It’s finally coming. The long awaited introduction of the Fiat 500 Abarth to the North American Market. Fiat has announced via Twitter that its pint-sized hot hatch 500 Abarth is set to make its debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. We knew it was coming, but now we can (more or less) officially set our watches for the debut.
Much like how Fiat tweaked the 2012 500 for American tastes, the 500 Abarth should also feature some differences from the European version. For starters, the 500 Abarth will feature the same slightly modified front fascia as the standard 500. The 500 Abarth, like the standard 500 will also feature some minor tweaks in the interior that were made for the North American market, like bigger cup holders. Our version of the 500 Abarth should also get a slightly reworked suspension from the American 500 that will be better suited for North American roads.
The North American-spec Fiat 500 Abarth is also rumored to get a sixth cog in its transmission and a few more ponies under the hood than its European brethren. In Europe, the 500 Abarth comes in two forms. The standard 500 Abarth comes with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-banger with 134-hp. One rung above that is the 500 Abarth Essesse – Italian for ‘SS.’ The Essesse gets the same 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4, but with more power, 160-hp to be exact. It’s rumored that in North America, the standard 500 Abarth will have between 150 and 170-hp bone stock. That would put the 500 Abarth in line with the MINI Cooper S, and would allow Fiat to potentially create an even higher horsepower 500 Abarth Essesse to put up against the Mini’s Cooper John Cooper Works. With the 500 undercutting the Cooper by 200 lbs or so, this might just be the start of a pint-sized horsepower war. We say bring it.
We’ll have more details for you on the North American Fiat 500 Abarth when it makes its debut at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Source: Fiat USA via Twitter