Fiat 500 Vs Abarth Part 3: Handling

The differences between the Fiat 500 and its racing-inspired Abarth version are too many to list in a single post. So instead I’m continuing a four part series of posts that focus on the details of each aspect of the car: body, interior, handling, and powertrain.

When considering the difference between the handling of the Fiat 500 and sleek Abarth model, it is helpful to consider a few different areas of the car. With the race inspired design, it makes sense that the car has been improved in several areas that relate to reaching fast speeds, smooth turns, and efficient handling all around. The Fiat 500 Abarth is soon to be released in the United States and will boast a number of impressive upgrades. The ‘Essesse’ kit available in Europe may even contribute to the US version of the Abarth, so there are plenty of improvements that will be present in the new car.


The front suspension and torsion beam rear axle have been tried, tested, and improved for years before it has been verified for use in the 500 Abarth. While the exact details of the US version have not been released, there is likely to be plenty of similarities to the European Abarth. The front suspension will feature the MacPherson Strut with some improvements, allowing the car to have precise movements when on the road. The coil springs that have been included in the Fiat 500 are likely to be included in the 500 Abarth and allow for improved absorption when driving on uneven roads. Torsion beam axle functions are present in the rear wheels, allowing the motion of the wheel to resist lateral motion during turns.


The steering calibration has been completely retuned from the previous Fiat 500 model. The new steering wheel controls allow the driver to move freely without feeling any limitations from the vehicle. The revised steering has also significantly increased stability even in record high crosswinds from the highway. This is a vital improvement that will likely be a popular feature the new Abarth released in the United States due to the smooth driving it presents.


The brakes have completely been redesigned in the new Abarth to feature four-wheel anti-locking brake system (referred to as ABS). The front calipers have also been changed and tested repeatedly to be as reliable and safe as possible. The improved brakes are a vital change of the new Abarth and sure to be worked on even more on the new US release. There is also a revised traction control system that helps all four wheels respond to any steering input, making the system so great at reading and carrying out the intent of the driver while on the road.


The wheels on the new US release of the 500 Abarth haven’t been verified yet, but it is assumed to be 15 or 16 inch wheels in alloy, aluminum, or steel. The lightweight nature of the wheels allows the car to glide effortlessly over the road without any bumps or snags while riding. If the US release features some of the upgrades of the SS kit, it is likely that the tires will be of 16-inch alloy.