Fiat 500 and 500 Abarth
As the Ferrari sales network orders 200 specially tuned and trimmed Fiat 500s as courtesy cars for its customers across Europe, two limited-edition 500 Abarths have been announced, as part of the launch of the Scorpion-branded baby sports-hatch.
The 500 Abarth Opening Edition promises 160bhp from its 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine, against the 135bhp of the standard 500 Abarth (and the 100bhp of the Fiat 500 courtesy cars for Ferrari).
The Opening Edition also has 230Nm of torque at 3000rpm and can, thanks to its fixed-geometry IHI RHF3 turbocharger, leap from 0-62mph in just 7.4 seconds. The limited-edition Abarth also offers perforated disc brakes, a lowered ride and 17in alloys painted white or titanium. Inside, a profusion of distinctive features includes leather upholstery, a plate with the car’s serial number and a customised red leather steering wheel. You also get a car cover with a period Abarth 595 design. Plus, of course, there’s a full complement of standard equipment from ESP and the brand new Torque Transfer Control, to the Interscope Hi-Fi Sound System and a Blue&Me sat nav.
Alternatively, there’s the 500 Abarth Assetto Corse, a race version of the model, introduced at this year’s Mille Miglia. According to Abarth, it ‘takes up the baton from its forerunner, the 595 that notched up numerous successes and great victories from 1963 and led to the coining of the description “small but deadly”.’
Just 49 of these racing models will be produced, complete with a wide track, 17in ultralight racing wheels, lowered ride, sports-racing mirrors and a type-approved rollbar. The car weighs some 180kg less than the road version – and comes with overall, helmet, gloves and shoes, all branded with the ‘Assetto Corse’ logo, in an original Abarth-branded leather bag. See www.abarth.it/500abarthassettocorse.
With all this choice and charm, and all this inspired marketing, no wonder Ferrari feels the Fiat 500 to be a suitable courtesy car for its wealthy clientele. And no wonder there have already been 222,000 orders for the super-cute supermini.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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