AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Few vehicles have the majesty to rival an Italian supercar. Magnificent machines graced with prancing ponies or raging bulls are some of the most sought-after automobiles in the world. But you don’t necessarily have to be a “one-percenter” to drive something with the same passion. Fiat is bringing some of that excitement to the rest of us, revealing TWO special-edition models at the historic Concorso Italiano.
Helping promote the new Fiat 500 Abarth performance model, the ad was a clear indication of a change in gears from the automaker, after dropping its female US brand boss and its female-targeted J-Lo ads for some sex appeal directed right at a male audience.
Are they as good as the original? Are you going to watch them anyway no matter what we say? Of course you are. So stop reading and start watching below:
It appears that is Fiat will continue to expand its American 500 offerings based on documents filed with NHTSA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Positioned between the standard Fiat 500 and the more powerful Abarth model, the 500T Sport should feature a less powerful version of the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder currently found in the Abarth 500.
The Abarth model pumps out 160-hp and the standard Fiat 500 with the 1.4-liter has 100-hp, so the 500T Sport should come in at around 130-140 hp. The 500 Abarth in Europe makes 133 hp in its regular trim, so that could be the 500T powerplant American will see.
The document also showed that an Abarth convertible model is on its way to the U.S. as a 2013 model, but that isn’t a huge surprise considering it already exists in other markets. We expect it to be identical to the Abarth coupe but with a power-sliding cloth roof similar to what is found on the 500c seen above.
[Source: Car & Driver]
The Fiat 500 Abarth Venom is the culmination of American and Italian minds working together. Mopar partnered up with Italian parts manufacturer Magneti Marelli to create the Venom variant of the Fiat 500 Abarth model.
The demo vehicle was debuted out in Las Vegas and even had a surprise visit by supermodel Catrinel Menghia that has made her claim to fame in the popular Abarth ads. Between Mopar and Magneti Marelli, the Fiat 500 Abarth Venom features carbon fiber goods for the body – including hood and side mirror housings – that in total drop 200 lbs from the vehicle’s weight. The roof also gets a large scorpion graphic.
Horsepower from the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine gets bumped up by as much as 40-hp (from the stock 160-hp) thanks to a retuned ECU and exhaust system.
Other options include Magneti Marelli 17-inch wheels in black, seats, and upgraded interior trim.
While the Fiat 500 Abarth Venom won’t make its way to America as a complete vehicle, Fiat tuning shops in America are already finding a way to import the parts so that you can build your own. Expect to pay a premium though, Magneti Marelli goods are expensive.
Watch the video – featuring the beautiful Catrinel Menghia – after the break.
Another step in that direction, the Fiat 500 Abarth is back in a new commercial titled “House Arrest” featuring legendary bad boy Charlie Sheen. And don’t worry, Menghia makes a cameo too.
Watch the video below:
The three special edition Fiats from Abarth all made their debut back at the Bologna Motor Show in 2011, and the 695 Assetto Corse, 595 Competizione, and Punto Scorpione will make their way to Geneva hoping to garner more sales.
The Punto Scorpione (pictured above) is a limited edition model with just 199 vehicles being made. Under the hood is a 1.4L MultiAir engine with 180-hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. The two-tone Nero Scorpione paint scheme also sports a special matte black paintwork on the hood and roof. Four-piston yellow brake calipers along with suspension upgrades from Koni makes the Punto Scorpione “intended for a more mature audience that wishes to express their sporting spirit more discreetly and elegantly, but with no intention to settle for less.”
The 695 Assetto Corse was designed for track racing with an aggressive front-end design and comes complete with a new aerodynamic spoiler and screen-printed grilles. Powering the Assetto Corse is a 1.4L turbocharged, 205-hp with 17-inch wheels getting the power to the ground. The interior is the highlight of the Assetto Corse, meeting FIA regulations with a roll-bar welded to the body. The factory glass side windows have been swapped out with Lexan counterparts and is 66 lbs lighter than the previous 500 Assetto Corse.
Lastly, the 595 Competizione has a metallic Grigio Record scheme and features 17-inch titanium-colored wheels. Yellow brake calipers contrast the wheels on each corner while the interior sports Abarth Corsa by Sabelt leather and alcantara seats. The 595 Competizione is powered by a 1.4L Turbo T-Jet engine with 160-hp and 170 lb-ft of torque.
See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Geneva Motor Show preview here.