The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth has turned the Fiat’s typical cutesy attitude into a mean little machine, living up to Carlo Abarth’s philosophy of making the ordinary extraordinary. This fierce Fiat could be some major competition for the Mini John Cooper Works and we’re intrigued to see the end result when these two actually face off. The Abarth is considered the Crème de la Crème of the Fiat 500 lineup and comes equipped with a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine that can produce 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The usual 5-speed transmission will stay the same but has been beefed up slightly to handle the small performance value the Abarth gives you.
We all know it’s not just the speed that matters but also the stopping power which is this Fiat needs to be able to stop on the dime. According the manufacturer this is made possible by its performance brake system. Our favorite thing about the performance side of this car was that we were very pleased with the power and how smooth the turbo kicked in. There was no turbo lag noticed whatsoever. The exhaust note was very throaty for such a little car and the acceleration was pretty good, coming in around 6.9 seconds. The one complaint we do have as far as the performance goes is that the manual transmission had a little too much play for our taste while shifting.
We absolutely love the widebody look and the simple aero kit that came complete with a wing. We thought its badging looked pretty cool to and suited the little Fiat very nicely. It had pretty nice gauges and we thought the color coordinated wheels added a nice, simple touch to the little car. As expected, the 2012 Fiat Abarth gets relatively good gas mileage, 28 for the city and 34 on the highway. Pricing starts out at $22,000.
By Tabitha Baez