Where better than the winding, hilly roads of southern California to test a feisty droptop? Justin Bell used those sinewy roads to wring out the 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth, the convertible version of the Italian-bred hot hatch, and recorded his experience for our enjoyment.
Like the standard Fiat 500 Abarth, the convertible version uses a 1.4-liter turbo-four engine good for 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission helps direct power to 17-inch wheels wearing sticky performance tires. Unique to the 500C Abarth is a powered fabric top that opens to permit sunlight into the cabin.The 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth costs $22,700 (after a $700 destination charge), while the 500C Abarth is $26,700.
Just as we found when we drove a Fiat 500 Abarth hatchback, the convertible is a riot to drive. Bell is quickly smitten by the performance car, and soon finds it difficult not to drive enthusiastically.
"I really do defy anyone to drive this car with even a modicum of sanity," says Bell. "It triggers this little switch in your mind that says, 'I am a boy racer.'"
Find out what else Bell thinks of the car in the video below.