Street Racer - 2012 FIAT 500 Long-Term Road Test

2012 FIAT 500 Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (6)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

2012 Fiat 500 Sport: Street Racer

August 24, 2011

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Try as I might, I can’t get exercised by the Fiat 500’s seeming lack of horsepower -- 99 hp. This might be because I once spent a summer racing a 55-hp Renault Le Car.

Of course hardly anyone could tell that I was actually racing the Le Car. It looked more like a demonstration run since it didn’t make any noise except for the squealing Kleber tires. There were a number of other Le Cars out there with me, though, and every once in a while one would roll upside down just to get people’s attention, kind of like a bad puppy.

But at least I learned then that underpowered cars are actually way more fun than the opposite, since you can drive them around at full throttle without attracting any attention from the fun police.

And there’s always the opportunity for shaming some other similarly motivation-challenged appliance. Like the green Datsun B210 that bit the guardrail at the Lime Rock uphill while trying to keep up. (Same place as pictured above, strangely enough.) Or the MG Midget that puked its expensive pocketwatch-like motor while trying to stay ahead at Pocono. (Could have measured our lap times there with an egg timer, actually.)

Really the Fiat 500 is practically a Formula 1 racer compared to that old Le Car, so I think twice before whining about its engine power.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (6)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

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