Aiming to broaden appeal for the performance-oriented version of its city car, the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio made its U.S. debut on the L.A. show floor today.
Little apart from looking like it’s wearing a toupee is actually different with the drop-top Abarth. Just like the 500C, the top doesn’t really come off, it just retracts. The same 1.6-liter, 160-hp turbocharged engine sits under the hood making 160-hp and 155 lb-ft of torque (170 lb-ft in overboost). Fiat claims that’s enough to deliver a 0-60 time of just over seven seconds.
Fans of the car will be glad to know that it keeps all the same tight-handling characteristics, such as lower and stiffer suspension, a tighter steering ratio, upgraded brakes, 17-inch wheels and a three-stage stability control system with a full-off setting. Better still, Shaq can finally have one and is rumored to have ordered a matching motorcycle helmet.
Jokes aside, the Abarth convertible will only come in a five-speed manual, and because of its unconventional “convertible” design, the rag-top Abarth can raise and lower its roof at speeds up up to 50 mph.
Delivery of the Fiat’s ragtop performer is set to begin in early 2013.