Tokyo Auto Salon 2010: Abarth 500 Esseesse is Small but Wicked

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Standing out in stark contrast to all the Japanese cars, and even the other European models at the Tokyo Auto Salon, were two little toys from Fiat tuner/sub-brand Abarth, a 500 and Grande Punto. The hard-core Abarth 500 is a hoped-up version of the Fiat 500 and this particular Abarth is even more extreme thanks to an Esseesse kit.

What makes this car so special is that it has roughly double the output of the stock Fiat 500. The Abarth model already makes impressive power from its 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, but the Esseesse kit takes output from 170-hp all the way to 197-hp. As for torque, it’s rated at 170 ft-lbs, which is more than enough to make this pint-sized Fiat a pocket rocket.

Additional Esseesse package modifications include larger brakes, a lowered suspension and 17-inch wheels.

The perfect mix of style and performance, the Abarth 500 seems like the perfect car for Japan and we’re excited about yet-unconfirmed reports that it will be offed in North America soon. Make our Abarth 500 an Esseesse, please!

GALLERY: Abarth 500 Esseesse

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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