Since its launch, the Fiat 500 has had its share of marketing problems – mainly the whole advertising deal with Jennifer Lopez. The first commercial for Fiat appeared during a football game as part of Lopez’s new singer. A lot of (negative) publicity ensued, but Fiat has continued its partnership with the singer, launching a new commercial that makes a bit more sense than the first.
For Fiat, we’re sure they would like the discussion to turn back to product. They are looking to do that with the Abarth at the Los Angeles International Auto Show this month. It will be the most engaging Fiat 500 offered, and we’re sure that product-starved Fiat dealers are looking forward to any shiny new toys they can sell.
Especially since the Abarth will likely appeal to a different set than the standard 500. New images of the car have been released, along with a few details about what we’re getting here in the U.S. The Abarth has been on sale in Europe since 2007.
The 500 Abarth will be powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder offering about 130 horsepower, up from the standard 500′s 101 hp. There is a higher-power version in Europe called the Esse-Esse that produces 160 hp. It isn’t clear if we’ll get both packages; we sure hope so. The Abarth 500 is lowered and the exterior sees some significant tweaks to the front and rear fascias Other changes include bigger, blacked out rims that look pretty striking paired with red brake calipers and accent mirrors.
The visual heat is turned up significantly; we love the changes! The 500 Abarth includes other substantive upgrades to match the power, like a stiffer suspension and beefier brakes. All the finalized details on the 500 Abarth will be dropping at the LA show. Abarth has a storied history behind it; the first Abarth based on the 500 debuted in 1958 as the 595 Abarth. The car broke six international speed records. While the new one won’t be doing any of that, we’re sure enthusiasts will appreciate the extra power.