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Fiat Offering Track Day for Abarth Buyers

Many makers offer track time with high-performance models.

by on Jan.17, 2012

Fiat's 160-hp 500 Abarth will come with a free day of track time, much like partner Chrysler offers those who buy its SRT muscle cars.

Fiat’s little 500 may be cute but it doesn’t quite fall into the performance category – or, at least, it hasn’t until now.  The new Abarth edition transforms what Italians know as the Cinquecento into a pint-sized muscle car.

The new version will boost the base Fiat 500’s output from a modest 101 horsepower to 160 by adding a turbocharger to its 1.4-liter MultiAir engine.  The Abarth edition also features what Fiat describes as a “track-tuned” suspension.

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Buyers will have a chance to find out what that means.  As part of the $22,000 purchase price the maker is including a full day of track time.  Specific details likely won’t be available until around the time the first Fiat 500 Abarths go on sale in U.S., in late March, but a spokesman said the plan is to stage as many as 20 Richard Petty Driving Experience events around the country this year.