SOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
101 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
98 @ 4,000
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 3.91; II = 2.16; III = 1.35; IV = 0.97; V = 0.77; R = 3.82
Even slower than we suspected. Sport button increases throttle response, but had minimal effect on pure acceleration. The 500 revs slowly, and it doesn't help that a 2-3 shift is required before 60 mph. Rev limiter frustratingly starts to cut in just past 6,000 rpm in 1st gear, at 6,500 in 2nd (redline is 6,750). Five-speed shifter has long throws but positive gates. Best run came with 3,800-rpm launch.
Powerful brakes give impressively short stopping distances for a car with all-season tires (of course, it helps that the 500 is so light). Firm pedal. Significant nosedive, but only a minor amount of wiggle toward the end of the stop. No fade.
Skid pad: A lot of body roll and understeer here. Felt like it wanted to spin up the inside front tire a bit with ESC in its "partial off" setting (there's no true Off). Chassis was only somewhat receptive to drop-throttle. With ESC on, system cut throttle to the point you could keep your right foot planted around the circle. Sport button increases steering response, but it doesn't make a dramatic difference. Slalom: This Fiat may not be quick, but it sure changes direction well. Steering is well-weighted and communicative, and the chassis is balanced. Although ESC can only be partially defeated, the system has very high limits and I'm not sure you could go a whole lot faster if it was all-off. Obviously the 500 is aided around the cones by its narrowness and short wheelbase.