Fiat Punches up Midget 500 to Abarth Spec

February 20, 2008
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Fiat’s racing division, Abarth, has worked it magic on the recently crowned European Car of the Year and will go public with the results at the Geneva Motor Show.

Designed to evoke the spirit of the legendary Abarth version of the classic 1960s Fiat 500, it’s powered by a 1.4-liter 16-valve turbocharged gasoline engine. It delivers a maximum of 135 hp at 5500 rpm and peak torque of 152 lb-ft. The unit is linked to a five-speed manual transmission sending power to the 16-inch front rims. Larger wheels are available as options, along with a host of decals for the roof and body panels.

The most obvious change over the standard 500 is the performance body kit, which helps to make the car a more aerodynamic shape. Inside, the Abarth model gets special instruments, including an analogue gauge to measure turbo pressure. An LED light on the dash to tell the drive when to change gear is also fitted for the first time.

More details of the car will be released at the Swiss event in two weeks.--Richard Yarrow

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