Fiat reveals official photos and (some) details of the U.S. version of the 500 Abarth, which is set to make its live debut at the LA Auto Show.
Americans are about to get bitten by a scorpion. Fortunately, the bite isn't poisonous, just contagious. How so exactly? Try up to 170hp (hopefully) and one of the best driving experiences for the money. In fact, the 500 Abarth may be the best bang for the buck out there when doing a dollar to power ratio. And thanks to Fiat's ever growing relationship with Chrysler, Americans have been able to enjoy the Fiat 500 for the past several months with sales more than meeting expectations.
But we enthusiasts have been waiting patiently for the real deal: the Abarth 500. Set to be officially unveiled in just a few weeks at the LA Auto Show, the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth may be small, but its bite stings like its famous scorpion emblem. Although it's been on sale since 2008 in Europe, Fiat hasn't fully disclosed all of the North American model's details, but we know it's powered by the Italian automaker's all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged four with either 130hp or 170hp. Hopefully Fiat will offer the latter power number thanks to their Esseesse kit. For now, the company is being mum regarding final performance figures.
Just for comparison, the standard 500 has 101hp from the same engine, so all of the extra power will really be something. Fortunately, Fiat sources are saying the U.S. version will "stay true" to the European model, so we have high hopes that maximum power will be available. The interior should also carry over from the Euro version, featuring sportier seats, aluminum pedals, an upgraded steering wheel, and a gauge boost. Exterior wise, the front fascia will have a larger intake opening, a chin spoiler, rocker extensions, a rear diffuser, and dual exhaust pipes.
There should also be a roof-mounted spoiler, red brake calipers and mirror caps, larger wheels, and plenty of Abarth's signature scorpion logos. Other features will include an Abarth-tuned suspension and brake systems, race-inspired design traits, world-class performance and precision, and high power-to-weight ratio. In order to increase awareness to the Abarth brand, the company has also released this video showcasing the history of Karl Abarth and the performance company he built from scratch.
We'll have complete details about the U.S. 500 Abarth in just a couple of weeks straight from L.A. Stay tuned.