AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
- Micah Diaz of Corona, California, crowned the newest Hoonigan ambassador as FIAT brand and Hoonigan teamed up for a second straight year to celebrate the culture of motorsport
- This year's grand prize was a track-ready Fiat 124 Spider Abarth heavily modified by the Hoonigan team
- Among hundreds of entries, 10 finalists were put through a number of driving challenges over five episodes in FIAT models: the Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, and (in the ultimate challenge) a Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Car - FIAT's factory-built race car
- Judging this year's finalists were celebrity drivers and team captains, Rhys Millen and Tavo Vildosola
- Included with the purchase of every 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth and 124 Spider Abarth is the opportunity for new owners to attend a segment-exclusive Abarth Driving Experience at no additional charge
FIAT Brand North America and Hoonigan, a motorsport lifestyle brand, announced Micah Diaz of Corona, California, as the winner of the Hoonigans Wanted challenge. For his accomplishment, Diaz takes home a track-ready Fiat 124 Spider Abarth that was heavily modified by the Hoonigan team. The vehicle's build was aired and can be re-watched in its entirety on Hoonigan's YouTube channel on their Daily Transmission show.
"Congratulations to Micah Diaz for winning the Hoonigan's Wanted search," said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA – North America. "And special thanks to all of the passionate enthusiasts who took the time to showcase their abilities in our Italian-designed, fun-to-drive Fiat 500 Abarth and Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. Abarth models are designed, engineered and tested to deliver high-performance, track-tuned capabilities that are perfectly situated for a Hoonigan Racer and driving enthusiasts everywhere."
Among the hundreds of entries received via Hooniganswanted.com, only 10 were chosen to compete for the chance to become the next Hoonigan. The top 10 contenders included: Jiyuan (Jackie) Ding (Ann Arbor, Michigan); Kadell Johnson (San Diego, California); Nick Baumgartner (Iron River, Michigan); Ashton Harrison (Villa Rica, Georgia); Brian Smith (Camillus, New York); Micah Diaz (Corona, California); Jorge Salazar (San Bernardino, California); Jamie Moreno (Monument, Colorado); Christian Faloppa (Rochester Hills, Michigan); Jessica Tracy (Warwick, New York).
The challenge kicked off when finalists arrived at the Grange Motor Circuit in Apple Valley, California, to begin their quest to join the Hoonigan team. Additional stops were made at Ridgecrest Speedway (Ridgecrest, California), Hawthorne Mall (Hawthorne, California) and Willow Springs International Raceway (Rosamond, California).
Judging this year's finalists were select Hoonigan hosts, as well as celebrity drivers and team captains Rhys Millen and Tavo Vildolsola.
Over five thrilling episodes, Diaz rose above the competition and took the top spot showcasing his skills driving the Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 124 Spider Abarth and the 300-horsepower Fiat 124 Abarth Rally Car. Additional challenges in the competition included pit-duty teamwork, stunt driving and time-attack trials. According to the judges, Diaz was also recognized for his charming, down-to-earth personality that complemented his driving skill set.
"The challenge was intense, but competing in the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth was an awesome experience and really pushed me as a driver. Also, the other competitors brought their A-game, which made this event even more rewarding," said Diaz. "The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is the most nimble car I have ever driven and has amazing steering feedback, corner braking and overall handling ability. I can't wait to get a hold of the next Hoonigan track-ready Fiat Abarth and see what I can do at the track."
Viewers can follow Diaz and the entire Hoonigan team on Hoonigan and FIAT social and digital channels as new antics continue to unfold.
Fiat 500 Abarth
The Fiat 500 Abarth offers legendary Italian and track-capable performance for up to four passengers. The car includes the track-tested, turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, which provides 160 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque when mated to a five-speed manual transmission and 157 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Starting below $30,000, the Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider a half-century after its introduction, the Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic design. Applying the Abarth formula, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is designed and built for thrills and performance. Key features include rear-wheel drive, a sophisticated suspension and a four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine providing 164 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, and is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
Abarth Driving Experience for New Owners
Since not everyone can become the next Hoonigan, new Abarth owners can indulge in the next best thing. Included with the purchase of every 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth and 124 Spider Abarth is the opportunity for new owners to attend a segment-exclusive driving experience at no additional charge. The Abarth Driving Experience is an entire day of full-throttle training, guided by professional instructors from the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, offering owners and fans of the "small but wicked" Abarth models an opportunity to develop their racing and driving skills. For more information, including availability to the general public, and to register or to verify whether a particular vehicle qualifies, please visit www.abarthexperience.com.
About Hoonigan Media Machine
Hoonigan Media Machine produces highly sharable, award-winning automotive-lifestyle content for both top athletes and personalities as well as influential brands. Led by Hoonigan Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Brian Scotto, the HMM team is focused on the ideation, production, and distribution of groundbreaking media that celebrates the passion of going fast and breaking things. For more information on Hoonigan Media Machine, please visit www.hoonigan.com and remember to always Hoon responsibly.
About FIAT Brand
The FIAT brand stands for discovery through passionate self-expression. That philosophy is embodied by the iconic Fiat 500 or Cinquecento – a small car that lives big. Italian at heart and rooted in a rich heritage, the 500 is sold in more than 100 countries and is synonymous with modern, simple design blending form, function, technology and a pride of ownership that is genuine.
In North America, the Fiat 500 was introduced in March 2011 and was soon followed by the Fiat 500c (Cabrio), the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio, the fully electric Fiat 500e, the five-passenger Fiat 500L and the all-wheel-drive 500X crossover. The FIAT brand continues to expand with the introduction of the Fiat 124 Spider, a revival of the iconic roadster that combines Italian style, performance and engaging driving dynamics.
Follow Fiat brand and FCA US news and video on:
Company blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com
Media website: http://media.fcanorthamerica.com
FIAT brand: www.fiatusa.com
FIAT blog: blog.fiatusa.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fiatusa or https://www.facebook.com/FiatChrysler.NorthAmerica/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/fiatusa or www.instagram.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Twitter: www.twitter.com/fiatusa or www.twitter.com/FiatChrysler_NA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/fiatusa or www.youtube.com/fcanorthamerica
SOURCE FCA US LLC