• Jul 19th 2010 at 5:58PM
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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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