• Jan 12th 2010 at 10:58AM
  • 55
Fiat Abarth SS and BEW – Click above for high-res image galleries

The tiny Italians are coming! That's right gentle readers, Fiat has dropped two little baby 500s off inside COBO Hall – and one of them's electric. Let's start with that one, the uninspiringly titled Fiat 500 BEV (background). The suffix stands for "Battery Electric Vehicle." Let's call it truth in advertising. The powertrain is carried over from the work Chrysler's now defunct ENVIgroup had been working on for the past couple years. We can't say too much more (hint, hint), but rumor has it that this sucker is fast. Also, no tail pipe(s).

Fast is good, however, and the Cinquecento that sets our hearts all a flutter is (obviously) the 500 Abarth SS. Or as they say in Italy, Abarth Esse Esse. That last part of the name is significant, as it indicates this particular 500 doesn't have 133 horsepower, but rather 160 hp. The beauty part? After standing next to the Abarth for a few moments it becomes uncomfortably obvious that its much smaller than the Mini. Meaning... all sorts of wonderful things.

Other than that, the Abarth SS has five-point harnesses tied into racing seats and perhaps the best badging in the industry. Scorpions are every where. Take a close look at the shot of the wheel. Not only does the center cap sport a scorpion, but the valve-stem cap does, too. It's all about sweating the small stuff. Lusting over it, too. No specific information is available on the time line/likelihood of either car ever showing up in a Chrysler dealer near you.

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do Want. NOW! Needs more Abarth go faster stripes though. Definitely my next car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Marchionne is missing out on a great advertising opportunity. I believe he should have brought in the full Fiat/Lancia/Alfa Romeo line-ups to Cobo Hall. Think of the buzz it would have created! Not all of the models would be suitable for America, but the interest generated would have solidified any misconceptions the public has about the Fiat/Chrysler marriage.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. Seeing gorgeous Alfas , sexy Lancias and funky Fiats all over their booth would have been a great show of force.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And actually the 500's official name is the "Abarth 500 Esseesse", there is no Fiat emblem all over the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i think i might want one...
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I posted this earlier in response to a particular post, but just in case, here it is again...

      No, the fascias belong to the Abarths only. The proboscis contains
      the oil cooler for the engine. In fact, the versions coming to the
      US are 105hp and 170hp. The 105 is the basic, but new, Multiar unit
      with the Fiat patented very clever valve technology offering c.50mpg
      US. The 170 has a turbo, but also gets Multiair, and probably little
      worse fuel economy: but it will cost more. It may be badged as an
      Abarth in America. The convertible is also scheduled to get Multiar
      engines, and there will be an Abarth version.

      It may be that all American 500s get the nose extension if crash regs
      dictate, although the 500 exceeds even 2010 regs in Europe.

      It appears that the US will not get the forthcoming 0.9 litre twin
      cylinder 105hp engine, which is expected to give 60++mpg US. This is
      probably because it will be a completely new engine, and Americans
      would not be expected to accept a twin cylinder motor.

      I hope this helps.
        • 5 Years Ago
        so, this is the current Abarth front clip, used in Europs.
        U R saying that there will be a new, longer one for the US market?

        if the US Abarth will get a 170 hp motor, does that mean that we will be able to add an Esse Esse chip kit to get 200 hp?!?!?!

        Are you SURE there will be a 500c Abarth version?!?!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am certain there will be an Abarth convertible - in Europe at least.

        The protruding front end is only applied to the Abarth in Europe because it has the practical purpose of containing the oil cooler.

        I meant that the US MIGHT get the same front end for all 500s if there needs to be more plastic to meet US crash regs. But I doubt it actually as the 500 is very strongly built.

        I also doubt that it will be possible to uprate the 170, but frankly you wouldn't need to. 170 hp will be more than enough in this fantastic little car - trust me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Disturbingly ugly cars for cheapos.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ya gotta see it in person - photos don't do it justice.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Pray tell Almo....because I'm not a badge whore and don't want to pay a stupid amount of money for a car I'm a cheapo?

        Not sure where you're coming from as far as your comment goes but it makes you sound like a douche.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is it really fair to judge the car based on the london going rice rocket crowd? Stock the 500's a great little car. Better than the mini.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Zamafir: Abarth 500 better than a MINI? I think not!! I've sat in one and it was nice, but i like my Mini more. Maybe one day i can test drive one. There is a FIAT dealer right down the road from here and i drive by it all the time. I always catch myself with a wondering eye :D.
      • 5 Years Ago
      After seeing many in person last month in Italy, I believe the 500 Abarth will sell as many as shipped here.

      Let's hope this makes it over.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am honestly ready to camp in a line the day they hit the dealership lot. I haven't wanted anything so bad in my life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll be very happy if it does, in fact, end up over here. Badges intact.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed! I'll take either of the BEV (must have more info on that!) or the ABARTH. Absolutely awesome cars!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice little car.

      ps. I dunno when you guys finally got around to doing it, but thanks for fixing the picture galleries. Imagine my pleasant surprise when the photo I clicked on was the actual one that came up!
      • 5 Years Ago
      i drove the abarth 500 esseesse for over a week and i can say it's a really nice little car. i would love to drive it through an american city.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone else see a problem with a top spec 500 Abarth not being able to out accelerate V6 Japanese family sedans with 0 sporting pretentions?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nope, I do see a problem with someone asking that question though, no better way to illustrate you quite clearly don't get it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, this is ridiculous! I mean, c'mon, my F-150 is faster and it has negative sporting pretentions!

        You are an idiot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        it's not all about acceleration junior, ever hear of a Miata or a Mini? When you get in the twisties, that V6 Accord will be falling behind.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, because the 500 will be manual transmission; whereas, the Japanese family sedan will be a (crappy) auto tranny, probably a CVT. The 500 will rocket past the poorly-tuned Japanese V6 family sedan.

        Boy, you really are ignorant, aren't you. Ever driven a MINI? I have a non-turbo MINI with manual transmission and I leave most cars in the dust at traffic lights, but of course you won't believe that, since you're judging based on numbers you see but don't really understand, because you have no real-life experience with such cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't see a problem with the fact that I couldn't care less if it's fast.
        • 5 Years Ago
        . . . This car is intended for the 'downtown' crowd and the streets will be your go kart track, . . . . . . and you can park it anywhere.
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