I received an email from Greg B. today wondering why he is unable to install tweaks in his 2018 Fiat (Abarth model) 124 Spider built late in November 2017 for the U.S. market. Although he was pleased to learn that the
- Abarth name is now embroidered on the seats
- the steering wheel proudly displays an Abarth logo, rather than Fiat’s
- the radio’s animated Abarth boot sequence now matches the rest of the world
his photo (shown above) is disappointing evidence that the equivalent of Mazda firmware version 59.00.502 (and higher) is now getting installed, which among other changes like updated USB drivers, prevents tweaks from being installed via the USB ports. Rather than 56.00.521 or 56.00.530 firmware, his system came with 59.00.524, which can only be tweaked by pulling the system out of the dash, soldering in a serial USB cable, and hacking into it using a laptop computer – something I would never wish to attempt. Again, you can find your firmware version by starting at the main menu and selecting Settings > System > About > Version Information.
I predicted the day was coming, but anyways, I will now have to add some explanation to my Tweaks article that lets my readers know that if they have 59.00.524 firmware, don’t bother seeking tweak software, as it will not do anything. If you wish to know more about why, and the history behind this decision, see this article.
This could also be forewarning that Fiat dealers may start upgrading the firmware in our cars as we bring them in for service, in which case (if you appreciate the improvements enabled by installing tweaks), you may wish to install the ID7 autorun prior to that visit, as that will allow you to continue installing tweaks regardless.
The chart below lists all of the firmware versions that will not allow tweaks to be performed via the USB ports.
The music database is still update-able by the user with the newer firmware though – see this article for the details.