The prospect of a stand-alone model from Abarth has been an on-again, off-again proposition. Currently, the revived label is backed by two models, Punto and 500, essentially upgraded performance versions of existing Fiat models. Interests were piqued, however, when the Fiat performance sub-division opened the doors on its new factory that incorporated space for a small assembly line, said to be earmarked for a standalone model. But then Abarth spokespeople said that wouldn't have been enough to build even a small run of road cars. Rumors then surfaced that the Scorpion marque was to collaborate with Lotus to come out with an Elise-based roadster. Now the rumor-millers at Auto Express have rendered their own idea of what form a dedicated Abarth sportscar could – or in their view, should – look like.
Rather than outsourcing to Lotus, AE thinks producing a unique two-seater based on the existing 500 would be more on the money. That'd mean a front-engine/front-wheel-drive setup, with the 1.4-liter turbo four carrying over in both standard (135hp) and "esse-esse" (158hp) spec. A lower center of gravity, lower curb weight and even more compact body, complete with removable roof panel, would keep the standalone Abarth nimble, while Ferrari-esque gizmos like the Fiat group's Torque Transfer Control (TTC) e-diff and shift-lights on the flat-bottomed steering wheel would help the fortunate driver keep the power under control. Of course this is all speculation and a bit of wishful thinking, but that doesn't remove it from the realm of possibility.

[Source: Auto Express]

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