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Small and Mighty: 9 Reasons to Buy a Fiat Abarth 500

Fiat has built over 2 million Fiat 500s, but the Fiat Abarth 500 is unique. It’s named after Karl (later Carlo) Alberto Abarth who was a European motorcycle champion five times. He was also a talented racing car engineer and the creator of the Fiat Abarth 500.

Looking for your next car? A step up from the Fiat 500 city car, check out these nine reasons to buy a Fiat Abarth 500.

1. Heritage

There are lots of reasons why you buy a car. The reasonable car buyer may consider cost, whether it holds its value in the resale market, reliability, and more. These are all sensible factors to consider.

The reasons you might buy a car are not the same as the reasons why you love a car. Why you love a car is more difficult to define. The heritage of a vehicle is one of these factors.

The Fiat Abarth 500 appeals partly because of its sporting heritage. The name of Abarth affords the car the romance of motorsport, speed records, and especially rallying. Carlo Abarth’s dominance of motorsport reached its peak with nearly 900 wins in 1965.

The modern Fiat Abarth 500 retains the style of the ’60s and the feel of a racer. Performance, style, and heritage is a heady mix.

2. Italian Mini Car Coolness

Mini cars are cool. It’s not just their cuteness that is attractive. Some models seem to have acquired a chic that is the envy of larger and even more expensive competitors.

The Italian Job, made in 1969 was set in Turin, Italy. This British film, starring Michael Cain and Noël Coward is about a heist in which three Mini Coopers are used as getaway cars. The remake in 2003, moved the setting to Los Angeles but repeated the Mini Cooper’s starring role.

The exciting getaway scenes of mini cars evading capture while they negotiate the city streets re-enforced the coolness of mini cars including the Fiat 500. Add to that, everything that Italian design brings to the party and you have a recipe for coolness. Just spend a few days in Milan or Rome and see how Italian tailoring, design, food and the Fiat Abarth 500 are clearly part of the same story of cool.

3. More Power

Mini cars are fun, but they lack power, yes? Not in the case of the Fiat Abarth 500. This car combines the performance of many much bigger cars with the nimbleness and neatness of a mini car. 

You would expect that what a mini car lacks in engine size and power it makes up for by being lightweight. Acceleration is helped by only having less metal to move. The Fiat 500 Abarth has 160 HP at its disposal, and that’s 60% more than the Fiat 500 base model.

This fabulous power to weight ratio means fantastic responsiveness from the turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. There are 170 ft/lbs. of torque to play with.

The old school gear shift rather than paddles is the true sports driver’s choice. For those drivers who need or want it, there is an automatic option too.

4. More Leather

The interior of the Fiat Abarth 500 is consistent with its performance and exterior good looks. There’s more leather than you might expect from most mini cars. It feels like a quality trim.

The bucket seats feel like they’d be at home in a rally car. The ergonomics of the console is well designed. The aesthetics are pleasing, too.

If you feel that there’s a compromise in the specification that you have to make when you drive a mini car, think again. Bose speakers, heated seats, highly connected media systems, and more are all there. The specification has changed slightly over the years, so see here for more details.

5. Fun Fiat Abarth 500

There’s no denying that the Fiat 500 is cute and fun. Imagine how much more fun you can have in the sporty version.

The Fiat Abarth 500 has a short wheelbase, stiff front and rear suspension, and positive breaking. This, combined with the high power to weight ratio, makes even a short drive, so much fun. You’ll be thinking of excuses to go out.

6. City Convenience

Is a performance car a good option if you are a city driver? Even an occasional visit to the city can become stressful in a larger car. Parking, narrow roads, and other road users combine to make a larger performance car a liability.

The Fiat Abarth 500 is less than 145 inches long, a fraction over 64 inches wide and under 59 inches high. That makes it a cinch to park and easy to drive down the narrowest streets. It has city convenience written all over it.

7. Sounds Great

There are some features of a car that seem to speak volumes about the quality. The sound of a car door closing is one of them. Somehow a motor manufacturer who gets this right doesn’t have to do much else to convince us of the build quality of the car.

Another feature that impresses us is the sound emitted from the exhaust system. A throaty exhaust sound says performance, power, and street credibility. Take a few minutes to listen to the sound of the Fiat Abarth 500.

The exhaust is sporty. There are no large mufflers in the system, so it makes lots of the right noises when you put a little stress on it. It might turn a few heads and prompt questions about what’s under the hood of this meek-looking mini car.

8. Convertible Option

You don’t have to opt for the convertible but why wouldn’t you? Open-top driving is so much more beautiful. Admittedly that’s weather dependent but a little sunshine, and you can imagine yourself in the Italian countryside with the wind in your hair.

9. Price and Performance

The Fiat Abarth 500 is a performance car but an affordable one. There’s a surprisingly low price tag for all that Italian chic and engineering heritage. Around $20,000 will get you comfort, fun, style, and the distinctive exhaust sound.

Your Next Car

If these features excite you, test drive a Fiat Abarth 500. Check out the facts and feel the emotion too. You might just love it.

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