Rumors of a new sports car from Abarth have been circulating for months, and although details are still sketchy, one thing's for sure: a mid-mounted engine is part of the package. Autocar is confirming previous rumors that Fiat's sport division has struck a deal with Lotus to use the next Elise as the basis for the new sports car.

The third generation Elise will debut in 2010, with an all-new aluminum architecture that will be slightly wider and longer than the current model. The Abarth version will feature different composite body panels, and will make use of new 240 hp, turbocharged and direct-inject four-cylinder currently being developed by Fiat. The Abarth roadster will debut in Europe a year after the Elise, and if Fiat's plans of coming to the U.S. are realized, we might even get our own version in the States.

[Source: Autocar]