic. Or whatever that is. Easier to clean. Thought we got short-changed on seat backs, with the carpet, instead of the useful and practical hard surface seat backs. LOL.

  2. #12
    Chief Car Looker Upperer Lifetime Member Andree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    If the general public was allowed to view that at car shows, it would have given a false first impression, so that is why they are careful with the previews.
    They aren't so careful with their own website though. I have an eye for detail (well, sometimes) and noticed several things on the Fiat site for the Lounge that don't actually come on the Lounge. They're using last year's images still, but nothing has changed (thank goodness).

    Check it out: http://www.fiatusa.com/en/2013/500/lounge/

    First thing that is totally obvious, scroll down to the "Precious Piece of Mind" section second from bottom. It talks about the Back-up sensor. It's a Lounge, which we know. It's not a convertible, which is obvious. Look at the rear window.

    See it yet?

    Look at the chrome trim below the rear window on the Lounge hardtop. The chrome trim only exists in that location on the convertible. I had some put on my hardtop, because I think it looks good with the chrome trim there.

    Next up, the door sill trim. Go back up on the Lounge page, look at the assorted images, and view the image in the lower right corner. Pretty fancy shiny door sill trim, with the caption "Signature Style – The FIAT 500 Lounge." The door sill trim certainly didn't come on MY Lounge.

    I'd call that false advertising, for both of those things. It's pictured, but doesn't come with the car. I spent months examining photos and features and options of many cars. Did I notice these things missing at the dealership? No. I was so overwhelmed with joy over the car itself that I didn't notice. I might not have noticed if the rear seats were missing. LOL. But still, ... you know what I mean?

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  4. #13
    Senior Member itsawgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    The cars are still in the pre-production stage, so that is why they generally aren't open at the auto show and only a few get to check them out. I was given access to one at Detroit which left a bunch of journalist asking the show people why I got to check it out. They told them I was with Fiat. LOL

    Sometimes there are changes or handles, etc, that aren't finalised.

    Below is an image of the trunk of a pre-production Fiat 500. Notice the un-carpeted seat backs. This was deemed too unfinished for the North American market and was changed. If the general public was allowed to view that at car shows, it would have given a false first impression, so that is why they are careful with the previews.



    photo source: anonymous Fiat500USA.com fan
    they are open and on display at houston auto show thru sunday jan 27, i saw one today.
    I'm 57 on my 4thAbarth, anyone
    beat that??? 17 Celeste Blu manual, black mirrors, bronze wheels, gone 15 white cabrio, manual of course.Long gone 13 Black manual, loaded, sunroof, red stripes,leather and 12 red, red leather, white stripes, manual. ITSAWGOOD

  5. #14
    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsawgood View Post
    they are open and on display at houston auto show thru sunday jan 27, i saw one today.
    That's cool. They weren't open during press day last week at Detroit. Only opened to a select few.
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  6. #15
    All 101HP all the time Lifetime Member Felnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Psst... The cars are scheduled to arrive in June at Studios....
    I'm just going by what Tim Kuniskis said, which seemed like a decent source to cite. That would seem to indicate that the order banks will open in April then, yes?


  7. #16
    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    I'm looking at the schedule. Without going over too many specifics, April - cars will be available for media (like Leno), etc. June - cars arriving in Studios. Of course, this was from Dec and everything is subject to change. The folks with Primas can recall the preliminary time-lines get changed, sometimes drastically.
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    Senior Member Rocco Reviews...'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andree View Post
    Yeah, I didn't like the Countryman when it came out either. It was confusing, in that it was a "Mini" that wasn't really "mini". I think some folks will have the same problem with the 500L. Looking at it, it's not a "500". It bears some resemblance, but it's a different car.

    On the other hand, it sure makes changing to a four-door much easier if you are already familiar with the two-door version. Or adding a four-door to the household. You already love your 500, adding the 500L would be sooooo easy.
    I know that MINI makes a 5 door version of the MINI Hardtop. If FIAT did the same with the 500 then it probably would've sold better than the 500L because it would have retained the same chassis, basic shape, retro vibe, cuteness, and sportiness that the 500 3dr has.

  9. #18
    Senior Member Rocco Reviews...'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andree View Post
    I *LIKED* the metal seat backs. Or plastic. Or whatever that is. Easier to clean. Thought we got short-changed on seat backs, with the carpet, instead of the useful and practical hard surface seat backs. LOL.
    I thought that all of the 2011 built cars had the metal seat backs, but when they did the minor update in 2012 was when the carpet was added. I do prefer the metal backs, but it doesn't look as put together, and any Tychy 500 owner will tell you on other forums that those metal backs look terrible after loading items on them for a few times. Maybe If you rip the carpet off the seats backs the metal will show, or you can add a metal plate to the back and make it look factory.

  10. #19
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    I prefer the carpet rear seat backs, on all the NA 500’s. All the European, Asian, Australian, Middle East, etc. have the plain metal backs. That scratch up, when loading items. Looks unfinished. Just cheap.

    On our 500L. The only resemblance to a Mini, is the back roof line, behind the C pillar. As for a 4 door small 500. It would still wouldn’t have helped Fiat sells numbers here. The 500X filled, that foot print, as a small crossover. It’s sales number aren’t stellar.



    Last edited by smark; 06-23-2020 at 11:15 AM.

  11. #20
    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco Reviews... View Post
    I thought that all of the 2011 built cars had the metal seat backs, but when they did the minor update in 2012 was when the carpet was added. I do prefer the metal backs, but it doesn't look as put together, and any Tychy 500 owner will tell you on other forums that those metal backs look terrible after loading items on them for a few times. Maybe If you rip the carpet off the seats backs the metal will show, or you can add a metal plate to the back and make it look factory.
    The NAFTA 500s have the carpeted seat backs. Fiat USA felt the plain seatbacks didn't look good for this market. By the way, it was not a minor update.

    http://www.fiat500usa.com/search/label/Evolution

    I really recommend reading the blog to get the real scoop on these cars.


    A post look at at some of the differences between the new 595 Abarths and the NAFTA Abarth showing the seats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    The thing not mentioned is our Abarth is based on the NAFTA car with all the chassis /safety improvements, NVH updates, and refinements. The TJet in stock 160hp form doesn't perform as well as the MultiAir Turbo, in at least in terms of fuel economy and part throttle driveability. Our cars also typically have more hp than the rated 160 hp, too. Plus, we get an unmuffled stock exhaust.

    The goal of the product manager in charge of the US Abarth was to make it more hardcore than the Euro car and they turned over the SRT team to breath all over it. Our cars also had a ton more developmental miles driven on it and resulted in things like better cooling systems and just being a better all around car. While a few may bemoan the slight weight increase, our cars work better for our driving conditions and expectations.

    The new Euro cars have updated different trim and infotainment updates, plus when it comes to the more expensive cars, the expensive Sabelt seats and CF trim. They also have the benefit of the higher HP engines (and easier tuning). By the way, the auto is not a true automatic. It is a robotized manual transmission with a conventional clutch and would be considered clunky and not go over well here.

    The differences of the ~3 hp in Euro cars is down to different years, country specs and emission changes over the years. All the 695 series cars use the GT 1446 turbos, as do the 595 series cars above the base model, which uses the IHI RHF3 turbo. You can get a Transformation kit for the base 595 (just like the previous base 500 car) that bumps the HP to 160hp.


    I've covered the 695 series extensively on Fiat500USa.com, the early posts give a good foundation of the updated series and help make sense of the new lineup.

    Abarth 695 Series Archives

    Abarth 595 Series Archives

    US Fiat 500 Evolution and Upgrades

    Below are some related forum posts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Saponetta View Post
    I didnt think they still made 145hp version.
    What turbo does 145hp tjet get? I thought only old euro 500 didnt get 1446. There are so many euro models and specs and updates its confusing.
    IHI RHF3-P turbo.

    Here's a story on the various engines. It's from 2010, but still is relevant.

    http://www.fiat500usa.com/2010/01/us...orsepower.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Yes. They spent tens of millions of dollars updating the 500 to US specs (the figure of ~ $100 million is floating around in my mind). Now, some of the things done were to just improve the car for our market, but there were other substantial changes to body structure, especially in the rear. The US car is a much better version in many ways than even the updated Euro car.


    It's all here: http://www.fiat500usa.com/search/label/Evolution




    PS, a quick way to tell the differences between a Euro and NAFTA car is the location of the fuel filler,. The NATA car has the filler pushed forward. Besides DOT standards, there are EPA and right off the bat, the TJet engine isn't sold here and doesn't meet our specs.


    You'd be better off just bringing in the different trim and adapting that to a US car. The under the skin stuff would be too expensive to update and change and totally not worth it.




    An example of the Euro car's interior being a little less refined than ours.



    Maybe not a big deal to an enthusiast, but the unfinished look of the Euro car is tough to sell on a $25k+ car in the US.

    Some more discussions on the differences:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Amacento View Post
    The fact Abarth & Co continue to develop the cars tells me it is more than likely they continue to tweak and improve the base model.
    Sure, no doubt about that Bro. But our car still has enhancements that their current 595 doesn't have. That's my point. That's what my examples were and I think they were pretty well documented. All the things the base 595 doesn't have that we have I think many folks would consider those all pluses.

    It would be interesting and fun to list all the updates and upgrades the base 595 has compared to ours. That's a good project.

    We know it has:

    • the updated fascias and the front is said to offer ~14% improved cooling (hard to say if that's 14% better than our car because we have an updated cooling system).
    • LED front running lights
    • LED Taillights (the flip side is what happens when they burn out?)
    • Some interior trim differences


    Those are off the top of my head, so anyone feel free to add to the list.


    Having said that, what is surprising about the new 595/695 series is they skipped some of our refinement. For example check this image below. Notice the hard plastic on the back of the rear seats. This is the same as the 2007 500. We changed that to give the car a more finished, refined and upscale look. That may be a big "who cares" in some books, and in a 14.200€ 500 Pop it is understandable, but it can raise an eyebrow in a 30,000€ + Abarth 695. Each culture/market has things that are important, but I'd say most folks in this country would say our carpeted seat backs have a better look.



    Here is another detail that the Euro car doesn't have. It is the rear seal at the top of the rear tailgate / hatch. The NAFTA car had this added to cut down on wind noise. The European cars don't have this 7 years after we added it. Again, a small thing some may say, but it is another example of our cars refinement. I have no idea why it wasn't added in Europe, probably different expectations, but it is still an improvement that we have and they don't.

    It makes you wonder besides the obvious differences in the looks and trim, what are all the improvements the cars have over ours? There is really no documentation available, and you would think they would fill the press releases with improvements over the previous years.





    Another thing about the European car is that the weight is listed as the same in 2008. So that begs the question are there improvements in NVH package over the past 10 years?

    I get it that people that race the cars don't care about that, and weight is the enemy, etc. but I would say more people care about a noisy cabin than the tenths of seconds in cornering. Our 0-60 is 7.2 seconds is equal to their 0-62 mph in 7.3 seconds so the weight isn't killing much if anything there. Maybe there is a difference to 100 mph or cornering transitions at an autocross?

    Don't downplay, Chris. More steel means a heavier car. Does that added weight (200lbs) negate the power delta (15hp)? You and every other early adopter stated the chassis change is for our regulations. Comfort is relative. Ride is relative. I'll take the EU-spec stance and weight, please.
    Not downplaying. More weight without tangible benefits is not a good thing. But we get a lot for that. And it benefits in ways people other than racers will appreciate in everyday driving. Everyone wants a stiffer chassis - that is felt in ride, handling, comfort and safety everyday. As someone who had his family ride in the back of the car, I definitely will trade some weight for better impact resistance. The rear impact standards are pretty weak in Europe and there is not a lot of distance from the bumper to the seats back there!


    Chris, one of your original statements is owners can tune their cars to match the EU-spec cars. But you concede the Tjet is easier to tune for additional power.
    In Italy, the 595 series cars run between ~145 hp to 180 hp. The big dollar 695 series runs 165-180hp (limited edition biposto has 190hp for 39,000€!) A piggy back or tune with supporting mods will easily get you there depending on where you want be. As far as the TJet, I am referring to the really big hp numbers - upwards of 275-300+ hp.

    Countless hardcore tuners have added one of the various EU-spec exhaust systems to their NA-spec A500s.
    True, but right out of the gate ours has a more aggressive sound than the base 595 and it doesn't cost the big bucks the aftermarket gets for their exhaust.

    You don't know, Chris. So, how can you say, in good faith, our 2012 is better than an EU-spec 2018?
    This is what I said and have been saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Maybe I didn't communicate it well enough. I don't see where I'm off. Our 500 Abarth is still arguably better in many ways than the Euro 595.
    I think I laid out in pretty good detail the specific areas that our car has advantages over the base 595. Is it better? Well, the features I mentioned sound like attributes or positives to me and probably a lot of others, too. To each his own, of course.

    I'm sure the Euro 595 has some advantages, too. But the attributes I mention are nothing to sneeze at. That's all I've been saying.


    At launch or today? 'Cos I guarantee Trofeo Abarth and other official Abarth & Co backed activities have more than made up for the development miles delta you cite here.
    Yeah, my point may have not been too clear. That's a valid point and they very well may have put more development mile on by now. However, if you search info about the new car, there is really nothing that says there are substantial improvements over the 2008 car or even our 2012 car. I began the process of finding out from factory contacts in Europe but never pursued it. It would be good to know exactly what is different between the two cars.

    Again, I luv the NA-spec A500. It's one of the last of the affordable enthusiast cars. That is why I argue evolution is necessary. Building on the heritage is important. Our 2018 Abarth program < Their 2018 Abarth program. Continued development versus our lack of continued development is not okay. I don't care how many emails and articles are written... We must be honest with ourselves.
    Hey, I agree. I've always wanted them to bring over the full boat cars. I wanted them to come here in the 70s! LOL

    I feel the stuff I've written is accurate and documented and it makes sense. I don't see where I'm wrong with the specifics I'm talking about.

    I think it would be great to hear all the attributes the Euro car has over ours as that can give a road map to owners here who want to create their own version.
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