Fiat is turning the wick up for 2018. Its iconic 500 subcompact gets standard turbo power, a welcome upgrade.
Motivating this spunky little car is a 1.4-liter MultiAir engine that delivers 135 horses and 150 pound-feet of torque. It’s matched to a standard five-speed manual transmission, with a six-gear self-shifter on the menu for extra cost.
Pop and Lounge models of the 500 come standard with a performance braking system and various suspension upgrades. A backup camera is also included, ditto for a style-enhancing spoiler, fog lamps, body-color fascias front and rear as well as 16-inch alloy wheels.
Top-trim Arbarth versions feature up to 160 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque, though these vary depending on which transmission you get. As with the standard 500s, a five-speed manual and six-ratio auto-box are offered. A three-mode stability control system with torque transfer control (TTC) helps maximize acceleration while cornering.
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Adding some excitement, drivers that purchase or lease a Fiat 500 Abarth get one free day of high-performance driving instruction at the Bob Bondurant school.
Three new colors are available for the Fiat 500, bringing that total to 11. Dealers can start ordering the 2018 model this month with cars arriving in the second quarter.
Beyond the subcompact Cinquecento, the five-passenger Fiat 500L has been spruced up for the new model year as well. The crossover’s exterior has been tweaked, gaining new front-and-rear facias, updated bodyside trim, fresh wheel designs and a few other enhancements.
Inside, the 500L gains a digital instrument-cluster display and an improved center console. Engineers also added an extra USB port, which is sure to make hyper-connected millennials rejoice.
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