Fiat 500 Abarth showing in L.A.

Fiat's tuner division, Abarth, created a turbocharged version of the little 500 model, which will get a U.S. debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
Fiat will launch the U.S. version of the 500 Abarth at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. Fiat

If you've driven the Fiat 500 and found it underpowered, things are about to get more interesting. Fiat will bring out the tuned Abarth version at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.

Fiat made its return to the U.S. market this year with the 2012 Fiat 500c , an inexpensive city car with cute retro looks. To increase appeal among a more power-hungry set of drivers, Fiat is bringing the tuned Abarth version to the U.S., and it gets its first showing next month in Los Angeles.

Fiat released a few stylized photos of the 500 Abarth today, along with confirmation that it would be powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Although no specifications were released for the U.S. version of the car, the European version makes 135 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque.

The 500 Abarth also features a stiffened suspension and upgraded brakes.

Although it boasts a huge torque number for such a small car, the lower horsepower seems to put it more in a class with the Mini Cooper S, rather than the John Cooper Works version of the same, which creates 208 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque.

The Los Angeles Auto Show will run from November 18 to 27. CNET's coverage will begin on November 16 at the press preview.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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