Fiat 500C – Click above for high-res image gallery

With the Fiat 500 still selling like hotcakes, the Italian automaker's performance division is reportedly working on a new combination to further bolster interest in the retro hatch. Melding the best elements of the 500 Abarth and the new 500C convertible, Fiat is said to be preparing a 500C Abarth for launch overseas in time for the next sunny season.

Porting over the engines from the fixed-roof 500 Abarth, the cabrio would be offered with the 133hp 1.4-liter turbo four, upgradable to 157hp with the optional Esse-esse kit. But while most convertibles loose their rigidity and gain weight when the top is lopped off, the 500C's unique roof rail structure keeps torsional twist at bay – to say nothing of the Cinquecento's iconic profile. Pricing would be competitive with the new Mini Cooper Cabrio, and with both the Abarth and convertible variants expected to appear Stateside by 2011, there's a good chance Fiat will throw this one into the mix, too.

[Source: Autocar]

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