Far from the usual Fiat 500

* First drive of 13,600 500 Abarth * 700 cars for the UK in 60% already sold * Bespoke Abarth model on the horizon...

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What Car? Staff
11 February 2009

Far from the usual Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 Abarth is far from a badging exercise. The 1.4-litre engine is turbocharged to produce 135bhp, while the whole front end of the car has been redesigned to enable enough air to be fed to the engine through a deeper, more pronounced front spoiler.

Big changes to the front and rear suspension include the use of a clever electronic system that mimics a race-style limited slip differential to improve traction at the front end.

The brakes have been upgraded, while the bodywork enhancements help to keep them cool, aid aerodynamics and provide a hefty dollop of drama to the otherwise svelte 500.

The Abarth 500 comes handsomely equipped for your 13,600, with all the safety kit you'd expect (including seven airbags, which helped helping towards its five star NCAP score), a chunky, flat-bottomed steering wheel, figure-hugging seats, alloys, air-con and a beefy audio system with Bluetooth.

While the bare figures of 128mph top speed and 0-62mph in 7.9secs will raise your pulse, its average mpg of 43.4mpg and CO2 of just 155g/km will calm you down again.