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Fiat Halts Orders for New 500 Abarth

Demand for performance model outstripping supply.

by on Jun.05, 2012

Fiat officials halted dealer orders for the 2012 500 Abarth though some dealers still have a few in stock.

Barely a month after launching sales of the new Fiat 500 Abarth the maker has told dealers it will no longer be able to supply orders for the rest of the 2012 model-year.

The high-performance version of what Italians call the Cinquecento has helped kick-start demand after a rough launch for the Fiat brand – which led to the ouster of the marque’s original marketing chief.  But sales have surged in recent months, buoyed by more aggressive marketing and the launch of the new Abarth edition.

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“The Fiat 500 Abarth is unstoppable,” Fiat brand boss Tim Kuniskis said in a statement.  “Dealer orders for the Abarth dramatically exceeded the number of units we had scheduled for production. We had to schedule additional production to try and keep up with the demand. Most Abarth units are sold within one day.”


Fiat Muscles up with Abarth 500

Italian flair at “an affordable price.”

by on Nov.17, 2011

Fiat brand boss Francois Olivier unveils the 500 Abarth at the LA Auto Show.

Just a year after tiny little Fiat 500 made its American debut at the L.A, Auto Show, Olivier Francois, Global head of the Fiat Brand and chief marketing officer, stepped on the stage at the Los Angeles Convention Center to unveil the latest version of the Italian microcar.

Though the name Abarth might not be familiar to the average American, there are still plenty of aficionados who recognize the heritage of the Fiat 500 Abarth, which traces its roots back to the work of Carlo Abarth, a former European motorcycle champion, who founded Abarth & Co in 1949, producing aftermarket products for production cars.

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In 1958 Fiat introduced the original 500 and Carlo Abarth saw some use for the tiny city car. His company gave it an extensive makeover, increasing the compression ratio of the small 479 cc engine, fitting it with a Weber carburetor, optimizing the intake system and adding an Abarth exhaust system.