Chrysler Begins Laying Groundwork For Fiat 500 Sales

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We're just under six months away from the launch of the Fiat 500 in the U.S., and Chrysler is getting its ducks in a row in terms of dealers. Though Chrysler hasn't confirmed it yet, the first expected version of the Fiat 500 here in the U.S. is a doozy: the Abarth 500.

The plan? There will be 125 dealers in 41 states, focusing on markets with "growth potential in the small car segment." For the full details on how Chrysler will select its Fiat dealers, hit up page 2.

Not as fierce as the Abarth SS, the regular Abarth is still a hot hatch worth wanting. With 135 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged T-Jet engine, the little car will deliver MINI Cooper-like performance in an even tighter package.

There have also been reports that the U.S.-spec Fiat 500 will get an upgraded platform to better meet U.S. buyers' noise, vibration, and crash-protection desires. It's supposed to be lighter, too--meaning we Yanks might just get the best Fiat 500 of them all. The upgraded platform won't be making the transition back to Europe or elsewhere.

The Fiat 500 hardtop will be here later this year (with some in Abarth spec, we hope), with the 500C cabriolet coming in early 2011. No word yet on whether the 500C will also get the Abarth treatment at some point.


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