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What do you do when you want to cast your cute little city car as a truly bad ass performance machine? How about hiring an infamous drug enthusiast actor, a guy who insists he has "tiger blood" flowing through his veins?

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 br

There's no question that Fiat's "Seduction" ad was a big success. Launched just a few weeks ago to coincide with the North American debut of the Fiat 500 Abarth, the minute-long commercial quickly went viral to amass over two million views. And with good reason. The spot's got everything: cars, sexy, funny.... So what more could Fiat do with the ad? Pop-Up Video, of course!

Joe Grace, Fiat Vehicle Line Executive, swung by Jay Leno's garage with the brand's new 500 Abarth for a little history lesson and a quick walk around. Here in the States, it's easy to forget that Karl Abarth, the man behind the Fiat tuning division, was as driven as they come when pushing the performance envelope. Abarth got his start racing motorcycles before turning his eye to four-wheeled prototypes and aftermarket performance, and his list of lifelong achievements is as lengthy as it is var

Excited as we were for the launch of the Fiat 500 in the United States, we've really just been waiting for this: the 500 Abarth. You see, Fiat's scorpion-branded tuning house has laid its hands on a host of models over in Europe, and now that we're finally seeing the performance fruits of the Chrysler-Fiat merger.

Jennifer Lopez may be all well and fine for plugging the regular Fiat 500, but for the new Abarth version, Fiat's going to need something a little... racier. So for the latest spot advertising the arrival of the Scorpion-fettled Cinquecento, Fiat USA (also known as the import-flavored Chrysler division) took a decidedly different approach.

Just as it has for years with the European-market Fiat 500, Abarth has gotten its hands on the version made in Toluca, Mexico for the North American market, taking what is rapidly emerging as a popular choice for style-conscious American drivers and turning it into a proper pocket rocket. Being introduced today at the LA Auto Show, the US-market Fiat 500 Abarth is about as jam-packed with performance goodies as they come.

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