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The base Fiat 500 offers an economical ride with a bit of Italian flair, but the Abarth version kicks up the power considerably.
The power increase comes through a turbocharger added to the engine, and is accompanied by a notable loudness boost, as well.
Fiat gives the 500 Abarth suspension tuning to make it handle better, but the car's height makes it feels a little on-the-edge.
The result of increased power and suspension tuning is a crazy little car that will frequently spike your adrenaline.
The Abarth name and scorpion badge go back to a company founded by Carlo Abarth in 1949, which designed sport upgrades for production cars.
Body work sees few changes for the 500 Abarth, and retains the high roofline. That height is great for passenger headroom, but negatively impacts handling.
Optional 17-inch wheels pack Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires, wider than the tires found on a stock Fiat 500.
At the heart of the 500 Abarth is this turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which manages 160 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque.
Contributing to the 500 Abarth's edgy handling, the weight distribution is far from balanced, with 64 percent over the front axle.
Overall curb weight is just 2,512 pounds, making the car a featherweight in the industry.
The 500 Abarth can be a lot of fun, but it's going to be in the slower groups at track days.
Carried over from the standard 500, this hatch offers a fair amount of practicality.
Sport seats come as part of the Abarth trim.
As a two-door, getting into the rear seats involves a little bit of squeezing, but the head and legroom in back is not terrible.
A nice body-color panel runs across the dashboard.