Hotter versions planned as Abarth 500C and Punto Evo hit the market

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

Revealed a few months ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the Abarth versions of the Fiat 500C and Punto Evo are now ready to hit European markets. But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as the hot-hatch house is reportedly planning even hotter EsseEsse versions of both.

The Punto Evo Abarth – based on the recently facelifted version of the Fiat Grande Punto – packs a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo good for 163 horsepower, but the upcoming EsseEsse version promises to boost output up to 180 horses. The 1.4-liter turbo in Abarth's version of the 500C retro cabrio, meanwhile, currently produces 138 horsepower, but is tipped to climb to 157 in Esse-Esse spec.

The 500 range is also expected to upgrade to MultiAir engines sometime within the next couple of years, along with a dual-clutch transmission for the Punto. We'll have to wait and see which engines will feature when the 500 finally makes the transatlantic voyage, but in the meantime Fiat's released a fresh batch of images of the pair of new Abarths on the road. Check 'em out in the gallery below, along with the press release after the jump.

[Sources: Autocar, Abarth]
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Abarth Punto Evo Abarth 500C: "More power to your senses"

The Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo, Abarth's latest versions of two tried and tested models, are due for launch from mid-June in Italy.

The new Abarth Punto Evo aims to win an even bigger place in the hearts of young enthusiasts, continuing the work begun with the Grande Punto, which is bought mostly by customers aged between 18 and 30. The Abarth 500C is distinguished by its elegance and dynamism while the Abarth spirit lives on in its sporting features. The new open-topped car with its reworked engineering also represents a strategic choice by Abarth: this model was also produced to appeal to women customers who seek design and elegance but also appreciate the performance of a true sports car.

Both cars recently made their international public debuts at the Geneva Motor Show and now share the same launch to demonstrate to the public that both represent the very best of the Abarth sporting spirit despite their different characteristics and target customers. This unique event is accompanied by an original advertising campaign, created in conjunction with the 515 Creative Shop studio in Turin and identified by the slogan "More power to your senses", a concept that matches the brand's values perfectly.

The Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo will certainly help to consolidate the already excellent results achieved in 2009. Proof that the direction taken by Abarth is the right one comes from the statistics. These indicate quite clearly that the brand is experiencing continuous growth: from 2008 to the present day Abarth has sold nearly 22,000 cars, including 8400 Abarth 500 versions and 2700 Abarth Grande Punto cars during 2009, as well as more than 3300 performance kits. This commercial success is complemented by the inexorable growth in dealerships and official performance centres. Abarth is in fact completing its coverage of strategic cities in Europe such as Amsterdam and Paris, and in addition to consolidating its presence in existing markets it is extending to Eastern European markets such as Romania and countries in the Mediterranean basin such as Israel. The Abarth distribution network is a truly unique phenomenon, boasting 141 showrooms, 140 official performance centres and 300 service centres in Europe. That's not to mention the latest network of Abarth Racing preparation shops made up of six outlets in Italy, which are exclusively responsible for selling Abarth racing cars and servicing them for customers.

Two models, one spirit: driving experience taken to the maximum sensory levels

The new advertising campaign "More power to your senses" will be rolled out in different media in the coming months, with particular attention to digital media and is further reinforced by a distinctive red graphic marking that simultaneously divides and unites the two cars. The Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo offer a unique and unrepeatable driving experience that transcends the idea that a product is something simply to be used, taking you into the realms of powerful emotion. Normally, when you use an object you do not think about how it was made or why it was made in a certain way, you simply use it. This does not happen with an Abarth. An Abarth reminds you in every detail and at every moment that it was built with but one purpose: performance. Each of its components expresses its vocation: its incisive engine sound, the noise of its wheels on the asphalt, its attractive design, its race-tuned suspension and acceleration worthy of an out-and-out sports car.

With an Abarth the perception of driving is increased and amplified to the maximum.

The perception you receive from an Abarth Punto Evo, in particular, is guaranteed by the 165 HP delivered by a MultiAir engine with enhanced power level to guarantee even more driving performance and adrenaline: all in all, the new car represents Abarth empowerment taken to its highest levels. The Abarth 500C perception combines all the sensations of sports driving with those produced by the panoramic opening hood which accentuates your perception of the surrounding environment, the wind in your hair and the sound of 140 HP under the bonnet. Driving is even sportier thanks to steering wheel gearchanges.

These two models may be very different but they share a single spirit, the sporting spirit of the Abarth scorpion logo, which has proved itself capable of awakening the passion of thousands of motorists with a taste for challenge, speed and Italian style.

A price list complete with standard equipment and options is available on the website

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