Abarth Fiat Punto Evo
We already know that a 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is coming to the U.S., but what we won't get is the Abarth Punto Evo with the esseesse conversion kit--not a direct relation to the 500, but cut from similar cloth, and an example of what we'd like to see more of from Fiat.
This pint-sized Fiat hot hatch has a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out 180 horsepower, thanks to an upgraded engine control unit (ECU). With that output, the car is good for a 0-62 time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 134 miles per hour.
Four-wheel disc brakes (fully floating self-ventilating at the front, cross-drilled in the rear) with Brembo calipers bring the car to a halt, and the front and rear springs are updated. Koni FSD dampers are also present front and rear, and the ride height is lowered.
Power reaches the wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission, and the car has both "Normal" and "Sport" modes.
The Abarth Punto Evo with the esseesse kit meets the continent's Euro 5 standard for environmental friendliness, achieving 47.1 mpg on the combined cycle. A start/stop system is partly responsible for that, along with Fiat's MulitAir system.
The kit can be ordered with the car or within 12 months or 12,500 miles of purchase, as long as its installed at an Abarth-approved dealership. The various components are come in a wooden crate, and once the crate is emptied, customers can keep it as a souvenir.
For those looking to shell out for the kit, the cost is about 3,000 pounds (about $4,773) on top of the 16,852 (about $26,810) pound cost of a standard Abarth Punto Evo, depending on which region of Europe the buyer lives in.
Too bad those dollar figures don't really matter--this is one Fiat we almost certainly won't see on this side of the pond.