Fiat has announced that the 2012 500 Abarth will be priced from $22,000, *not including destination charges. That's a healthy jump from the tiny Italian's $15,500 base MSRP and higher still than the open-air 500C that starts at $19,500. For all that extra lira, buyers get Fiat's turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir engine producing 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through a five-speed manual transmission and the super Cinquecento also receives an upgraded suspension and brakes, 16-inch wheels and dual exhaust system. The cost of admission also includes free tuition to the Abarth Driving Experience hosted by The Richard Petty Driving Experience.

The Fiat 500 Abarth can be difficult to place among its class competitors because it's the smallest kid on the block, but we've constructed a handy-dandy table to compare pricing, power and weight-to-power ratios for some likely adversaries. Despite being the smallest in size, the Abarth 500 actually ends up with the highest weight-to-power ratio. The upcoming Hyundai Veloster Turbo stands out as having the least amount for each horse to lug around, though without pricing information, the Abarth 500 presently stands as the least expensive in-road to the kingdom of hot hatches.

Price* HP/Torque Weight W/P Ratio
2012 Fiat 500 Abarth $22,000 160/170 2,533 15.8
2012 Volkswagen GTI $23,995 200/207 3,034 15.2
2012 Mini Cooper S $23,100 181/177 2,668 14.7
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo N/A 201/194 2,800 13.9
*Does not include destination charges
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FIAT Brand Announces U.S. Pricing for New 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

- Starting at $22,000, the Fiat 500 Abarth unleashes legendary Italian performance onto American streets
- Designed for track-day enthusiasts and driving purists who want the ultimate high-performance small car at an attainable price
- Fiat 500 Abarth customers entitled to segment-exclusive, full-day Abarth Driving Experience

January 11, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The FIAT brand today announced U.S. pricing for its new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. The starting U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $22,000 (not including destination).

Faithful to the "small but wicked" saying coined for Karl Abarth's cars in the 1960s, the Fiat 500 Abarth arrives to America with the racing traditions that have made it a success on European roadways and racetracks: world-class performance and precision, purposeful and aggressive styling, high power-to-weight ratio and limited production volume.

"The Fiat 500 Abarth feels like a double shot of espresso straight to your veins," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. "With its wicked attitude, it will reward adrenaline fans who no longer need to pay six figures to feel the rush of true Italian performance."

The race-inspired Fiat 500 Abarth comes standard with many performance features, including the all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine delivering 160 horsepower (119 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. (230 N•m) of torque, Abarth-tuned suspension, brake systems and dual exhaust, turbo-boost gauge with integrated LED shift light and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Driver and passenger performance seats feature a one-piece design with large side bolsters, racing-harness pass-through and accent stitching. The Fiat 500 Abarth also comes standard with BLUE&ME™ Handsfree Communication, Bose premium audio system and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

Abarth Driving Experience for New Owners
Included in the price of each 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is the opportunity for new owners to attend a segment-exclusive driving experience at no additional charge. The Abarth Driving Experience is an entire day of full-throttle training, guided by professional instructors from the Richard Petty Driving Experience to ensure fun and top-level instruction in a safe and structured setting.

"Seduction" Digital Spot Reaches Nearly 3 Million YouTube Views
The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth and its digital spot titled "Seduction" made their debuts at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. The 60-second social media spot promoting the 500 Abarth seduced more than 1 million YouTube viewers in its first week and now has reached nearly 3 million views. Without having ever been aired on television or cable networks, it has rapidly spread through the web and gained global attention.

It represents the unique characteristics of the Fiat 500 Abarth as a sensual and strikingly stunning model and takes a peek at what happens the first time a customer encounters the race-ready vehicle. The spot ends with a sexy and edgy message, "The Fiat 500 Abarth. You'll never forget the first time you see one."

The "Seduction" digital spot was created in partnership with The Richards Group and can be viewed at the FIAT brand's YouTube site or via the following link: http://www.youtube.com/fiatusa