LA Auto Show 2011: Fiat 500 Abarth in US production trim
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The 500 isn't a bad small car, but it's probably a bit too cute to ever be a mainstream vehicle. The Abarth version goes some distance toward putting a scorpion on the 500's face, with a tighter, lowered suspension and upgraded brakes, steering and wheels. The power of 160 hp and 170 lb.-ft. is slightly lower than some Fiat enthusiasts were hoping for, but still enough to make the 2,500-lb. Abarth scoot with some authority.
Fiat didn't release prices, but an affordable and credible sports-flavored 500 could undo some of the damage done by J-Lo's gyrations. If it misses, Fiat troubles could grow; there's only so many chances to fix it again.