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Filed under: Budget, Europe, Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback, Chrysler, Fiat

Fiat 500 Abarth - click above image for high-res gallery

For the last couple of decades, there has been a genuine dearth of affordable Italians autos for us Americans. Sure, you could buy a lightly used Alfa Romeo Milano or a derelict Fiat Strada, but then you'd be a braver person than us. Or maybe you could get your hands on a severely fire-damaged Ferrari 308, but that's a entirely different level of sadomasochism. One that we're not comfortable with. But in reality, the cheapest piece of Italian four-wheeled machinery available to us Yanks has come with a trident badge. In other words, a $100,000 Maserati.

But hey, there's some good news for working class Italophiles -- the Fiat 500 is coming! Finally, Italian design and craftsmanship in an affordable package. Only thing is, the Cinquecento is going to be Italian design and Mexican craftsmanship. Er, make that Italian design and Mexican/American craftsmanship. According to an Associated Press report, Chrysler Group LLC is planning on building U.S.-bound 500s at their Toluca, Mexico assembly plant where they build the PT Cruiser. Not only that, but the engines that power the little-bitty Fiats might be built in Trenton, Michigan. Hmmm. Not really so Italian after all, is it?

Chrysler is reportedly also planning on building another very small car along with the 500. No official word on any of the other Fiat or Alfa Romeo products that might be heading our way - yet.

Gallery: Fiat 500 Abarth



[Source: Detroit News]Fiat to assemble 500 in Mexico, build engines in Michigan? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Aug 2009 18:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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Text Source: Autoblog
 

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Wasn't the '00-'04 Foci assembled in the same way?
 

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Looks like a tuned Beetle ... bet this thing can move though.

-Ray-
 

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The original Fiat 500 couldn't. The "500" in the name was because it had a 500cc engine.
 

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Here's the Top Gear Guys putting this car to the test ... I think Jeremy actually likes it.


-Ray-
 

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Isn't the Abarth the other name for the 500? ? So I would think that's what they are making in MEXICO, right?

Kinda like the Aygo in Europe = the Yaris Here.

-Ray-
 
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