Monday, September 17, 2012

First Impression: Fiat 500 Abarth

In 1949, Carlo Abarth founded Abarth & C. Spa. The Abarth logo includes a scorpion with red and yellow in the background. In 1952, Abarth started working with Fiat, creating the Abarth 1500 Biposto, which is based on Fiat mechanicals. Currently, Abarth has three models, the Abarth Punto Evo (based on the Fiat Punto), the Abarth 500C (based on the Fiat 500C), and the Fiat 500 Abarth. The Fiat 500 Abarth is a very hot hatchback. The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is sold out.

I first saw the Fiat 500 Abarth at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. Houston Northside Fiat brings the Fiat 500 Abarths to car events in the Houston car events. There are a few external changes done to the 500 Abarth. There is a scorpion logo on the engine. Fiat badges are replaced to the Abarth badges. There are stripes going along the bottom of the sides of the car with "Abarth" in the stripes. The 500 Abarth also has low riding suspension, 16" aluminum alloy rims, four-wheel disc brakes, a turbo pressure gauge, gear shift indicator, and aluminum pedals. The Fiat 500 Abarth is a sportier version of the Fiat 500. The biggest difference between the Fiat 500 and the Fiat 500 Abarth is under the hood.

The Standard 500 has a 1.4L MultiAir I4 engine that produces 101 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque. The 500 Abarth has a 1.4L MultiAir turbocharged I4 engine that produces 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque and is available with a five-speed manual transmission. The 500 weighs 2,533 lbs. The 500 Abarth goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 130 mph. Prices for the 500 Abarth start at $22,700. The 500 Abarth provides go performance for a city car at an affordable price. Too bad all 2012 models have been sold.

The Fiat 500 Abarth made a stop by Jay Leno's Garage. Th3 500 Abarth was featured on Top Gear Series 12, Episode 2. The 500 Abarth is in the sub-zero section of the Top Gear Cool Wall. The 500 Abarth is also featured on RTL Motorwereld, Motor Week, Fifth Gear, Auto Esporte, Victor Sauvage, and Anger Management. The 500 Abarth is playable in netKar Pro, Asphault 6: Adrenaline, StreetRally, Asphalt 3D, Asphalt 7: Heat, GTI Club+, Driver: San Francisco, Assetto Corsa, GTI Club Supermini Festa!, Forza Motorsport 3, Forza Motorsport 4, and FERODO Race Challenge.

Final Thoughts: I liked the Fiat 500 and 500C. Abarth takes a cool but slow city car and tune it into a hot hatchback. The car is so hot that the 2012 model is sold out. The 500 Abarth had performance, styling, and practicality at an affordable price. The 500 Abarth does not come with a automatic transmission. If you want a 500 Abarth, then you need to know how to drive a car with manual transmission. The Fiat 500 Abarth is one of the best cars for under $25,000.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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