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Thread: Fiat leaving U.S? Trying to boost 500 sales with turbo-only engine for 2018

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Fiat leaving U.S? Trying to boost 500 sales with turbo-only engine for 2018

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    Anybody else see this news?

    FCA is going with only turbo engines in the Fiat 500 in the U.S. for 2018, adding 34 horsepower:

    Fiat announced that 2018 model year 500s will all use the 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine, the same one found in the Fiat 500 Abarth and the 124 Spider and phasing out the normal-breathing unit. Power has been bumped from the naturally aspirated output of 101 horsepower to 135.
    https://jalopnik.com/all-2018-fiat-5...ged-1822868799

    The car hasn't been selling well in the U.S. -- sales peaked in 2012 and have been falling since then. The Mirage has outsold it by a good margin for the past 2 calendar years:


    Year Fiat 500 US sales
    Mirage US sales
    2014
    33708 16708
    2015
    25084 21515
    2016
    15437 22226
    2017
    12685 22386

    I wonder if the turbo is going to boost sales. (Sorry. Couldn't resist )

    People probably don't generally cross-shop the Mirage against the 500, but I know a few members here have test-driven or owned them.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    I wonder if the turbo is going to boost sales.
    It certainly seems they are operating under pressure.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 50.1 mpg (US) ... 21.3 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 60.2 mpg (Imp)


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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Too funny!

    Seriously, they'd better be careful. If this tactic proves to be hot, they might exhaust supply.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


  4. #4
    Where's the leak ma'am? Marklovski's Avatar
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    Probably trying to hit a different consumer segment now that the Explorers and girls who just wanted a 'cute' car are done. I'd say they're trying to hit young men who don't have much income and want something turbo'd.
    Fuel Log: Good enough
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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    ^ Good point. I bet a lot of (not all) buyers were basically getting a fashion accessory.

    They've been introducing special editions pretty regularly: the sliding roof convertible, an even more retro model, the Abarth (which is supposedly a blast).

    Still the sales have only been going down.

    It's tough selling small cars in the States after 4 years of relatively cheap gas.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Where's the leak ma'am? Marklovski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    ^ Good point. I bet a lot of (not all) buyers were basically getting a fashion accessory.

    They've been introducing special editions pretty regularly: the sliding roof convertible, an even more retro model, the Abarth (which is supposedly a blast).

    Still the sales have only been going down.

    It's tough selling small cars in the States after 4 years of relatively cheap gas.
    yup, same problem James May said the Fiat 500 had when he reviewed its relaunch on TopGear. He just called it a fashion accessory.

    But this is good for people who want to buy one now as they are just throwing in extras and a more appealing design.
    Fuel Log: Good enough
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    I helped a friend buy several of them (first one totalled, he wanted another). We got a much better deal on the 2nd one because they were no longer the 'It' car. Not a bad little car, though a bit small for my needs. Still, premium gas for 1.4 liter engine that only puts out 100hp seems ridiculous. If the horsepower increase is only 25-ish, it's not the same setup as the Abarth and 124 that put out 160-ish. It's the mild turbo they started using a few years ago. I doubt it will bring the brand back, but it should make a great used car in a few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranny View Post
    I helped a friend buy several of them (first one totalled, he wanted another). We got a much better deal on the 2nd one because they were no longer the 'It' car. Not a bad little car, though a bit small for my needs. Still, premium gas for 1.4 liter engine that only puts out 100hp seems ridiculous. If the horsepower increase is only 25-ish, it's not the same setup as the Abarth and 124 that put out 160-ish. It's the mild turbo they started using a few years ago. I doubt it will bring the brand back, but it should make a great used car in a few years.
    I think Fiat is doing this to save money. By restricting options to just 1 engine and 2 transmissions, they are cutting from production 1 engine and 2 transmissions. Since fuel economy is not a selling point currently, they might as well try to sell on performance. It is the Abarth motor, it's just that maximum boost is artificially limited, thus reduced hp/torque. Lots of mods available for the car though, bringing hp reliably and cheaply to 200-220 and torque to 220-240.

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    Where's the leak ma'am? Marklovski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
    I think Fiat is doing this to save money. By restricting options to just 1 engine and 2 transmissions, they are cutting from production 1 engine and 2 transmissions. Since fuel economy is not a selling point currently, they might as well try to sell on performance. It is the Abarth motor, it's just that maximum boost is artificially limited, thus reduced hp/torque. Lots of mods available for the car though, bringing hp reliably and cheaply to 200-220 and torque to 220-240.
    Fuel economy should be a selling point forever. The gas prices are low due to world petrol consumption. Once the Asians start consuming more world prices will increase. Only fools are going out and buying gas guzzlers.

    Good point on production. It would cost less just to use the same engine. I mean its just a tuned down version of the Abarth. Just tune that baby up. Well the turbo on the regular 500 might be smaller.
    Fuel Log: Good enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marklovski View Post
    Fuel economy should be a selling point forever. The gas prices are low due to world petrol consumption. Once the Asians start consuming more world prices will increase. Only fools are going out and buying gas guzzlers.

    Good point on production. It would cost less just to use the same engine. I mean its just a tuned down version of the Abarth. Just tune that baby up. Well the turbo on the regular 500 might be smaller.
    I agree that fuel economy should be important but people have short term memory unfortunately. I currently own a 2013 500T with the detuned Abarth turbo. Everything on the engine is exactly the same as the Abarth. The only thing unique is the ECU, with detuned max boost pressure. Boost appears to be limited to 15psi max compared to 18-21 on the Abarth. Removing the muffler and adding an intake has brought me close to Abarth levels of power. With a chip, I'll blow a stock one away or be on the same level as a modded Abarth. At the time, I was trying to save money but the main reasons I didn't get the Abarth was the car was going to be my delivery car so I wanted a softer in town ride and the ability to add a spare tire. The Abarth's exhaust design negates the ability to add the under car spare. That was a no starter for me with all the screws and nails I catch in my tires.

    Side note: you only lose about 2-4mpg with the turbo unless you run it at max pressure all the time. Before my turbo, I owned a regular 500 cabrio. I averaged 35-37 mpg with that car. With the turbo, I average 32-34 even with a slightly shorter final drive.

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