Pop 2dr Hatchback
2012 FIAT 500

MSRP ?

$15,500
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Smart Buy Market Avg. ?

N/A
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Engine Engine 1.4LI-4
MPG MPG 30 City / 38 Hwy
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2012 500 Overview

As Well-Heeled As An Italian Supermodel Not to spoil the rest of this article, but the number one thing that the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth has going for it is its styling. That isn't to say the rest of the car isn't worth writing home about – quite the contrary, actually – but if there's one driving factor that makes you want to run to the Fiat dealership and spend your hard-earned dollars on an Abarth, it's how it looks. You'll read a vast variety of opinions across this great big Interweb about the 500 Abarth's driving dynamics, interior refinement and value, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one critic who considers the Abarth anything less than molto bella. Smart, then, that the Chrysler Group chose to employ European goddess/supermodel Catrinel Menghia for its seductive Super Bowl ad spot starring the 500 Abarth, ending the 60-second commercial with the phrase, "You'll never forget the first time you see one." So three months after we first met the North American-spec 500 Abarth in person at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, we finally got the chance to see if our lust for the cute little Italian runs more than skin-deep. On Fiat's invitation we hit the roads – and track – around Las Vegas to see exactly how powerful the scorpion's sting really is. Dimensionally, the 500 Abarth is nearly the same as the Sport model on which it's based, save the fact that the front fascia has been pushed out by 2.7 inches (to make room for the larger engine) and that the whole car sits 15 millimeters lower to the ground. Cosmetic changes up front include a blacked-out grille with integrated fog lamps, as well as larger air intakes to better cool the turbocharged engine. Around back, a larger liftgate-mounted spoiler has been added to provide better downforce, and there's a new two-piece fascia with dual exhaust tips and a big ol' diffuser in the middle. Standard rolling stock is a set of smoke-finished 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 195/45-series Pirelli Cinturato P7 all-season rubber, but if you're smart, you'll skip the standard wheel-and-tire package and upgrade to the 17-inch kit. Here you get decidedly more attractive 12-spoke wheels, rendered in either a dark alloy or bright white finish like the ones on our test car (which we really, really like, by the way) wrapped in stickier 205/40-series Pirelli P-Zero Nero three-season tires. We found these shoes provided plenty of grip while tossing the Abarth around Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas, but on the track, we'd really like some proper summer performance tires for maximum grip in the corners. While we unabashedly love the Abarth's exterior, it's too bad we can't say the same thing about the interior, where the car is already showing signs of its age. Remember, the 500 may have been launched in the United States as a 2011 model, but the car has been around in Europe since 2007, as evidenced by the …
Full Review

2012 500 Overview

As Well-Heeled As An Italian Supermodel Not to spoil the rest of this article, but the number one thing that the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth has going for it is its styling. That isn't to say the rest of the car isn't worth writing home about – quite the contrary, actually – but if there's one driving factor that makes you want to run to the Fiat dealership and spend your hard-earned dollars on an Abarth, it's how it looks. You'll read a vast variety of opinions across this great big Interweb about the 500 Abarth's driving dynamics, interior refinement and value, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one critic who considers the Abarth anything less than molto bella. Smart, then, that the Chrysler Group chose to employ European goddess/supermodel Catrinel Menghia for its seductive Super Bowl ad spot starring the 500 Abarth, ending the 60-second commercial with the phrase, "You'll never forget the first time you see one." So three months after we first met the North American-spec 500 Abarth in person at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, we finally got the chance to see if our lust for the cute little Italian runs more than skin-deep. On Fiat's invitation we hit the roads – and track – around Las Vegas to see exactly how powerful the scorpion's sting really is. Dimensionally, the 500 Abarth is nearly the same as the Sport model on which it's based, save the fact that the front fascia has been pushed out by 2.7 inches (to make room for the larger engine) and that the whole car sits 15 millimeters lower to the ground. Cosmetic changes up front include a blacked-out grille with integrated fog lamps, as well as larger air intakes to better cool the turbocharged engine. Around back, a larger liftgate-mounted spoiler has been added to provide better downforce, and there's a new two-piece fascia with dual exhaust tips and a big ol' diffuser in the middle. Standard rolling stock is a set of smoke-finished 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 195/45-series Pirelli Cinturato P7 all-season rubber, but if you're smart, you'll skip the standard wheel-and-tire package and upgrade to the 17-inch kit. Here you get decidedly more attractive 12-spoke wheels, rendered in either a dark alloy or bright white finish like the ones on our test car (which we really, really like, by the way) wrapped in stickier 205/40-series Pirelli P-Zero Nero three-season tires. We found these shoes provided plenty of grip while tossing the Abarth around Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas, but on the track, we'd really like some proper summer performance tires for maximum grip in the corners. While we unabashedly love the Abarth's exterior, it's too bad we can't say the same thing about the interior, where the car is already showing signs of its age. Remember, the 500 may have been launched in the United States as a 2011 model, but the car has been around in Europe since 2007, as evidenced by the …Hide Full Review