Let's call this little guy Abarth Light. For 2013, Fiat is adding a new model to the 500 range, and if you find the base car's porridge to be a bit too cold but don't want the full viciousness of the hot Abarth, this middle child Turbo should be just right.
The big change worth talking about is under the hood where Fiat has employed a detuned version of its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, good for 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. That represents increases of 34 and 52, respectively, over the standard 500, but falls 25 hp and 20 lb-ft short of the mighty Abarth. That grunt is matched with a five-speed manual transmission, and specific performance enhancements include a sport suspension, better steering calibration (to be fair, we've heard that one before with the Abarth), stiffer shocks and upgraded brakes. Sounds potent. And we certainly hope that the Turbo's sport-tuned exhaust delivers the same sort of throaty growl that we've fallen in love with on the Abarth. (In case you forgot, head over to our First Drive and hit the play button on the video to hear that superb exhaust note.)
Fiat has employed a detuned version of its 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged inline-four, good for 135 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque.
Visually, the Turbo is set apart from base models with the addition of a unique aero kit and smoked-out headlamps. Inside the cabin there are sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and optional heated leather seats. The coolest interior feature, however, is that the 500 Turbo will employ the Chrysler Group's Beats by Dr. Dre audio system. Good, since the standard stereo in the 500 is, well, not good.
The 500 Turbo goes on sale this fall priced from $19,500, (*)excluding $700 for destination.
Which begs the question: Is this new Turbo model a better overall package than the super-fun Abarth? It's cheaper, offers the same sort of chassis upgrades, sacrifices a small amount of power and has that killer new sound system, all for a few thousand bucks less than the range-topping Scorpion. We'll have to wait until we get the Turbo out on the road before we decide. For now, scroll down for the full details in Fiat's press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments