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 |  Nov 16 2011, 2:32 AM

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Europeans won’t be the only ones having all the fun with the Fiat 500 Abarth anymore. North American showrooms will be gaining the turbocharged 160-hp 1.4L MultiAir engine model packed full with an Abarth-tuned suspension, brake system, race-inspired design and technology features not normally seen on compact cars. Full power comes on at 5500 rpm, while max torque is rated at 170 lb-ft at 2500 rpm.

Improving aerodynamics and giving the Fiat 500 a more aggressive appearance, Abarth has outfitted the North American model with functional exterior changes compared to the run-of-the-mill Fiat 500 counterpart. The front bumper has been modified to ensure maximum airflow for the intercoolers while the Abarth-designed 16-inch wheels gives it a much sportier appearance. Those looking for even more can opt for 17-inch rollers to cover up their performance brake system highlighted by bright red calipers. In the rear, a large liftgate-mounted spoiler can be seen, extending the roofline and improving the aerodynamics with additional downforce.

Unique to the Fiat 500 Abarth’s interior is the addition of a turbo-boost gauge with integrated LED shift light in the center. Tech-lovers can opt for the TomTom navigation with BLUE&ME hands-free all bundled into a 4.3-inch touchscreen display. Accenting the interior is an Abarth-designed aluminum pedal covers that feature nero rubber trim along with a nero leather shift knob with rosso accent stitching. The performance seats are a one-piece design with racing harness pass-throughs and accent stitching throughout.

In terms of suspension modifications, the Abarth model features 40-percent stiffer spring rates and a 0.6-inch lower height than the standard Fiat 500 model. Koni’s dual-valve frequency selective damping shocks allow for plenty of adjustability for improved comfort and smoothness as well as driving performance. Braking upgrades from Abarth include larger 11.1-inch rotors in the front (compared to the standard 10.1-inch on the Fiat 500) paired with a single-piston brake caliper. The rears feature 9.4-inch discs also with a single-piston brake caliper.

No pricing was announced on the Fiat 500 Abarth yet.

GALLERY: 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

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Set to be unveiled today at the LA Auto Show, click here for a complete show preview and updated coverage.

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