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 |  Mar 03 2010, 7:38 AM

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Hanging out near Ferrari and Maserati we found Fiat’s performance brand – Abarth. With several standard Fiat models set to arrive in North America in the next few months, we can only hope they will be followed shortly thereafter by their modified Abarth cousins.

Up first is the Abarth tuned version of the Fiat 500C (convertible). The car isn’t technically a convertible, however, but rather features a retractable cloth top and retains the roof rails. Power comes from Fiat’s turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with 140-hp, allowing for a 0-62 mph time of 7.9 seconds. Also included are upgraded wheels, brakes, a new suspension setup, aero kit and stylish two-tone paint scheme. There’s no official word, but we’re likely to see this model join Fiat’s lineup in North America in the next several years – after the standard 500 and 500C are introduced.

Next up, Abarth is also displaying its version of the Fiat Punto Evo. Looking like a hot-hatch we’d love to have in our garage, this model gets the same 1.4-liter turbocharged Multiair engine but tuned to 165-hp. (A 178-hp Esse-Esse model will also be available). It gets the usual list of wheel, brake and suspension upgrades as well as a typically-sporty aero kit and paint scheme.

We still can’t find our way to liking the style of the Fiat 500, but we’d be likely to overlook it in an Abarth version. Better yet, give us the Punto Evo (Esse-Esse) please. And in fact we may just get what we’re asking for… sort of, as rumors suggest a Dodge branded version of a future Punto Evo model is in the works for our shores. Design-wise, we like the Punto Evo just the way it is and hope to get a similar looking vehicle in North America soon.

GALLERY: Abarth 500C

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GALLERY: Abarth Punto Evo

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 |  Feb 27 2010, 4:59 PM

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Fiat’s performance-minded Abarth brand will unveil two new models, based off of Fiat products that were introduced last year. Up first is the Abarth 500C, an upgraded version of the Fiat 500C (the C, standing for convertible). The car isn’t technically a convertible, but rather features a retractable cloth top and retains the roof rails. Power comes from Fiat’s turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with 140-hp, allowing for a 0-62 mph time of 7.9 seconds. Also included are upgraded wheels, brakes, a new suspension setup, aero kit and stylish two-tone paint scheme. There’s no official word, but we’re likely to see this model join Fiat’s lineup in North America in the next several years – after the standard 500 and 500C are introduced.

Next up, Abarth will also debut a larger and more powerful model, based on the Fiat Punto Evo. Looking like a hot-hatch we’d love to have in our garage, this model gets the same 1.4-liter turbocharged Multiair engine but tuned to 165-hp. (A 178-hp Esse-Esse model will also be available). It gets the usual list of wheel, brake and suspension upgrades as well as a typically-sporty aero kit and paint scheme.

We can’t say we’ve been overly excited about Fiat’s return to North America, but if it includes these Abarth models, we’re stoked!

Click here for AutoGuide’s live Geneva Auto Show coverage starting Monday, March 1st.

GALLERY: Abarth Puno Evo

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GALLERY: Abarth 500C

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Official release after the jump:

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