Fiat 500 Abarth “Arouses without the need for a prescription”: 2011 LA Auto Show

Did he just say that? Yes, Fiat Brand boss Oliver Francois commented that the new Fiat 500 Abarth “arouses without the need for a prescription”. Spoken with a thick French accent at the vehicle’s launch today at the LA Auto Show, it sounds much more eloquent than “Viagra on wheels.”

Powered by a 160-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter multiair engine with 170 lb-ft of torque, it’s an over 50 percent upgrade from the standard Fiat 500. “When you see the scorpion you know the vehicle behind that badge packs venom,” says Francois.

Other upgrades include 16 or optional 17-inch wheel, a 0.6-inch lower ride height, 40 percent stiffer springs and adjustable Koni shocks. Larger brake rotors improve the stopping distance, while a custom aero kit help aerodynamic performance and looks great too. Plus, there’s a dual-exhaust setup.

Inside there’s a turbo boost gauge and shift light, with custom aluminum pedals, a flat-bottom steering wheel and red stitching on the seats.

Pricing for the Abarth model has yet to be announced.

GALLERY: 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth


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See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show coverage here