• Jul 19th 2010 at 5:58PM
  • 29
Fiat 500 Abarth Essesse – Click above for high-res image gallery

We've been hearing about the supposed introduction of the Fiat 500 to American shores for so long that the car may grow stale before the first one touches soil on our side of the Atlantic. Chrysler and its parent company, Fiat, seem to have grown keen to that very possibility, so to stir the pot somewhat, the two have gotten together and released a few scant details about a performance version that's also headed our direction.

As we've already heard, the 500 Abarth will pack around 134 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a 0-60 run of around 7.6 seconds. If you're thinking that those numbers aren't exactly devilish, fear not – the Abarth-tuned cars will also pack reworked suspensions to help them carve up tarmac like a turkey dinner.

That's cool and all, but the biggest news is that Fiat is actually mulling an Abarth Speedster – a unique new model that is rumored to borrow heavily from the 1959 Zagato Abarth 750. Expect a shorter roofline as well as a folding soft top if the car comes to fruition. No one knows exactly which engine Fiat would snug down into the little topless wonder, but rumor has it that a 163-horsepower version of the same 1.4-liter four-pot is a definite possibility. Sounds good to us.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like more good news for Chrysler with these "hot" 500s coming down the line.
      For the money, the Neon was a nice car and very dependable. And yes, expectedly, they do have a loyal following who will line up for its anticipated replacement in a second because they know the truth about the Neon. Great bang for the buck. Personally I'm hoping for a name change back to Shadow or Dart.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice chick car.

      let the beating begin.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right behind you, bring on the sign up sheet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My girlfriend better be getting the Abarth.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm right behind him too... you spank his ass, I'll call him Sally...

        North American roads would be more interesting and fun with cars like these.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Spank my ass and call me Sally then because I'm making a bee line to the Abarth and immediately ordering an Essesse kit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Forget the speedster. I'll take the 170hp Abarth Essesse in that picture.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a twin-air double - with two twin-air engines.
      So rather than cylinder deactivation it could simply run with one or both engines turning - giving it either 85 or 170 potential HP at any given moment.
      Not that the moments should be random of course....
      But make it frugal about town or on the highway - but come on like a bull when you put the pedal down.

      I'd be curious to know which was less efficient - the weight of a second engine or the drag of non-firing cylinders in a mill with cylinder deactivation.
      Any engineering types with any thoughts on that?

      Would also love to see an alfa romeo twin-air triple.
      No idea how they'd engineer it - but I would still enjoy it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they're aiming to sell them here before the end of the year shoudln't we have seen advertising for it already to build up the hype and demand?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree and that's a good question. On the other hand I saw very little Mini advertising back in 02.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's because the Abarths are still 1.5 years out, let's recall ... Regular 500's this December,
        500c Mid 2011, and A500's Q4 2011.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A car that small with a 134 HP engine seems like it should get to 60 a little faster than that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually it does not weigh in the mid two thousand pound range. They are in reality between 1900 and 2200 pounds.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought it was estimated (confirmed?) that the Abarth 500 was getting a 170hp 1.4 engine?


      Hmmm, this, the new MINI with the 180hp DI engine, choices, choices, choices....
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe you are right, AB got it wrong again......or maybe they know something we dont, but I trust fiat500usa more.
        the Punto you mention is another class segment up, the 500 is a B segment car.
        side by side the Punto looks really much larger.
        • 5 Years Ago
        i could almost see driving an abarth 500, but not quite. Some of the other small hatch abarth designs like the grand punto are really unquestionably killer looking. Real small but viscous
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have driven these when in Italy on business. They are very stout little machines and a ton of fun to drive. Sips gas with the diesel version getting over 50mpg! Of course, we will not see the diesel over here for some time. I would love to have a 500 as a runabout here in SoCal. My daily driver is a Corvette C6, but I still appreciate the 500 for what it is. Nice interior also...and easy as heck to park!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just FYI, the American Abarth version is getting much more hp.
      170bhp from the 1.4L

      • 5 Years Ago
      awesome, build it, give the mini speedster a run for the money and buyers a better car :)
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