Dodge's legacy is performance. Could you PLEASE build a car along the lines of a Civic or a TC or a suitible replacement for the Neon SRT-4.
The current models are pathetic(caliber just doesnt do it)
A new sport compact with the magnificent 2.4 turbo would sell like hotcakes.
All the dealers that I talk to when I take my SRT-4 Neon in tell me they could easily sell a sport compact but dodge doesnt have one...???
Many customers ask for a sport compact...but leave when they are told there isnt one...
Is Fiat listening????or are they blind like Daimler was...
HELLO FIAT>>>>>are you there??????
I take offense at your comment.
Yes, there are sport compact replacements on the way. Fiat 500 Abarth will be sold in the beginning of 2012. New SRT4 is rumored for launch in 2013.
The fiat 500 will not sell. It is too ugly. and too small.
Compare it to a mazda 3, a TC, or a civic.
Make it bigger. modernize the styling and put the 285 horsepower 2.4 liter in it as the performance option engine and you will sell tons of them.
I dont see a whole lot of BMW minis on the road. But I see many many of the competitors mentioned above.
Dont make the same mistake as daimler and the caliber.
Thats what killed Chryslers market share to begin with.
This is not the european market..this is the american market...and as the caliber has shown european designs dont sell here...Get a grip on it.
I am sorry Zadmiral- This is quite possibly the most ignorant comment I have ever read! I am quite blown away by it actually. Are you seriously comparing the Abarth to a Mazda 3, Scion, or a Civic? Not only is the 500 Abarth one of the most desired and stylish hot-hatches in the world, but it is a blast to drive. It is incredible well reviewed, regarded, and has an extremely rich racing heritage. It does not exist in the same universe as those three brands.
Make it bigger, make it 285 BHP! Really? For a car the size of a 500? 160 for an SS is plenty. 170 BHP rumored for the american should be more than enough. It does NOT need to be bigger, badder, more American, or more anything. This car is beautifully designed, very well engineered, and it carries on its shoulders the long performance history of the scorpion badge.
And I don't know where you're from, but there are plenty of MINIs and MINI Ss where I live. The Cooper S is in fact, a good point of reference. European design doesn't sell well? How about the BMW M3, the M5, the Audi S4, the R8? How about MINI and VW taking the American premium sub-compact urban market by storm. How about brands like FORD bringing Euro sub-compacts to the US for the first time ever? I think these cars (the FIAT 500, Cabrio, BEV, and Abarth) are going to sell exceptionally well, and if you're going to make a bunch of half-baked, unsubstantiated remarks, you should at least try to use proper grammar.
Please don't feed the trolls.
Hahahaha, the Fiat 500 is ugly, we should compare it to the Civic?
2012 Civic Si
I know which one I prefer.
Also, your entire argument makes no sense. You want Fiat to completely restyle the 500; make it bigger, more powerful, and act as a successor to the Neon SRT4 to compete in the sport compact market. An iconic car like the 500 you want to be changed completely from its roots? It is meant to be a fun, nimble, and tiny european subcompact, that is its DNA. It isn't supposed to be large, offer lots of cargo capacity, or be extremely powerful.
Why not let Dodge create its own successor? A new Dodge-branded compact car, with an SRT4 variant. From what I have heard, this is going to be the case, and the new SRT4 will indeed be the spiritual successor to the Neon SRT4.
This was written last month in The Detroit News:
"Also coming in 2013 is a fuel-saving nine-speed automatic transmission that will first become available on the sedan that will replace the Dodge Caliber compact in April 2013"
If there is a Dodge SRT4 and a Fiat 500 Abarth, why would you want a Fiat 500 SRT4 or a Dodge Abarth? They should both stay unique and true to their own roots, imo.
Admiral, I'm really confused by your position. You say there is no replacement for your Neon SRT-4 (a 2900lb 225hp car). You point to cars like the Mazda 3, the TC, etc as example of replacements. Yet you say dealers have nothing to offer. This makes no sense. A Mazdaspeed3 or Cobalt SS are essentially direct replacements for your neon. Similar weight, more hp. What is the problem? The neon is no better looking then any of the other cars you mention. They are all far less attractive then the 500 to my eye.
Is your issue based solely that want your next car to have a Dodge badge? Seems childish, but then why complain about a fiat?
There are lots of 3000lb sport compacts. There is no need for fiat to add another into the mix. What we need are lightweight sport compacts. The Cooper S is just under 2700lbs. Better, but not exactly a lightweight. This is where the Abarth will shine.
In reply to this post by sam500
In reply to this post by Small Car Lover
You Clearly misunderstood what I said.
I wanted a REPLACEMENT for the Neon that wasnt a Caliber(ugggly)
My 04 was rated at 230 hp, but was independently tested by several venues to be closer to 265.
Which explains why I smoke the cobalt SS with no problems.
Dodge screwed up with the European Caliber styling , but the engine was upgraded to 300. It didnt sell.
It was too heavy and too ugly.
Im just hoping for a new body style thats comparable to the Civics,Cobalts etc.
Built on the Calibers chassis right here in the US. not in Italy.
Everybody has thier favorite "brand" loyalties. Mine is Dodge.
Do you think Chevy guys would like a cobalt that was just a rebadged Toyota??
Or a Ford guy with a rebadged Mazda...I think not.
The Abarth is nice. But its a Fiat not a domestic design and carries no Dodge heritage.
Everyone will know that.
Strip the body off a Caliber and redesign. Stick the 285-300 horse motor in it and it will sell like hotcakes.
I guess I didnt make myself clear. I dont want a redesigned Abarth . I want a redisigned Caliber.
And I like the Civics(compact) not the 500s(subcompact or mini)
But if I wanted a subcompact I would probably choose the 500 over the BMW mini.
More bang for the buck, and Im sure it is a blast to drive.
I'm still really confused. If I understand you correctly, you want a DODGE replacement for the Neon, and it can only be a Dodge. You are not happy with the current Dodge Caliber. You are looking for a DODGE vehicle that meets your requirements. I can appreciate that.
I have no idea what this has to do with the Fiat 500, or the upcoming Abarth variant?
I have not seen any evidence of the Fiat brand (or the Abarth performance division) being marketed as a competitor to Dodge. Yes, Fiat owns part of Chrysler (and hence the Dodge brand) but there does not seem to be any evidence of brand mixing. What we have heard from Fiat concerning brand positioning is there is not going to be any diluting of the Dodge brand. Fiat (and Abarth) will be kept very distinct and separate from Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge.
I can sympathize with your frustration about the direction the Dodge brand taken. I happen to feel the same way about Honda/Acura. But neither are relevant to the Fiat 500.
You may be right that if the Dodge brand offered a reworked Caliber the way you would like it that it could very well sell like hot cakes. I don't know. It's not something I personally would be interested in. I'm interested in smaller, lighter. Hence being on this forum discussing the Abarth and the 500.
Not "everybody" has brand loyalties. Personally, I'm interested in the machine, not the label. I have owned domestics, Japanese, European and Korean. I'm not a brand loyal kind of guy.
To be honest, I think you might find more folks interested in the Dodge brand on a Dodge forum, rather than a Fiat 500 forum.
Read the excerpt from my earlier post. The replacement for the Dodge Caliber is coming April 2013.
This has nothing to do with the Fiat 500. Chrysler/Fiat are capable of producing multiple vehicles for multiple segments, believe it or not.
You have mentioned several times you don't like the styling of the Caliber or it being truck-like. Watch Autoline Detroit, where Joe Dehner (head of Dodge and Ram Design), talked about this subject. He described how the design teams at Chrysler are now separated between the different brands. Joe talked specifically about how Dodge and Ram will have different styling going forward, and Dodge vehicles will no longer have to carry the "visual baggage" of the Ram trucks.
When you say you smoke the Cobalt SS, generally you should specify if that is a supercharged or turbocharged model, since the Turbo model is significantly improved.
Also, when saying the Caliber is "too heavy", you can't compare the weight to your 2004 SRT4. The Neon's crash test scores absolutely pale in comparison to the Caliber's. Also, the Caliber has more features that also adds weight. My car has TPMS, performance stats display, traction control, cruise control, satellite radio, touchscreen navigation, power rear windows, adjustable lumbar support, turbo after-run pump, a muffler, etc. Your car doesn't have these things weighing it down, along with all the airbags and safety structure.
Finally, it is odd how one minute you are saying that Fiat should make the 500 bigger, change the styling, and put the SRT4 engine in it. Then you talk about rebadging and keeping the Dodge heritage. Again, do you not see that Dodge is releasing a new compact sedan in 2013 to replace the Caliber, and that the Fiat 500 and Abarth brand are staying separate from this?
Zadmiral, A good point was brought up by CaliberSRT4. I also struggle to see a Neon SRT-4 "smoking" a turbo Cobalt SS.
'04 Neon: 230hp, 250ft-lbs, 2900lbs.
'10 Cobalt: 260hp, 260ft-lbs, 2926lbs, no-lift shifting.
I'm not seeing any "smoking" going on between those numbers. Looks like a Neon would have its hands full with a Cobalt SS.
As an aside, the Caliber SRT-4: 285hp, 265ft-lbs, 3189lbs. With that power to weight, the Neon would have its hands full with the Caliber as well. Not seeing much "smoking" going anywhere. At least not on the road.
Your Horsepower figures are "advertised"
Not actuual by any stretch.
And only once was it even close...not exactly hands full.
Cars gotta get out run on pavement...not paper.
Im aware of the truck/car split.
My reference to "making the 500 bigger.etc." was an effort to show the need for a vehicle in the class with the other cars I mentioned. Which are all larger than the 500. But sell really well as in volume.
Admiral, so lets see, a quick review of Car & Driver test results:
1/4 mile: 14.2@102
top speed (drag limited): 153mph
09 Cobalt ss:
1/4 mile: 14.2@102
top speed (drag limited): 156mph
Testing done on pavement.
You claim is ridiculous. I can say I "smoked" a mustang GT with my Integra GS-R. That does not make it a faster car than the GT. Just means on that day, with that other person driving the GT, they got beat. Could be any number of reasons. Means nothing.
Stock vs stock, your Neon is no faster than a cobalt. Period. Really, it's a bit slower. The HP and weight number suggest this, the test results prove this.
Neither vehicle has any relevance to Fiat.
Enjoy your neon, it's a neat car. Just like the Cobalt SS, the Mazdaspeed3, the WRX STI, the Mitsu EVO, etc are neat cars. But it's not faster. That's reality, based on controlled testing, not chest puffing based on some street race.
Speaking of Car & Driver, I found their lightning lap results to be very interesting.
The Cobalt SS Turbo completed a lap in 3:13.0 which is very quick for its class. That is faster than the 2011 STI in fact. Even the 2011 V6 Mustang beats the STI, despite being stuck on the 114 mph limiter for 15 seconds during the lap. Also, the STI and EVO are $10,000+ more expensive than the Mustang, Cobalt SS, etc. The Mustang GT destroys STI and EVO for $5,000 less.
The Caliber SRT4 doesn't do very well compared to the Mazdaspeed3, and is roughly comparable to the earlier Mustang GT and Cobalt SS Supercharged.
Civic Si is downright slow, while commanding the same price point as Cobalt SS, Mustang, Mazdaspeed3, etc.
The higher classes are kind of interesting, as the Corvette Z06 (with Z07 package) wins both the LL3 and LL4 classes. Although the Viper is really the fastest when including the prior years.
Rather than start a new thread, I thought I will add a comment here about performance. Now that the press is getting their hands on the 500 for review, it is interesting to read the reviews regarding the 500's acceleration, or lack-of. The reviewers generally like the 500, but when they talk about the acceleration, it's "adequate" or 'ho-hum". If this current Fiat 500 had come out in the 1980s, it would be considered a "hot hatchback" or a "pocket rocket". If those terms sound familiar, that's what the motoring press was saying about the then new 1983 VW GTI. This hot hatch had a blistering 90 bhp and weighed in at only 2100 lbs. I never owned one but I drove a new '83 at an autocross once. It was quick, but I thought it had way too much body lean in the corners. And the 0-60 mph time? 9.7 seconds. I have seen published reports anywhere from 9.0 to 10.5 seconds. And the U.S. version of the 500? 0-60 in 9.7 seconds (Car & Driver). Funny how times have changed.
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