2013 Fiat 500C Abarth rocks you like a hurricane
The 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth is debuting in the City of Angels. It’s the super-tuned version of the 500C combining all the best of fresh-air motoring and heightened performance from the scorpion-badged marque. As with the vanilla 500C, the Abarth’s folding canvas roof opens all the way at up to 50 miles per hour, and will slide back to the rear spoiler at up to 60 mph.
Sweetening is found everywhere else, with Fiat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir good for 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque in Sport mode (155 lb-ft standard), which takes the baby hatch from standstill to 60 miles per hour in just over seven seconds. Shifting is via a five-speed manual, but the sound of that engine running straight from the dual exhaust pipes to your ears with no roof to intervene should help you forget about the anachronistic transmission.
Underneath its skimpy bits of metal, the Abarth gets tons of tweaks compared to the 500C to support its sporting nature. Things like a reworked suspension with stiffer springs, larger half shafts and CV joints, quicker steering and larger brake rotors, a three-setting ESC and optional 17-inch alloys all add to the fun. The cabin throws plenty of black leather around, along with one-piece seats that get racing harness pass-throughs.
If the engine note isn’t enough to satisfy your aural requests, the 500C Abarth is the first convertible in the world to get a Beats by Dr. Dre audio system, boasting six speakers and a subwoofer. Buyers can also take advantage of the Abarth Driving Experience free of charge, taught by instructors at – of all things – the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Sit tight, we’ll have live pictures of the new performance ragtop live from the 2012 LA Motor Show for you shortly.