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First Drive: 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth

No room, no worries when driving this pleasing pocket rocket.

by on Dec.24, 2014

The 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth is big fun in a little package, in large measure due to its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo.

No vehicle is perfect and the Fiat 500 Abarth has its share of shortcomings.

For starters, it can only carry two passengers. You can add to the list that it barely has enough room for the groceries of someone living alone and it’s dwarfed by most of the vehicles on the road, which can be unnerving at times.

Your Automotive Source!

And it’s a blast to drive! (more…)

Egg-Mobiles, Swimming Cars, Solar Power and Other Assorted Swiss Auto Show Oddities

You can find almost anything at the Geneva Motor Show.

by on Mar.05, 2009

The Geneva Motor Show attracts 100 or more makers, including tuners, specialty makers, designers like Pininfarina -- its Bollore, shown here -- and other auto wannabes.

The Geneva Show attracts 100 or more makers, tuners, designers like Pininfarina -- its Bollore, above -- and other auto wannabes.

Ask anyone who works the international auto show circuit and you’ll likely get the same answer over and over again. The annual Geneva Motor Show seems to be just about everyone’s perennial favorite.

For newshounds, the event can be grueling to cover, considering there’s a news conference roughly every 15 minutes, from dawn to dusk, and you’ll jostle with thousands of colleagues for a good view and a better camera angle. But you’ll get a flood of news, especially if you’re sharp at spotting the assorted industry leaders who make their annual pre-Spring pilgrimage to Geneva’s PalExpo convention center.

Indeed, it’s a great place for executives, analysts and, well, just about anyone with a stake in the business to come together, formally or not. Wander the show’s crowded aisles and you might just spot Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche grabbing a few moments with his erstwhile rival, BMW Chief Norbert Reithofer. And even the highest-ranking executives seemed a little star-struck when the “Governator,” California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, wandered into PalExpo Wednesday morning, presumably on his own nickel and not California’s taxpayers.

Geneva brings out the automotive eccentrics, including one hopeful showing an egg-shaped car running on compressed air.

Geneva brings out the automotive eccentrics, including one hopeful showing an egg-shaped car running on compressed air.

Yet for many of us in the media, one of the most intriguing features of the Geneva Motor Show is the collection of unusual, and sometimes downright oddball automakers who share floor space with more mainstream manufacturers, such as Mercedes, Opel, Renault and Toyota.

Considering its national history – and with no major manufacturer of its own – the Swiss show is considered neutral territory, where anyone with the dollars to set up a stand can find space, and some of the strangest brands grab some of the most valuable real estate.

A few names are fairly well known to automotive aficionados, like the design house, Pininfarina, which brought its Bollore Concept to the ’09 Geneva show. The event is a good way not only to get its name out to the public, but to remind industry executives that it’s ready to lend its design magic to their products.