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.
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.