Fiat is set to debut the high performance version of its fashionable 500 -- possibly in October at the Paris Motor Show -- and spy shots have revealed that development is well underway. If fans of the retro-mobile were let down by the Abarth model's relatively puny 133-horsepower and sub-eight-second run to 60, the SS model will improve those numbers considerably. For its range-topping city car, Fiat is likely to fit a revised turbocharged engine offering an estimated 160 horses along with the Q2 Torsen C limited slip differential from Alfa Romeo.

The latest round of spy shots for the expected SS prove that the Italians are masters of restraint. Despite looking very similar to the plain-jane 500, unique cues like dual exhausts and special wheels stand to differentiate the high-performance model. We also spotted some vents in the hood of the SS which are not present on the more pedestrian Abarth. This model should be able to hold its own with the other retro hot-hatch, the MINI Cooper S JCW. Speaking of which, has Fiat noticed how well the MINI brand has been selling in the States these days?

[Source: World Car Fans]