Fiat returned to the United States in 2011 for the first time since 1984. The giant Italian car maker brought the small, city-car Fiat 500 with them. The 500s sold well, but they were just cute, underpowered economy cars with a bit of Italian flair.
But all that changed when Fiat revived the name best associated with their racing success — Abarth. Turbocharging the Fiat 500’s 1.4-liter inline four resolved the lack-of-power complaints. Throw in the five-speed manual and high-backed racing seats, and the commute just became flat-out fun. The 160 horsepower doesn’t seem impressive, given how common 300 — and even 400 — horsepower is today. However, the horsepower per pound (the real measurement of performance) is decent at 15.8 pounds per horsepower.
The Fiat 500 Abarth is still cute, but it’s now also fast and fun — with Italian flair.
There is a trick to turn the car from fun driver to tiny rocket. Activate Sport mode and disable the electronic stability control. The throttle response becomes even more immediate, the steering tightens up, and my smile can’t get any wider. It also doesn’t hurt to have a 28 mpg rating in the city and 34 on the highway. (OK, maybe that won’t be the mileage in the tiny-rocket mode, but who cares?)
A cautionary note: The 500 Abarth squeezes into most parking spots, just make sure you’re not scraping against the concrete. The tires offer no protection for the rims, which scratch easily.
You could be the first owner of this white 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth. The monochromatic paint scheme will look good darting about town. The white wheels are one sure way to stand out.
MSRP is $22,700 for the 2013 model. This one is offered without a reserve. Is this a chance at a screaming deal?
Click the link to see the listing: 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth
Follow the link to read our review of the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth