ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Fiat 500 Abarth: The Italians Return to America

Updated on June 19, 2012
1991-94 Mercury Capri XR2
1991-94 Mercury Capri XR2

Last year, America saw the return of Fiat to its shores after a 28 yr. sabbatical. My last Fiat was the 1985 X19. Such a cool car, two seater with the engine just behind the seats. Mechanically, it was great but finding parts and repair facilities made me sell it out of fear.

That's pretty much how many felt then and why Fiat vanished. Fast forward to 2011, Fiat came back with its cute Fiat 500, Car of the Year in Europe. Very cute, but totally without guts. It takes an eternity to get from 0 to 60 mph, at least 10 seconds. It is roomy for three and comes in many flavors including a sliding roof edition. Prices start at around $16000. In the year that Fiat has been back, sales reached only 26,000, 50% less than the target of 50,000. I have only seen a few on the road and they ARE small, which is why they are in the sub-compact class, like the Mini-Cooper, its main competition. Fiat will also have an electric version and a larger version in 2013.

In March, the racy Abarth edition arrived. This is the fastest of the all the 1.4L engines because it is turboized and creates 160 hp (not 100 hp) for a 2500 lb. car. With its five speed shift, is is much more like a racing Fiat reaches 0-60 in seven seconds. Driving it on the road is fun, peppy, unlike the non-Abarth editions that resemble slugs. Yet, even on the highway at 70 mph, the little engine is reaching its limit (maybe a 1.6L would be better). The MPG rating for all editions is unchanged at 28\34, but it only has a 10 gallon tank. The car, despite its small size, is roomy for the front passengers even for tall people. Kind of a shock.

The Abarth edition comes with red leather seats, Abarth badges, special wheels, and the tranny provides three levels of traction settings.The chassis is much stiffer and tighter, so cornering is firm. Overall, it still lacks when compared to a Mini Cooper S. The base price is $22,000 and nice one ends up at $25,000.

The specs are the same for any 500:

  • Fuel injection 1.4L, 16 vale DOHC
  • Front Wheel drive
  • 144" long & 2500 lbs.
  • Wheelbase is 90.6"
  • Cargo capacity of 9 cu.ft.
  • 16 or 17" wheels

I like the car but the only one worth owning is the Abarth. The turbo makes a big difference. Yet, spending $22000 on this could be considered a real waste of money for the price. Many cars for that price are bigger and more powerful. Even the 1991 Mercury Capri XR2 sport car is an equal car and far cheaper. That has a 1.6L turbo, front wheel drive, seats 3-4, larger cargo area and has a removable hardtop. Buy one for $2000 and save 20K.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)