Luther Automotive Group Says 'Buon Giorno' to FIAT 500

Iconic Italian Car Returns to U.S.

2012 Model to Debut at Twin Cities Auto Show March 12-20

Mar 10, 2011, 11:15 ET from Luther Automotive Group

MINNEAPOLIS, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The FIAT 500 is coming back to America and Minnesota will be one of the first states to welcome the highly customizable, sporty, fuel-efficient car when it makes its debut March 12-20 at the 2011 Twin Cities Auto Show.

The Luther Automotive Group, the exclusive provider of FIAT in Minnesota, will open its first FIAT dealership in early April in Brooklyn Park.

"We are very excited to introduce the new FIAT 500 to the Minnesota marketplace," said Doreen Fischer, of the Luther Automotive Group. "This iconic car offers drivers an amazing price point and stylish Italian design that can be customized with thousands of options so drivers can truly make their car their own. And best of all, the FIAT 500 will be the most stylish fuel-efficient car on the market."

The FIAT 500 is the recipient of 60 international awards, including 2008 European Car of the Year, 2009 World Car Design of the Year and was voted "Single Most Innovative Engine Technology" in 2010 by the International Engine of the Year Awards panel.

With a base price of $15,500, the FIAT 500 features beautiful craftsmanship and state-of-the-art eco-friendly technology with an all new, 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine equipped with MulitAir® that offers up to 10 percent greater fuel efficiency and power while decreasing CO2 emissions. It also offers "city-friendly" proportions, seats four passengers and features seven standard air bags. Averaging 38 miles per gallon, the FIAT 500 will initially be available with a 5-speed manual transmission with a 6-speed automatic transmission soon to follow.

Introducing ecoDrive Technology

The FIAT is also equipped with ecoDrive, an industry first that analyzes driving styles to determine ways to save money and reduce carbon emissions. Drivers simply download the ecoDrive application onto a USB port via their computer and then plug the USB stick into their FIAT. Information about acceleration, deceleration and speed will be recorded and saved, and then the USB can be reinserted into their computer for an analysis of their driving style. The program provides an ecoScore as well as tips for reducing emissions.

"At 38 miles per gallon, this car is extremely energy efficient and ecoDrive is a very innovative feature that alerts drivers to what they can do to save energy and improve their overall driving experience," Fischer said.

The FIAT 500 offers more than 500,000 customizable combinations including:

• 14 exterior colors with a variety of finishes

• 14 unique seat and material combinations

• Three trim levels – Pop, Sport or Lounge

• Nine exterior decal options

• Two wheel options

• Blue & Me™ HandsFree connect technology

• Leather steering wheel with audio controls

• Alarm system

• Bose® premium audio system

• Sirius satellite radio

• Power sunroof

• Engine block heater

Additional accessories include:

• Ambient lighting

• Autonet Wi-Fi stand-alone kit

• Thule roof-mount bike carrier

• Thule roof-mount snow sports carrier

• Thule rooftop soft cargo storage bag

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The Luther Automotive Group is the largest family owned group of automobile dealerships in the Midwest. From Acura to Volkswagen and most everything in between, Luther offers a vast selection of new and pre-owned vehicles at more than 24 dealerships. Founded in 1952, Luther prides itself on offering stellar customer service and fair pricing on every vehicle sold.

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FIAT creates cars that offer unique Italian design, innovative technologies and great value for the price. Founded in 1899, the company is passionate about its commitment to provide customers with cars that improve the quality of everyday life.

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SOURCE Luther Automotive Group