Fiat 500 Abarth
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With red racing stripes and scorpion badges, the Fiat 500 Abarth will be the first model from the Italian automaker to hit U.S showrooms. This tiny speedster has become a cult sensation in Europe, and soon American buyers will get their chance to join the following.
With Chrysler's latest partnership with Fiat, expect to see a melee of European cars hit our highways in the upcoming years---mainly, a unique lineup of sports cars from Alfa Romeo and Fiat.
The Fiat 500 is small and economical, and a flat-out fun-to-drive automobile. The Abarth edition adds a little more excitement to the formula. Its turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 135 horsepower and will dominate the gas stations with 36.2 mpg on the European combined cycle.
The 500s retro styling is taken straight from the original version, which started production in 1957. Then, Fiat's tuning division Abarth gets their hands on it to add visual enhancements and performance pieces.
Besides its peppier engine, the Abarth 500 gets bigger 16-inch wheels, a new front bumper, leather racing seats, a new steering wheel, dual tailpipes, and at least 10 Abarth badges inside and out.
Here comes the deal maker: The new Fiat sport mini-car will start at $18,000.
Granted, its small power output is only enough to get it to 60 mph in seven seconds, but its styling and value may be enough to put it in American garages nationwide. Plus, we expect Fiat to follow the 500 Abarth with an SS version (like they have in Europe), which boosts horsepower to more than 160 and adds an even tighter suspension.
Either way, the Fiat 500 will make its presence felt in the U.S. market.