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Automotive

5-door Fiat 500L to be released in North America

The 5-door Fiat 500L was first revealed back in February of this year, and now we're finally seeing more of the plus-sized version of Fiat's popular 500. The 500L made its U.S. debut this week at the LA Auto Show, which coincided with Fiat's announcement that the vehicle will be available in North America as of the middle of next year. The automaker also released more details about exactly what the larger version brings to the table. Read More

Automotive

Essence of Italy: Fiat 500 L comes with built-in espresso machine

The automotive world is full of interesting optional equipment - everything from ornate removable timepieces to cigar humidors have been built into cars and concepts. Heck, even whale penis leather was a thing for a while - a very short while. Despite all that, Fiat has still managed to turn heads and inspire headlines with an option offered on a fairly modest car. The new 500L can be fitted with an integrated espresso machine. Read More

Automotive

Dodge Dart - the Italian connection delivers a 40 mpg Alfa Giulietta rework

Though claims by Dodge that its new Dart is a "revolutionary" car fall somewhere between delusional gibberish and being purposefully misleading, the Dart is almost certain to be a sales success in the American compact sedan marketplace. The replacement for the Dodge Caliber is basically a reworked Alfa Romeo Giulietta and has been created specifically as an American-made Chrysler based on a Fiat platform returning better than 40 mpg. At US$16,000, the Dart is economical, sporty and very price-competitive. Read More

Automotive

FIA Formula E Championship for EVs looking likely for 2013

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...Read More

Automotive

Maserati 450 bhp SUV to be based on Jeep Grand Cherokee

Two years ago, the U.S. Treasury helped to broker an arranged marriage between the Daimler-jilted Chrysler and an unlikely Italian suitor in the form of the Fiat Group of companies. Even before consummation it was clear that we would see all manner of cross-brand rebadging amongst the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari branches of the new extended family, and so it has come to pass. It's been known for some time that Fiat's highly-successful commercial range will be sold in the United States under the Dodge brand and now comes the news that Maserati will announce an SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show that is based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Read More

Automotive

Fiat twin cylinder 875cc engine wins International Engine of the Year

Fiat’s new TwinAir engine has scooped the 2011 International Engine of the Year competition, winning the major gong for engine of the year, plus three other awards including the Best New Engine 2011, Best Green Engine 2011 and Best Engine of less than 1,000 cc. The twin cylinder 875 cc engine is currently only available in a turbocharged 85 bhp configuration in the Fiat 500 and will soon also be available in the Chrysler Ypsilon, but non-turbo 65 bhp, turbo 105 bhp and 80 bhp turbo bi-fuel versions are all due this year. The TwinAir’s most distinguishing technological feature is the electro-hydraulic valve control, and a balancing countershaft to reduce vibration. Interestingly, nine of the twelve awards went to turbocharged engines.Read More

Automotive

EV Adapt brings electric Fiat 500 to Europe

Fiat recently announced that it will be manufacturing an electric version of its cute li’l 500 automobile for the North American market, starting in 2012. If you can’t wait that long, however, you can get one in Europe right now – you just won’t be buying it from Fiat. The Italian automaker gave Swedish company EV Adapt permission to buy the stock 500, swap out the combustion motor for an electric one, and then resell the car as an EV. Sold as the CARe 500, the vehicle is now available throughout Europe. In an interesting move, buyers have the option of purchasing a battery-less car for a reduced price, and then renting its battery pack.Read More

Automotive

Fiat autos returning to US roads

North American readers over a certain age may recall a time when Fiats were available at local auto dealers. Even though some people joked about their reliability at the time (“What does FIAT stand for? Fix It Again, Tony!”), the chic, zippy little Italian cars definitely had their admirers. Unfortunately, after the 1970’s oil crisis subsided, small cars weren’t so popular anymore, and what market remained was heavily dominated by Japanese automakers. Thus it was that in 1984, Fiat decided to stop selling cars in North America. Flash-forward to fuel-conscious 2010, and Fiat is now the sixth-largest car company in the world, and owner of the US-based Chrysler Group. This week, it was announced that separate and distinct Fiat dealerships will be selling the company's compact 500 model in the United States.Read More

Automotive

Volkswagen's compact Twincharger wins International Engine of the Year... again

Volkswagen's 1.4-liter TSI Twincharger has taken out the International Engine of the Year Award for the second year running. The engine, which punches above its weight via the use of a combined turbocharger and supercharger, is only the third to take out the overall award in consecutive years (BMW in 05-06 with its 5-litre V10 and again in 07-08 with its 3-litre twin turbo). Other winners in the 2010 Awards included Fiat with its 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine (New Engine of the Year), Toyota with the 1.8-liter electric-motor-boosted hybrid from the Prius (Green Engine of the Year) and Mercedes-AMG with its 6.2-liter V8 engine (Best Performance Engine and Above 4-liter title). BMW also featured prominently picking up four gongs. Read More

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