Reports of Abarth getting its own sports car have been surfacing pretty much since Fiat relaunched the brand. They seem to have intensified recently, with reports alternately suggesting that the Scorpion marque could partner with either Lotus or KTM on the development of a mid-engine roadster. The latest scuttlebutt, however, indicates that Abarth could go it alone on the new model.
The issue with KTM is reportedly that its carbon-fiber X-Bow, upon which the Abarth roadster could be based, is too expensive for the low price point Fiat seeks. The hesitance to work with Lotus, however, may be more personal. Lotus CEO Danny Bahar defected there from Ferrari, and took a number of personnel from both Maranello and Maserati with him.
As a result, Abarth could build a Lotus Elise rival from the ground up, powered by the latest-generation MultiAir engine mated to the company's new dual-clutch gearbox. Such a move would, however, seem at odds with Sergio Marchionne's push to integrate products and platforms across Fiat and Chrysler brands. But if a mid-engine Dodge roadster came out of it as well, you wouldn't find us complaining.