Thursday, November 17, 2011

New 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth Hits U.S

After the U.S. launch of the regular Fiat 500 and the canvas-top 500C, it's time for the Italian automaker to introduce the sportier version of its retro-styled mini, the new 2012 500 Abarth that makes its debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The good news is that Fiat opted to offer the 500 Abarth with a more powerful engine than the standard 135-horsepower four-banger that's available on the basic European model.
In the States, the hot 500 gets a turbocharged, twin intercooled and MultiAir-equipped 1.4-liter engine that produces a more robust 160-horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 170 lb-ft (230Nm) of peak torque between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm.
A five speed manual gearbox along with an Abarth-tuned Torque Transfer Control (TTC) system help transfer power to the front wheels. Chassis modifications include a retuned suspension with stiffer springs, a faster steering system and larger brakes while the Italian model rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires size 205/40 R17.
On the outside, the 500 Abarth gains a new bodykit with unique front and rear bumpers and spoilers plus bespoke graphics and two prominent tail pipes on either side of the rear diffuser.
Interior goods include a set of body-hugging sport seats dressed in leather and Alcantara with red accent stitches, a thick rimmed, flat bottom steering wheel, a revamped instrument cluster, aluminum pedals and sportier-looking trim throughout.
“Bringing the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth to the U.S. enables us to reach out to driving enthusiasts who want Italian performance at an attainable price,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand and Chief Marketing Officer of Chrysler Group LLC. “With its lightweight, track-tuned handling and purpose-built design, the Fiat 500 Abarth brings to life the legendary racing heritage of the brand and becomes the Italian high-performance car for everyday driving.”


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