Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio Adds to U.S. Lineup: 2012 LA Auto Show

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Aiming to broaden appeal for the performance-oriented version of its city car, the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio made its U.S. debut on the L.A. show floor today.

Little apart from looking like it’s wearing a toupee is actually different with the drop-top Abarth. Just like the 500C, the top doesn’t really come off, it just retracts. The same 1.6-liter, 160-hp turbocharged engine sits under the hood making 160-hp and 155 lb-ft of torque (170 lb-ft in overboost). Fiat claims that’s enough to deliver a 0-60 time of just over seven seconds.

Fans of the car will be glad to know that it keeps all the same tight-handling characteristics, such as lower and stiffer suspension, a tighter steering ratio, upgraded brakes, 17-inch wheels and a three-stage stability control system with a full-off setting. Better still, Shaq can finally have one and is rumored to have ordered a matching motorcycle helmet.

Jokes aside, the Abarth convertible will only come in a five-speed manual, and because of its unconventional “convertible” design, the rag-top Abarth can raise and lower its roof at speeds up up to 50 mph.

Delivery of the Fiat’s ragtop performer is set to begin in early 2013.

GALLERY: Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="">Google+</A>.

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  • Kayandjohn Kayandjohn on Jan 03, 2013

    What color is that LA Show Abarth Cabrio? It seems more orange than the standard Abarth Rosso... more like the Rosso Brilliante, which is not listed as being available on the Abarth (only on the Pop) I WANT one! Thanks1