Abarth is expected to offer its own performance version of the upcoming Fiat 124 Spider that's based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata. But that's not all. According to Alfredo Altavilla, FCA's COO for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the company is closely evaluating a performance version of the 500X (pictured here with Mopar accessories). "Besides the 124 and 500, we are thinking about an all-new addition to the line-up," Altavilla told Auto Express. "The 500X is one of the options being considered."
If approved for production, the 500X Abarth would target the likes of the Mini Countryman JCW and Nissan Juke Nismo. It may be too early to make the call on powertrain options, but we could be looking at a retuned version of the adaptable 1.75-liter turbo four in the Alfa Romeo 4C that's also tipped to power the Abarth 124, with around 200 horsepower. That'd put it right in line with the 197 hp in the Juke Nismo, 215 hp in the Juke Nismo RS, and 208 hp in the Countryman JCW.
This isn't the first time we've heard the prospect of an Abarth 500X brought up. The last time was the better part of the year ago, when we we hoped the project would lead to an amped-up Jeep Renegade as well. The Italian-American automaker has no intention of phoning it in with the Abarth 500X. "We went a bit too far with the Punto Abarth. Now our customers won't buy a fake. If the 500X becomes the addition to the Abarth line-up, it will be everything but a family version," said Altavilla. "Any new version of an Abarth car should deliver some sort of a performance enhancement, otherwise it is useless."