For those who want better performance – without the price tag of the top-line Abarth edition – Fiat is adding a new turbocharged version of its little 500 model.
The new addition to the maker’s fast-growing line-up is making its debut in Monterey, California, this weekend, at the Concorso Italiano, one of the largest gatherings of Italian vehicles in North America.
Fiat launched its return to the U.S. market in late 2010 but got off to a slow start with the original 500 coupe and cabriolet. Sales began to take off earlier this year with the debut of the Fiat 500 Abarth, a high-performance version backed by a sexy ad campaign. At this point, the maker has run out of Abarths until production of the 2013 model begins.
The new 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo targets those who don’t want something quite so extreme. It features a 135-horsepower version of the maker’s MultiAir four-cylinder engine, as well as sportier suspension tuning and what Fiat bills as “track-proven” brakes. The interior is upgraded and there are modest exterior enhancements over the base 500, as well.