Hey, since we’re talking about German tuners (or at least we were yesterday), check out this Fiat 500 Abarth cranking out 200HP. Now, I’m not one to advocate huge horsepower numbers from tiny little cars to others … but it always worked for me!
In this particular instance, what we have here is a Fiat 500 Abarth, essentially Fiat’s in-house tuned version of their little mini-car that’s sort of like the John Cooper Works version of BMW’s MINI. This specific Fiat 500 Abarth was worked over by a German tuning firm by the name of Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge. (Say THAT three times real fast.)
What the fine folks at Karl Schnorr Kraftfahrzeuge did was launch a sport package for the diminutive Italian with both engine and chassis mods. Normally, the Fiat 500 Abarth that is powered by a 135HP 1.4-liter turbo plant, which is a pretty good starting point for a car that’s about the size of a washing machine. Those interested in going the upgrade route from KSK (I’m not typing that name again), get to choose from two engine packages.
One package ups the power and grunt by 28HP and 45Nm, resulting in final figures of 163HP and peak torque of 251Nm in what is termed “sport mode”. I have no way of knowing, since the Fiat 500 isn’t in America (yet – I’m looking at you, Chrysler/Fiat alliance), but I think “sport mode” is some sort of dash toggle deal that changes the tuning on the fly. The cost for this kit rings in at â‚¬950.
The second package comes with a remapped ECU, a larger turbocharger, a sport exhaust system and ads an extra 65HP to the base Abarth set up, bringing the engine output to 200 horsepower. Sadly, KSK didn’t spec any torque figures for this version (I’m hope they’re high), but they did say that package number two tips the cash register at â‚¬5,050.
KSK also had a look at the chassis – thank God. What would this little beast drive like if all they did was give it more power and left the underpinnings alone? Anyway, KSK developed a special coilover kit for the 500. It drops the ride height by a few millimeters, and that will set you back â‚¬1,270. They also had a go at the look of the car too, letting you get new racing stripes and 17-inch OZ alloy wheels finished in matching red for a cool â‚¬1,090.
Anyway, not bad … and, as has been rumored, Fiat, via Chrysler, does bring the 500 to North America, then I could see lots of overseas business for this German tuning firm.