Grazi: Abarth Tunes Fiat 500C Convertible, New Punto Evo

What's cooking with Fiat's performance division? Two new hot hatches, apparently, as the Abarth brand recently unveiled both the new 500C Abarth convertible and the Punto Evo Abarth.

Although Abarth already offers tuned versions of Fiat's retro 500 hatchback, it had yet to apply its go-fast wares to the ragtop 500C convertible model, which originally launched at last year's Geneva motor show.

Like its hardtop cousin, the little Abarth convertible uses a turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4, which produces 140 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque. A sprint from 0-62 mph takes 8.1 seconds, and the top speed is in the realm of 127 mph. Power is routed to the front wheels via a five-speed automated manual, with gear selections triggered by steering wheel-mounted paddles.

Abarth also upgrades the front brakes with 11.2-inch rotors, and encases them with unique 16-inch aluminum wheels (17-inch patterns, however, are optional). Other touches include Abarth-specific badging, ground effects, and minor interior tweaks.

The tuning wing already offered a version of Fiat's last Punto (the so-called Grande Punto), so it's not too surprising to learn it's also tricked out the latest iteration of Fiat's hatchback. The Abarth Punto Evo is powered by a 165-horsepower version of Fiat's MultiAir turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The combination is reportedly capable of rocketing the larger car from 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds, with top speed limited to 134 mph.

Abarth adds Brembo-sourced brakes (complete with 12-inch front rotors), five-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels, and some subtle ground effect modifications. Of course, brash Abarth graphics and logos help set this apart from your run-of-the-mill Punto Evo.

Both cars are presently headed to European showrooms, but seeing as both the 500C and the 500 Abarth are destined for North America, we wouldn't be surprised to see the performance-tuned ragtop make its way stateside as well. Source: Abarth

-Steve Diehlman

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