2012 Fiat Abarth

by Dave Stall
2012 Fiat Abarth

Well it is almost here….the Fiat Abarth, what is an Abarth you ask?  Well it the race version of the Fiat 500 thanks to Karl Abarth.  He started modifying 500's back in the early days of Fiat and became synonymous with Fiat-Speed and Winning.
Now Fiat has brought this little racer to the US, (It is almost here).  My test drive of the Abarth was a pure joy, as you know I am very fond of small compact cars that scoot, and this one scoots!  You get a 160 Horsepower with new 1.4-liter MultiAir® turbo engine. Custom race seats in Lipstick red!
Behind the unique Rosso (red) Abarth engine cover and Abarth-designed front fascia with twin "nostrils," lies the heart of the FIAT 500 Abarth - the all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine backed with a stronger, manual five-speed transmission, equal-length half shafts, 3.35 final-drive ratio, and a Torque Transfer Control (TTC) system that delivers power to the pavement.
Add to that a sport tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels (replaces the 16-inch wheels).  You also get a Sport Mode located on the dash, push it and you get a standard-equipped "Sport" mode calibration for more engaging driving. Should the driver select Sport mode on the instrument panel, the Abarth-tuned powertrain control module (PCM) unleashes the full power of the 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo with linear throttle response and a more performance-weighted steering feel.
When Sport mode is not engaged, the Fiat 500 Abarth returns to "Normal" mode, and limits the torque in first and second gears to enhance fuel efficiency and minimize CO2 emissions.  Fuel mileage? 
I forgot to check? Having to much fun!
More on the suspension, dual-valve Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) KONI® front-shock absorbers replace standard twin-tube units and deliver an innovative two-in-one solution. This patented technology provides the road-holding and handling characteristics needed for maximum grip and performance. In addition, the FSD system actively filters out high-frequency suspension inputs from uneven road surfaces and adjusts for improved comfort and smoothness.
The beefier rear-suspension design takes the Fiat 500 Sport model's twist-beam design further, with a reinforced rear axle with strengthened coil-spring supports. A new Abarth-specific rear-stabilizer bar increases cornering grip. For improved handling, minimal body roll and ride-height control (when fully loaded), the new Fiat 500 Abarth features 20 percent stiffer rear springs.
The bottom line is the Fiat Abarth is worth every penny of its $22,000 base price, four colors, red-black-white and silver, they should be in the dealers once this review hits the news stands!  Oh don't forget to check out the exhaust noise!