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Losing A Pedal Doesn't Mean Sacrificing Thrills

Is a car with an automatic less fun the same car with a manual gearbox? Well, not if the vehicle in question is a Fiat 500C Abarth and its six-speed auto.

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Just last month at the Geneva Motor Show, Fiat announced some updates for the European-spec 500, including a new dashboard display. Now it's announced that the same updates are being applied to the US-spec model.

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To no one's surprise, I was stoked about the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio. I've always enjoyed the exquisitely flawed driving dynamics of the 500 Abarth hardtop, and the idea of being able to fold the top back and take it all in with some fresh air blowing around was really appealing. That super awesome exhaust note would no doubt be even more audible without a huge chunk of sheetmetal and glass in the way, and even with the slight weight penalty (33 pounds versus the hardtop), the Cabrio should still

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These dudes are perfect, which, we surmise, is why their YouTube channel is called Dude Perfect. But we digress. In their latest video, Dude Perfect performs some amazing trick shots with footballs, basketballs and baseballs, along with a trio of Fiat 500C Abarth convertibles. It's perfect, dude.

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Boo and hiss all you want, but the truth is that manual transmissions aren't for everybody. When Fiat launched the hot little 500 Abarth last year, it did so with a five-speed manual as the only transmission available, but according to Ward's Auto, that might change.

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Fiat's performance division, Abarth doesn't have a lot to work with. Just two models, in fact, but that hasn't stopped the Scorpion marque from making the most of the 500 and Punto ranges. Clearly, there's a lot of room for hot-hatch workings. Just take a look at what Abarth has in store for the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

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We already know that Fiat plans to bring a hotter version of the 500 sometime next year, with the 175-horsepower Abarth variant likely to come in both coupe and cabrio flavors. Now comes word that two other 500-branded models are on their way and one of them will be squarely aimed at families.

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Fiat 500C "La Dolce Vita" – Click above for high-res image gallery, follow the jump for video

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Abarth 500C and Punto Evo EsseEsse – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Fiat's Abarth performance division only has two basic product lines, so how many revisions can it possibly have on the burner? Well, two, as reports emerging from Europe suggest.

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