Fiat Abarth 500 makes a comeback!

According to U.K. mag Auto Express, Fiat's new 500, due for a 2007 launch, is getting the Abarth treatment in a high-performance version of the new minicar.

The new Fiat Abarth, shown in the sketch above, has the trademark monster fender flares of the original Abarth 500, covering wider wheels and a stiffer suspension. The new car is said to be powered by a 150-hp, 1.4-liter turbo, capable of pulling the car from 0-60 mph in around 8 seconds. The Abarth version will debut alongside the Fiat 500 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Compare it to the original Fiat Abarth 500 after the jump!

Austrian-born tuner Carlo Abarth became famous for his hot rod Italian cars, producing several variants of the diminutive Fiat 500. The artist's sketches of the new Fiat Abarth carry the 695 model number, the same as Abarth's top-of-the-line pocket rocket in the early '60s. In the race-ready 695SS version, the 500's air-cooled two cylinder engine was bored out to 689cc and fitted with Weber carbs, a high-capacity aluminum oil sump (undoubtedly to help cool the engine!), and a "stinger" exhaust. In street-legal trim, the 695SS put out a ground-pounding 38 hp, but race versions could make more than (gasp!) 55 hp. A small car, but huge fun!

[Sources: Auto Express, forum]

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