2016 Fiat 500 Abarth Review

Friday February 10th, 2017 at 11:22 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

By David Colman

Hypes: Street Legal Go-Kart
Gripes: Poor Rating in IIHS Small Overlap Crash Test

For the sheer joy of driving, Fiat’s 500 Abarth is unmatched. With a price under $30,000, it’s something of an economic miracle. Even though our bright “Celeste Blu” test car had its bottom line elevated by $5,375 worth of options, this storming gnat’s total price amounted to just $28,945. You would be hard pressed to have more automotive fun for that kind of money.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

The basic 500 model is a cute, diminutive reimagining of the post-war Fiat that dominated Italian highways 60 years ago. That little package provided affordable, unpretentious transportation for a war ravaged country. Today, the 500 is still affordable and unassuming. But in a world full of beastly looking, complicated cars, the 500′s major attraction remains its endearing small size and simplicity of design. In many ways, it has taken from VW the mantle of “people’s car” that the Beetle once owned. But the 500, in base form, is a lethargic performer, with just enough grunt (101hp) to manage freeway merges without embarrassment. Enter the Abarth option. Plumb a turbo onto the basic 1.4 liter engine, add a 16 valve “MultiAir” head, and you’ve got yourself an entirely different proposition than the base 500. The Abarth, named after famed Italian racer Carlo Abarth, ups output by 60 percent, to 160hp. That much extra thrust transforms the lethargic base 500 into a superlative little pocket rocket.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

Once ensconced in the very supportive racing striped sports seat, you’ll find the fat rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel and the leather covered, ball-topped shift knob right where you need them for precise control. Because the shift knob is so close to the rim of the wheel, there’s no need for paddles here. Just position the stick of the optional ($1,350) Aisin 6-speed heavy duty automatic in its manual control gate and bump the shifter forward for downshifts and backwards for upshifts. This system works flawlessly. Its ease of use far surpasses wheel mounted paddles you have to chase through 360 degrees while turning and shifting.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

The weight of the steering is halfway between power assist and no assist at all. In other words it’s as close to perfect as you can find in today’s over-boosted marketplace. Expensive sports offerings from BMW and Porsche offer multiple “sport” settings to alter steering feedback. I have yet to experience one of them that can match this Abarth for positive information. The Abarth offers no such array of steering options because it doesn’t need any. It’s perfect the way it comes from the factory where it’s built in Toluca, Mexico.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

Equally responsible for the precise road feel are the 6.5″ x 16″ alloy rims shod with top-of-the-line Pirelli P Zero Nero rubber (195/45R16). These super sticky tires hang on without so much as a squeal of protest even when the Abarth’s firm suspension is at maximum tilt. Driving this petite 2,415 pound warrior on twisty sections of road is a delightful throwback to a time when cars weighed nothing compared to today. If you are interested in experiencing go-kart handling the Abarth is the ride you’ll cherish.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

Back in the day, the first thing enthusiasts did to a new sports car was install an Abarth exhaust system. Although pricey, these beautifully finished black crackle pipes invariably made your new ride sound like a Formula 1 machine. I am happy to report that the mellifluous Abarth sound has not been lost in this latest incarnation from Fiat. The sound level here varies from a harmonious blat at cruising speed to a stridently purposeful shriek at full throttle. In the unlikely event that bystanders miss this patented Abarth mating call, they will be sure to take notice of this punk rocker’s unmistakable visual symphony. No fewer than a dozen Abarth scorpion emblems decorate the body and interior surfaces, and a pair of laser striped Abarth nameplates are emblazoned along the flanks. In a final touch of self celebration the “Abarth” name flashes digitally across the instrument pod every time you start or stop this beguiling little devil.

2016 Fiat 500 Abarth

  • Engine: 1.4 liter inline 4, 16 valve MultiAir Turbo
  • Horsepower: 160hp
  • Torque: 183lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 24MPG City/32 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $28,945
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

Wednesday April 18th, 2012 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

By Danny Chang

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
BASE PRICE $21,500 (est)
PRICE AS TESTED $23,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, FWD, 4-pass, 2-door hatchback
ENGINE 1.4L/160-hp/170-lb-ft turbo SOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 2564 lb (64/36%)
WHEELBASE 90.6 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 144.4 x 64.1 x 58.7 in
0-60 MPH 6.8 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.3 sec @ 89.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 117 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.86 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.9 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 27/32 mpg (est)
ENERGY CONS, city/hwy 125/105 kW-hrs/100 mi (est)
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.67 lb/mi (est)

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/1202_2012_fiat_500_abarth_first_test/#ixzz29VDfKZ13
Pros

  • Endearing styling
  • Rev-happy engine with good MPG (30/38)
  • Fun 5-speed gearbox

Cons

  • Lackluster interior doesn’t match great exterior styling
  • Tight rear seat
  • No trunk space

Although Fiat introduced the Nuova 500 back in 2007, 2011 is the first time the cleverly styled mini-compact is coming to the US. With its arrival, Fiat makes its return to the American market. The new 500 is styled after the original rear-engine Nuova 500 introduced in 1957. Although the new one is front-engine and front wheel drive, it looks like a giant next to the original city car. But that doesn’t mean it’s big in any way. The 2012 Fiat 500 slots in nicely between the Smart ForTwo and the MINI Cooper.

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2012 Fiat 500 Hatchback Review – Italian movie star on four wheels

Monday July 25th, 2011 at 3:77 PM
Posted by: D.Colman


By David Colman

Likes:

  • Sublime retro design
  • Fuel economy
  • Wow factor

Dislikes:

  • Poor side vision due to fat B-pillar
  • Sunroof shade insufficiently opaque
  • Unnerving dance over grooved concrete

Do you remember when New York’s Museum of Modern Art hung an Olivetti typewriter on a gallery wall and called it art? Before that, they did the same thing with a Cisitalia sportscar. Now they can add the Fiat 500 to their collection of Italian appliances that transcend function to achieve lasting beauty. This diminutive sedan, with which Chrysler hopes to revive the Fiat nameplate in America, is more fetching than a MINI, more stable than a Smart, and more practical than any motorcycle. If you’re hunting down a small package to transport two in comfort or four in pain, the Fiat 500 has got to top your shopping list.

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Fiat-Chrysler Announces Electric Car and Plug-In Hybrid Truck

Tuesday March 23rd, 2010 at 6:33 PM
Posted by: michael.leroy

Fiat 500An electric Fiat 500 and plug-in hybrid Ram are in development

Fiat-Chrysler announced that the company will build an all-electric car based off the Fiat 500 by 2012 and a plug-in hybrid Ram by 2011. The Fiat 500EV was revealed earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show, but details are still scarce on the car. What is known is that the 500EV is co-developed by Chrysler and Fiat. The engineering work will be done at the Chrysler Group headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan and not in Italy.

The 500EV will run off a lithium ion battery, but the current range is unknown. It’s possible for the 500EV to have a range of 60-100 miles. Last year a Swedish company named Adapt converted Fiat 500′s to electric. The company claimed an almost 125 mile range for their Fiat 500 conversions. Unfortunately the electric 500′s Adapt produced cost almost $50,000.

Chrysler has said the 500EV will be priced competitively for an electric vehicle of its size. The 500EV will likely be in the same price range as Nissan’s Leaf, which will have similar specs. Pricing will be withheld until the car comes closer to production.

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Fiat 500 Convert Bows At Geneva

Monday March 23rd, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Fiat 500

We had mentioned before that Fiat would debut a convertible version of its much-loved and too-cute new 500, so to follow up on that, here’s the report on the actual car. Officially, it’s called the 500 C and it pretty much exudes with personality. Although the coupe version was inspired by the original 500 from decades ago, there was no convertible version from back then, so Fiat started with a clean sheet of paper and they ended up with something more Targa-like than a true convertible. This unique top really differentiates the 500 C from its closest competition, the Mini Cooper Convertible, which is a much more traditional convertible design.

The 500 C seats four, although the rear seats are a bit tight, due to stowing the top. Naturally, you also give up some cargo room for the convertible setup but, overall, the convertible version is a lot like the coupe. The 500 C has a Targa-style canvas convertible roof, which means the car’s door pillars and area just above the side glass remains intact. This unique Targa setup is power operated and will be available in black, red and ivory.

Engine choices are either a 70 horsepower 1.2-liter or a 100 horsepower 1.4-liter. A more powerful Abarth edition is on its way and there are no plans to offer the 500 C with a diesel mill. All 500 C engines will come with start-stop technology, which will improve fuel economy by about 8 percent.

For some reason, England will get the 500 C first when it shows up in spring 2009, with European sales starting just in time for summer. U.S. sales remain up in the air, but Fiat’s alliance with Chrysler means the 500 C could turn up over here, and you know people would buy it. C’Mon Fiat, bring it.

Source: LeftLaneNews

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Fiat 500 Convertible Exposed

Wednesday February 25th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Fiat 500 Cabrio

A-ha! So the rumors are true. Fiat’s answer to the BMW’s Mini, the Fiat 500 IS getting the drop top treatment, sort of. Although it doesn’t look like it is going to be a full convertible, more like a huge sun roof that drops all the way from the windshield header to the back deck, at least there will be a way to enjoy drop top motoring when the new little ride makes it here.

And oh yes, the Fiat 500 will be making it to these shores, courtesy of Fiat forking over many millions to partner with/help bail out the ailing Chrysler concern. And the 500 has already been mentioned as one of the cars Fiat will bring over. Ergo, they should also bring over the convertible version as well.

The new drop top will officially bow at the Geneva Motor Show, but we can report that the 500 looks back to Fiat’s Cinquecento of years past with a canvas top slides back to open up, yet leaves the outer portion of the roof intact helping maintain body rigidity. This design also means that the trunk maintains its top-up storage capacity.

We’re pleased at this move, and although there’s been no official word that this little guy is coming this way, Fiat would be stupid not to bring it.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

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