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It is probably still a marketing or legal question. BMW currently uses the Zagato name which would be great for Fiat, but there may be a conflict about the name's use by another manufacturer?
Most U.S. car buyers may not know what a Zagato is, but may have heard of an Abarth from the Fiat commercials. Marketing needs to keep the message simple and push one name or the other, but probably not both. It may be more about name recognition.
Abarth has been associated with Fiat for 60 years and was used for the 500. Zagato has built bodies for many different companies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zagato
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abarth
 

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It will most likely be an EU only car, since it's a TwinAir powered vehicle. Unless they go with modding the Abarth instead, I can't see this making it to the states, and I doubt it will make it to production. But maybe it will. Zagato is small, they may not be able to do more than one car at a time, and I think they are still busy making the V12s yet based off the Aston Martins.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm aware ChryFi likely have limited the potential of some Fiat tech being marketed here in the States. I'm not one who'd be offended if a car is capable, yet is powered by only two- or three-cylinders. Evidently, other Americans might.

I've driven cars which logged-in at 1:40 HP/Weight. They're difficult going uphill, but were not bad urban vehicles. You don't go anywhere that quickly, but you do get there. But at 85 to 105 HP, the basic 500 translates to a 1:30 to 1:24 HP/Weight with the Twin-Air HP range.

I'd have no trouble considering a car like that as a commuter ... IF it could get respectable fuel mileage. If not - no, I wouldn't.

I like the aesthetics and think it could prove to be a nice fit in that specialty niche (nice-looking daily driver). But what you say about the potential negatives does put a few potholes in the path of progress regarding this model.

Later EDIT : http://theirearth.com/index.php/news/fiat-500-twin-air-turbo

Article from year 2010 -

Claims the Twin-Air 500 gets 56 MPG combined, translated to US fuel efficiency calculations

Later still EDIT : Corrected the 1:31 HP/Weight to the accurate 1:24 HP/Weight for the 105 HP 500.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ImperialCrown said:
It is probably still a marketing or legal question. BMW currently uses the Zagato name which would be great for Fiat, but there may be a conflict about the name's use by another manufacturer?
Most U.S. car buyers may not know what a Zagato is, but may have heard of an Abarth from the Fiat commercials. Marketing needs to keep the message simple and push one name or the other, but probably not both. It may be more about name recognition.
Abarth has been associated with Fiat for 60 years and was used for the 500. Zagato has built bodies for many different companies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zagato
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abarth
Money talks ... Sergio could speak to Zagato to allow ChryFi to market a Z model 500; and just let Fiat build them. End result being a 500Z and Bimmer couldn't complain.
 
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