Tag Archives: Fiat

2015 Los Angeles International Auto Show General Gallery

Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Over Thanksgiving weekend this year, I finally got to cash in my birthday present from last year–my brother Matt agreed to take me to the Los Angeles Auto Show if I’d come visit him. I decided that it would be foolish to say no–after all, I’d been going to the New York Auto Show for a decade and a half, and I’d never seen the show in Los Angeles. Sorry, New York crew–but the LA Auto Show is indeed better. It’s cleaner, the city doesn’t smell like a New Jersey sewer, there’s real parking (and they charge only twenty bucks, whereas New York charges whatever they darn well please), and there’s even some ride-and-drives (which I did only two, but will definitely drive one of those two cars again soon). Continue reading 2015 Los Angeles International Auto Show General Gallery


Meet the “Fiata”, or Fiat 124 Spider as they call it

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We’ve all know that Fiat was working on a new Spider for a while now, and that it would be based on the new ND chassis Mazda Miata. Well now it’s for real, and we’re calling it the “Fiata!”

Now, officially, the new Fiat roadster is called the Fiat 124 Spider. It is an homage to the classic Fiat 124 Spider, which was built from the mid 1960s until the mid 1980s. I’d say its styling does the old design justice…


As for the new Fiata, you can think of it as an ND Mazda Miata with a 500 Abarth engine swap done to it. Under the hood it shares the same growly 1.4L turbocharged four cylinder engine as the Abarth. It makes the same 160hp and 184 ft/lbs of torque. Not a huge horsepower leap over the figures of the Miata’s 2.0L SkyActive engine, but it will have a wider powerband thanks to all that turbo torque.

Everything else is similar, or even exactly the same as in the Miata. There are automatic and manual transmission options, as well as sporty and more luxury-focused models. The Fiat also weighs about 100 lbs more than the ND Miata, and will likely be positioned slightly up-market.

So what should we think of the Fiata?

Having just recently driven an ND Miata (review coming soon), I can attest that the platform of this car is fantastic.

I like the new 124 Spider’s styling a lot, but I was hoping for something a little more drop-dead-gorgeous. I get that they were going for the retro look, though, so maybe it’ll “pop” more for me when I see one in person.

I think the real deciding factor that will draw many to the Fiata over the Miata will be the power potential from that turbocharged Abarth engine.

Continue reading Meet the “Fiata”, or Fiat 124 Spider as they call it

Jeep Renegade Limited Review: The Italians Have Made A Jeep You’ll Love!

Jeep Renegade Limited Review 1

When you think of Jeep, you think of the iconic Jeep Wrangler. Drawing its heritage all the way back to the army jeeps of World War II, the Wrangler has become the staple off-road vehicle of choice for many.

Many people just love the Wrangler’s unique style, though, without much interest in actually using its vast off-road capabilities. These buyers spell big opportunity for Jeep.

You see, while the Wrangler is quite “cool”, it’s strict off-road focus gives it some pretty serious drawbacks when it comes to everyday on-road driving. Anyone wanting to drive a Wrangler for its style points will have to be willing to sacrifice on fuel economy, practicality, handling, comfort, and security (with open models). Kind of a tough sell.

The big solution for Jeep was to create an all-new model that would take the Wrangler’s DNA and distill it into a more useable package for normal on-road use.

The new Jeep Renegade is that solution. Where the Wrangler is an off-roader first and daily car second, the Renegade is daily car first and an off-roader second.

Jeep Renegade Limited Review 7 Jeep Renegade Limited Review 20

Renegades are selling well, and I do think Jeep may have a home run on their hands here. Honestly, there are more buyers out there who just want a Jeep for the unique style of the brand, rather than to actually go rock crawling in the desert.

My girlfriend, Gab, is a perfect example. She’s all about the Jeep image, and she loves the car’s features, but she’s not all about getting it muddy or traversing the Mojave desert in her spare time.

Gab got this black 2015 Jeep Renegade Limited a little over a month ago, and she’s been letting me drive her around in it. I feel I’ve gotten to know the car pretty well at this point, and now it’s time to share my take on it with you, my dear readers.

So put your boots on and lets get to it! Continue reading Jeep Renegade Limited Review: The Italians Have Made A Jeep You’ll Love!


Radnor Hunt 2015 Porsche 959 Front

And now we bring you our second round of highlights from the 2015 Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance. These were some of the more modern cars on the field, everything from supercars like the Porsche 959 seen above, to a Dodge Charger with a 426 Hemi under the hood. The Radnor Concours was really great this year.

Enjoy the gallery!


Fiat 600 Jolly at the Greenwich Concours

Fiat 600 Beach Car at the Greenwich Concours

Imagine cruising down the Amalfi Coast in this funky little Fiat Jolly beach car. Steep mountains on one side, indigo water on the other, passing through colorful towns that reach up the cliff sides. It seems like something out of a daydream, but I like to think that Fiat built their beach cars expressly for such a purpose.

We saw this Fiat 600 Jolly at the auction during the Greenwich Concours a few weeks back, and it drew quite a bit of attention. With its flashy “salmon” color and its beautifully simplistic whicker seats, it is a car with a good balance of function and form. With its totally open design, this Fiat is a care-free car that is really only good for cruising around at the beach. It is a seriously focused leisure machine.

Enjoy the pics!

Continue reading Fiat 600 Jolly at the Greenwich Concours

2014 FIAT 500L Trekking Review (Grade: C+)

Fiat 500L Front Left

Fiat has been doing a pretty good job of marketing whatever new product they have.  They have come a long way from the cringe-inducing “Jenny From the Block” ads that were running a few years ago, to running ads with P.Diddy and a little kid to advertise their newest creation.  The 500 was a hit for them worldwide and in America, they’re certainly selling pretty well.  In fact, there’s been a new kid on the block for them in the past year or so now, the 500L, a four-door model designed with the small family in mind.  Fiat needs all the sales it can get right about now, as the 500L is in a tough marketplace and has not been getting a good amount of positive press.  I decided to take myself to the local Fiat showroom a few miles away and see what the fuss was all about. Continue reading 2014 FIAT 500L Trekking Review (Grade: C+)

Fiat Dino Spider at Amelia Island

Fiat Dino Spider at Amelia Island

We caught this blue Fiat Dino Spider at the cars and coffee event during the Amelia Island car weekend. This is a rare car with the same Ferrari V6 under its hood as found in the Dino 206, and Dino 246 for later models. We did a post featuring Petrolicious’ video on the Fiat Dino a few months ago, and it was awesome to get to see one up close in person.


Fiat Dino Spider by Petrolicious

I swear that the folks at Petrolicious could inspire a deep sense of passion about the most boring, inconsequential car imaginable. The Fiat Dino Spider, of course, is about as far from boring or inconsequential as can be, so naturally I found myself with a warm fuzzy feeling after watching this video about the car.

Basically this is one of just a handful of Fiat Spiders made with Dino Ferrari’s epic Formula 2 V6 in them. In the video the owner says that there are twenty Ferrari Dinos for every Fiat Dino that was built, so a very special car this is indeed.

Enjoy, and prepare to want a Fiat Dino Spider of your own more than you want to take your next breath.


Radnor Hunt CDE: 1967 Fiat Abarth 1300OT

This Abarth 1300OT carries #021 in the original Abarth registry, and is one of less than ten such cars in the US today. It is powered by  1.3L four cylinder with 75hp, and was the last Abarth model to utilize a Fiat engine. Abarths of old are always such interesting cars, sort of like the Italian version of Lotus with their emphasis on lightness and handling over raw power. They also happen to have one of the most bad ass logos around, the scorpion. Enjoy the pics.

Continue reading Radnor Hunt CDE: 1967 Fiat Abarth 1300OT

Angelina’s 2012: Le Fiat Cinquecento

Italian car shows are always full of interesting things. Often the first things to come to mind are exotics like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Maseratis, which were all well accounted for at this year’s event. However, if you go to a lot of car events like I do, then your typical Ferrari 430s and Lambo Gallardos get a bit mundane after a while. Luckily things at this year’s Angelina’s Italian Car Show in Staten Island, NY got spiced up with the arrival of an eclectic bunch of Fiat Ciquecentos. Each one was unique with its own appeal, from the modified Abarth model to the yellow standard 500. I cannot emphasize enough how these cars stole the show from the Ferraris when they arrived. There is just so much personality in each one that they are irresistible, even when compared to cars that cost as much as a house. Regardless of whether you share my enthusiasm for these classic Fiats or not, one thing is certain; the Italians sure know how to make some appealing cars. Enjoy.

Continue reading Angelina’s 2012: Le Fiat Cinquecento