Let's call this little guy Abarth Light. For 2013, Fiat is adding a new model to the 500 range, and if you find the base car's porridge to be a bit too cold but don't want the full viciousness of the hot Abarth, this middle child Turbo should be just right.
The big change worth talking about is under the hood where Fiat has employed a detuned version of its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, good for 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. That represents increases of 34 and 52, respectively, over the standard 500, but falls 25 hp and 20 lb-ft short of the mighty Abarth. That grunt is matched with a five-speed manual transmission, and specific performance enhancements include a sport suspension, better steering calibration (to be fair, we've heard that one before with the Abarth), stiffer shocks and upgraded brakes. Sounds potent. And we certainly hope that the Turbo's sport-tuned exhaust delivers the same sort of throaty growl that we've fallen in love with on the Abarth. (In case you forgot, head over to our First Drive and hit the play button on the video to hear that superb exhaust note.)
Fiat has employed a detuned version of its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, good for 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque.
Visually, the Turbo is set apart from base models with the addition of a unique aero kit and smoked-out headlamps. Inside the cabin there are sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and optional heated leather seats. The coolest interior feature, however, is that the 500 Turbo will employ the Chrysler Group's Beats by Dr. Dre audio system. Good, since the standard stereo in the 500 is, well, not good.
The 500 Turbo goes on sale this fall priced from $19,500, (*)excluding $700 for destination.
Which begs the question: Is this new Turbo model a better overall package than the super-fun Abarth? It's cheaper, offers the same sort of chassis upgrades, sacrifices a small amount of power and has that killer new sound system, all for a few thousand bucks less than the range-topping Scorpion. We'll have to wait until we get the Turbo out on the road before we decide. For now, scroll down for the full details in Fiat's press release.
Related Gallery2013 Fiat 500 Turbo: Monterey 2012
Fiat 500 Turbo hits the sweet spot in the Cinquecento line-up
- New model amplifies the Cinquecento's power, performance and personalization levels while keeping intact the character of the iconic 500
- Beefed-up powertrain: turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine for 135 horsepower, 150 lb.-ft. of torque, track-proven manual transmission and sport exhaust Precise handling: sport-tuned suspension, steering, front-lower control arms and high- performance brake system
- Dynamic styling: performance-designed fascias and side sills provide athletic appearance and deliver aerodynamic functionality
- Studio-quality sound: new segment-exclusive Beats by Dr. Dre audio system available for high- definition music experience the way the artist intended
- Fiat 500 Turbo arrives at FIAT Studios nationwide this fall with an MSRP of $19,500, becoming one of the most affordable turbo-charged vehicles in America
Monterey, Calif. , Aug 17, 2012 - Today at the Concorso Italiano – one of the largest gatherings of Italian vehicles in North America – the FIAT Brand introduced the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo, touting a 135-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, sport-tuned suspension, track-proven brakes, dynamic exterior design and sport-styled interior. The new Fiat 500 Turbo answers the call for enthusiasts who are drawn to the Italian style of the Fiat 500 but want more power and performance for their daily drive.
"We listened to our customers" said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America. "The new Fiat 500 Turbo is the answer to all the fans that loved the style of our Cinquecento but wanted more power and performance for their daily drive. With 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque, the Fiat 500 Turbo hits the sweet spot between the regular Cinquecento and the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth. The Fiat 500 Turbo balances and blends the best Italian flavors that our portfolio has to offer, becoming the perfect canvas for customization."
New 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo
Behind its performance-designed front fascia, the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo features a single turbocharger, twin intercoolers and sport-tuned exhaust to deliver 34 percent more power (135 vs. 101 horsepower) and 53 percent more torque (150 vs. 98 lb.-ft.) compared to the Fiat 500's naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine.
Developed for high-output applications, the Fiat 500 Turbo is paired to the track-proven C510 five- speed manual transmission with a 3.35 final-drive gear ratio for quick acceleration and faster top speed, while achieving up to 34 mpg highway. In addition, the beefed-up powertrain features an intermediate shaft with equal-length and 23 percent larger (28.1 mm vs. 22.8 mm diameter in the Fiat 500) half shafts to mitigate torque steer. To handle the increased power and torque of the new 1.4- liter MultiAir Turbo engine, larger constant velocity (CV) joints with 53 percent greater torsional strength (2600 N•m vs. 1700 N•m in the Fiat 500) deliver added durability and refinement.
For a more aggressive appearance, the new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo features a pronounced front fascia, pushed 2.7 inches forward of the Cinquecento's signature "whiskers and logo" face, to accommodate the new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine. Below, larger openings provide greater engine cooling, while twin "nostrils" are precisely positioned on both sides of the front fascia to maximize airflow in and out of the two intercoolers (both intercoolers are visible through the "nostril" inlets). Finishing off the front are new Gloss Black headlamps and parking lamp bezels for a more menacing look.
The Fiat 500 Turbo features bolder side skirts to create a more vertical bodyside profile, while also enhancing its iconic Cinquecento shape. Behind the unique 16-inch aluminum wheels with Nero (black) painted pockets, the Fiat 500 Turbo features a high-performance brake system with semi- metallic brake linings at all four corners, larger 11.1-inch ventilated front rotors for greater stopping power (up from 10.1-inch) and brake calipers lacquered in Rosso (red) paint. To make sure this Cinquecento properly handles the more powerful engine, the Fiat 500 Turbo features a unique lower control arm and the 500 Sport model's sport-tuned spring rates, shock tuning and steering calibration.
At the rear, a liftgate-mounted spoiler extends the roofline of the Fiat 500 Turbo and improves the hatchback's aerodynamic behavior. New taillamps with Gloss Black bezels replace chromed units for a discrete look. Below, the two-piece rear fascia accentuates the road-holding stance of the Fiat 500 Turbo with a black-accented rear diffuser designed to optimize airflow, while a new sport-tuned exhaust provides an enthusiast-desired sound.
Exterior colors for the 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo include Argento (silver), Bianco (white), Grigio (gray), Nero (black), Rame (copper), Rosso (red) and all-new Verde Azzurro (green & blue.)
Inside, the new Fiat 500 Turbo features sport-styled seating, sport-designed leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel accented with Argento (silver) stitching, and a Grigio/Nero (gray/black) seating and interior environment. For an even more upscale look, heated leather seating in Nero/Nero (black/black) or vivid Rosso/Nero (red/black) is available.
The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo arrives to FIAT Studios this fall with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $19,500 excluding $700 destination charge.
New Beats by Dr. Dre audio system
New for 2013, the segment-exclusive – and first-time-ever in a small car and FIAT automobile – Beats by Dr. Dre audio system offers passengers of the Fiat 500 Turbo a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended. The available Beats Audio studio-quality sound system includes six premium speakers, an 8-inch dual-voice coil (DVC) subwoofer with trunk-mounted enclosure and eight-channel 368-watt amplifier with Beats Audio digital sound processing (DSP) algorithm.
About the FIAT Brand
The FIAT Brand stands for discovery through passionate self-expression. It encourages people to be in charge of their lives, live confidently and celebrate the smallest of things with infectious excitement. That philosophy is embodied by the North American introduction of the iconic Fiat 500 or Cinquecento – a small car that lives big. Italian at heart and rooted in a rich heritage, the 500 is synonymous with modern simple design blending form, function and a pride of ownership that is genuine.
Reminiscent of the original Cinquecento, the 2012 Fiat 500 and Fiat 500c (Cabrio) build on the vehicle's global popularity. Since its initial launch in 2007, more than 800,000 Fiat 500 vehicles have been sold in more than 80 countries around the world. The model's unquestionable popularity is the result of the Fiat 500's great ability to deliver unmatched personalization options with advanced solutions in terms of quality, engine and passenger comfort. In addition to success on the sales front, the Fiat 500 has earned more than 80 awards, including being named the 2008 European Car of the Year, 2009 World Car Design of the Year, Best New Engine of 2010 (FIAT MultiAir Turbo) and a 2012 "Recommended Pick" by Consumer Guide.