Fiat’s upcoming 500 minicar may eventually be sold in the US with news that management is considering launching the sporty Abarth model Stateside by the end of the decade. A high-ranking official who spoke with Automotive News Europe revealed that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes to sell the 135hp Abarth 500 in limited numbers to compete with BMW’s popular Mini Cooper but the car might not wear a Fiat badge.

The main priority is the re-launch of Alfa Romeo in the US, which is on track for a 2009 debut. The Fiat 500 would arrive a year later. “We cannot exclude that our new 500 would go, in some forms, to the US market, but not in the short term,” Marchionne explained at a recent press event.

The new 500 will officially go on sale in Europe next month, with the Abarth 500 expected to cost more than €15,000. At current exchange rates this equates roughly to $20,195, which is well above the $18,700 starting price for the Mini Cooper.