We think Fiat’s Abarth 500 -- especially in esseesse form -- is a hot little hatch, but Hamann, apparently, disagrees. Dismissing the stock cars as nothing more than “retro scooters,” the German tuner crafted a line of performance modifications that turn the Abarth 500 from delicato to selvaggio.
The base “HS I” package, which tinkers only with the engine computer, boosts the turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4’s output from 140 hp to 160. The next step -- “HS II” -- adds a new turbo, a revised air box, and a modified exhaust system, yielding 180 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque. “HS III,” however, tweaks the fuel supply and further modifies the turbocharger, allowing the small four-banger to crank out 210 hp and 228 lb-ft. At this point, the Abarth 500 is starting to encroach into Volkswagen GTI territory, but it isn’t enough for Hamann. The tuner offers the “HS Race” package, which beefs up the engine with forged pistons and connecting rods, yet another revised turbo, a racing clutch, and an even more aggressively tuned ECM. Hamann says these tweaks are good for 240 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Not hot enough? Opt for what Hamann bills the “HS Cinquecento 575.” We’ve no idea where the “575” comes from, but by adding a modified cylinder head and twin intercoolers, the 1.4-liter mill whips up an incredible 275 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Hamann also includes a locking differential, but we imagine drivers will still have to armwrestle hordes of torque steer each time they the put the hammer down. Hamann Abarth 500s are also treated to a new body kit that reportedly allows the tuner to widen the front and rear track by 30 and 35 mm, respectively. Although it doesn’t detail what changes are included, Hamann says it does retune the 500’s suspension, and throw in 18-inch aluminum wheels. On HS Race and Cinquecento 575 models, upgraded four-piston brake calipers and larger rotors are standard.