Like MINI, Fiat has turned one retro hatchback into an entire family of cars, and just like in the MINI lineup some of these Fiats have high-performance variants. We are, of course, talking about the Abarth cars, which at present include only the 500 Abarth and 500 Abarth Cabrio. However, more are coming, and soon.
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A senior executive at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] has already confirmed that an Abarth version of the new 124 Spider is coming, and now Abarth's head of marketing, Fabrizio Simoni, has revealed to Automotive News (subscription required) that a 500X Abarth is also being looked at. Both new Abarth models are likely to share a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with around 170 horsepower on tap.
Simoni didn’t say anything about timing but Abarth boss Paolo Gagliardo has previously stated that at least one new Abarth model was coming in 2016.
Given the booming SUV sales around the world plus the popularity of rivals like the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and Nissan Juke NISMO RS, both of which are soon to be in their second generation, it looks like Abarth has been asleep at the wheel. The good news is that FCA is starting to take its Abarth brand a little more seriously.
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Right now, there are only around 300 Abarth sales points within the Fiat dealer network but there are plans in place to lift this to 750. There’s even talk of a return to the World Rally Championship using a 124 Spider-based rally car.
For more on the Fiat 500X, check out the reviews over at The Car Connection.