The Abarth is a sport version of the recently introduced Fiat 500 and has 59% more horsepower and 70% more torque than the standard model.
Taking dead aim at the driving enthusiast community, Fiat trotted out a sport version of the recently introduced Fiat 500. Legitimately tuned for the track, the Abarth (pronounced “ah-bart”) edition has 59% more horsepower and 70% more torque than the standard model.
“With the addition of a turbocharger to the 1.4-liter engine, advanced intake technology including FIAT’s exclusive MultiAir system, a heavy-duty five-speed manual transmission and other internal refinements to the powertrain, the ’12 Fiat 500 Abarth transforms the Fiat 500 into a high-performance precision driving machine that every enthusiast will appreciate,” said Mike Vincent, platform manager for the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.
The engine also benefits from twin intercoolers and upgraded thermal capacities, forged rods and forged crank. The Honeywell turbo operates at 18 psi; premium fuel is recommended, but not required.
The 500 Abarth also boasts driveline and suspension upgrades, including bigger brakes with 11.1-in. rotors, stiffer springs and bars and P-zero tires on 17-in. forged wheels. Three-mode stability control can be switched off for track use and 10% faster steering and a 15mm lower stance are part of the package.
According to Fiat spokesman Tim Kuniskis, the Abarth was designed to be fun on the track, but not punishing on the street.
The Fiat 500 was the recipient of the SEMA Award at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, making it the “Hottest Sport Compact of the Year.” The award is based on a count of vehicles in exhibitor booths—a measure of how the aftermarket performance industry embraces a new model.