In the 1970s, the automotive industry arrived at one of the most important turning points since its inception. The decade was overshadowed by the OPEC oil embargo that rocked the world in 1973, sending gas prices through the roof and governments all around the globe scrambling to pass strict emissions regulations.
Fiat has announced a new design option for the 500 Sport and Turbo models. Called the 500 Cattiva—meaning naughty and cool, simultaneously—this factory-customized special edition adds a mischievous flair to the diminutive and sporty 500.
With lower-cost options entering the electric vehicle market, General Motors has slashed $5000 off the price of the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric vehicle. The 2014 Volt will have a lowered MSRP of $34,995 (including destination charges). Factor in the $7500 tax credit, and the Volt’s entry price sinks to $27,495—which is a lot easier of a pill to swallow.
According to Automotive News, the platform could go into the Alfa Rome Giulia and a new Alfa Romeo sedan, as well as replacements for the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger.
At first blush, the 2014 Grand Cherokee isn’t a tremendous departure from the model that debuted for 2012. Subtle styling tweaks are apparent, but it’s what’s in the cabin and under the hood that are cause for excitement.
The best thing about this car, though, were the brakes. Fiat’s “blended braking” system hasn’t been talked about much, and we can’t really understand why. The system essentially uses engine braking down to eight mph, at which point the actual rotors and pads go to work. Not only does this save electricity and greatly expand brake life, but it feels better than any regenerative braking system we’ve ever tested.
By all accounts, the 500L looks well set up to take on the established crop of style-centric small people movers. It doesn’t beat the Mini Countryman by being more engaging or entertaining, but its blend of size, affordability, and standard equipment are more than enough to make it a compelling alternative.
You’ll be forgiven at this point for thinking the little 500T is a bit misguided or confused. It isn’t. Get it out on the road, and you’ll discover that Fiat has struck the perfect blend with the turbocharged 500. It isn’t an Abarth for the speed-averse—it’s a 500 for the speed freak.
As much as we like the Fiat 500, we’ve always felt the diminutive Italian could be a bit more economical. The standard 500 hatch nets a mere 40 miles per gallon on the freeway, which is a fair bit lower than some of the larger vehicles on sale today. Now, there’s a new 500, that promises to deliver something much better than 40 mpg. It removes gasoline from the equation entirely.