It's been a very long time since Fiat's in-house tuner Abarth built its own car, but that isn't stopping the re-launched performance division. It reportedly is planning its own in-house sports car.
Abarth, originally an independent tuning and racing outfit before being acquired by Fiat in 1971 and becoming its parent company's racing and high-performance division, built a few of its own cars based on Fiat models. Now, the rejuvenated division is looking to build its own car once again. The brand's head of sales and marketing, Antonio Labate, told Autocar that the new sports car will be launched in the next two years.
"The brand is doing so well we will definitely bring our own standalone Abarth coupe model to market within the next two years," said Labate.
Abarth has reportedly been drooling at the thought of its own halo car ever since its re-launch and Labate reportedly suggested it would be a two-seater only. Earlier reports suggested it could be based on the Lotus Elise or otherwise influenced by Lotus, but Labate says that isn't the case. Regardless, rumor has it that the car will weigh in the neighborhood of 2000 pounds and sport a 240-horsepower engine mounted amidships. The motor will almost certainly come from Fiat and will likely be a turbocharged four-cylinder, as Fiat and Alfa Romeo have talked about using just such a motor with the same power output in their own vehicles.
Will the unnamed Abarth sports car ever come to the U.S.? With Fiat's own U.S. return still months out, we're not even sure we'll get Abarth versions of Fiat products yet, so it's doubtful we'll see this car anytime soon, if at all. Depending on how it's priced, though, it has the potential to give either the Mazda MX-5 or the Lotus Elise a good run.
What do you think? If Abarth goes ahead with its two-seat sports car, should Fiat bring it to the U.S.?