60 Seconds with the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

#Fiat, #500

Karl Abarth is that guy you wish you could be. He was an Austrian who raced motorcycles before taking Italian cars and turning them into racing cars back in the early 1960s. Successful racing cars, too. So successful that the Italians fell in love with Abarth and made him one of their own. Now his name is synonymous with Italy and one Italian automaker in particular—Fiat.

When Fiat introduced the new 500 to America, you didn’t have to be a genius to guess that a tuned up version was in the cards. The 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth is a wicked little rocket with outlandish looks and an aggressive exhaust that burps and blats whenever you back off the accelerator. It’s a lot of fun to drive on the street, sure, but the automaker says the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth is “designed for track-day enthusiasts and driving purists who want the ultimate high-performance small car with the pedigree of an exclusive Italian exotic.”

Looking past the PR fluff in that statement, we see the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth is pitched to “track-day enthusiasts” as “the ultimate high-performance small car.” Hard to believe, right? With some serious competition on the market, we’d have to agree.

Watch the video below to see if the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth really is “the ultimate high-performance small car” for “track-day enthusiasts.”

TurboChargedChili
Besides the loud exhaust, this car has nothing on it that inspires fast driving. Crazy seating position, rotten banana clutch, hyper sensitive throttle control, and the high speed stability of a gnat, I'll pass on this "Italian" masterpiece for my MINI Cooper S any day of the week. I felt like I was driving a mini-van with a broken muffler. The interior oozes 1999, and the overall build quality screams, "MADE IN MEXICO!" I don't understand how people can seriously buy one of these cars if they are performance minded at all. Although pricier, a MINI is well worth the extra bucks. Everything in the MINI feels solid, from the way the door closes, to the perfectly weighted clutch, and the way those seats hold you in so nicely. The FIAT just can't match the MINI on any level, I was thoroughly disappointed.
TurboChargedChili
Besides the loud exhaust, this car has nothing on it that inspires fast driving. Crazy seating position, rotten banana clutch, hyper sensitive throttle control, and the high speed stability of a gnat, I'll pass on this "Italian" masterpiece for my MINI Cooper S any day of the week.
Jason Hall
@Fields Carlisle Mini has TERRIBLE customer satisfaction. I personally know many prior Mini owners who now own Abarths and absolutely love them. If you do not know why performance minded people would buy this car, then you really do not know cars very well at all. It is almost impossible to drive an Abarth without hooning it, and it's not just the exhaust either (although that is a big portion of it). The rear end can be tamed with a thicker rear torsion bar ($189) And yes, the seats are high, that would be the one thing I agree with you on. I have had mine for 1.5 years and not one problem/issue with it. This car still gets crowds where ever I take it and is the most fun of any car I have ever driven, and I have owned A LOT of cars throughout the years.
TurboChargedChili
You can say what you want. But if you read any car magazine that is written by enthusiast you will see that the Cooper S will walk circles around your Abarth. I have a 2011 S, and I recently drove an Abarth on a mix of roads, and wow was I unimpressed. And the part about MINI having "terrible customer satisfaction" is completely wrong. Here's a link for you to do some research on so you don't seem like a fool. http://m.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2012/1201/MINI-Lexus-get-top-marks-in-sales-satisfactionMINI also was voted highest residual value by KBB 10 years in a row.

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