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Future models - Abarth - 500

Fiat 500 Abarth here in June

Baby in Abarth: Fiat's beasty bambino, the 500 Abath, is set for a June launch in Australia.

Fiat finally confirms its first Abarth model for Australia, with hot 500 due in June

Abarth logo5 Feb 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

THE first Abarth-badged Fiat finally has been confirmed for Australia, with the 500 Abarth now officially due on sale here in June – almost two years after it was released in Europe.

The new flagship of Fiat’s born-again 500 model line will be priced in the low-$30,000s, positioned above last month’s new 500C convertible, which is priced at $28,990 in 1.4-litre petrol manual guise and $30,990 for the DuaLogic automatic version.

The 500 Abarth will also be the most expensive hard-top model, with the 500 range currently opening at $22,990 driveaway for the 1.2 Pop and closing at $33,990 for the 1.4 Lounge DuaLogic.

60 center imageDelayed due to issues with Australian Design Rule certification and Fiat’s initial requirement for its Abarth models to be sold through independent retail outlets globally, the 500 Abarth will be available through local importer Ateco Automotive’s existing national dealer network.

However, the hottest bambino, which was revealed at the Geneva motor show in March 2008, will not be joined here by the larger model from Fiat’s go-fast division, the Punto Abarth, because it is too old.

Unveiled three years ago at the 2007 Geneva show, the Punto Abarth has since spawned an even more potent ‘Super Sport’ version, either or both of which had been slated for Australian release by mid-2008.

Ateco now says it will wait for the facelifted version of the Punto Abarth, which will be based on the revised Punto ‘Evolution’ model due on sale here later this year.

We understand a midlife makeover for the Punto Abarth won’t emerge until the Paris motor show in September, meaning the 500 Abarth won’t be joined by the Punto Abarth in Australia until 2011.

While the 500’s regular 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offers up 74kW of power and 131kW of torque, the Abarth’s turbocharged version cranks out a handier 99kW at 5500rpm and 180Nm at 2500rpm – or 206Nm at 3000rpm in ‘Sport’ mode.

When the Scorpion-badged 500 Abarth was launched in Europe in July 2008, Fiat also released 100 examples of an Italy-only version dubbed the ‘Opening Edition’, which delivered 118kW at 5750rpm and 230Nm at 3000rpm.

Fitted with unique 17-inch wheels, bigger brakes, firmer suspension, Fiat’s ‘torque transfer system’ and an even wilder bodykit, the top-shelf 500 Abarth sprang to 100km/h in a claimed 7.4 seconds, on its way to a top speed is 211km/h.

Europe’s current Punto Abarth, meantime, packs a 1.4-litre turbo-four producing 110kW at 5500rpm and 206Nm of torque at 2000rpm (230Nm at 3000rpm in Sport mode).

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