FIAT has finally started inviting select journalists to test drive the Fiat 500 Abarth and so the reviews are finally starting to roll in. So what do these car enthusiasts actually think about the Abarth? Read on to find out.
The engine fires with a throaty burble, the din exiting via twin chromed exhaust tips — a far cry from the normal car’s mild rasp. Setting off, a mash of the throttle sends the boost gauge twirling and the Abarth leaps forward, picking up steam north of 4000 rpm and revving strongly to redline.
the Abarth attacks corners like a terrier working a roomful of rats, and cornering can be managed with the throttle. A little feathering puts the front wheels precisely on the apex
On long, flat, empty desert roads you can surpass the Abarth’s claimed top speed of 130 mph (er, or, so we heard, not that we’d ever do that, but those Web guys, you know). At 100 mph in fifth the car is only turning a little more than 4,000 rpm with little wind or tire noise.
With a stance, look, and feel reminiscent of the tough little original Mini rally cars or the original Fiat Abarth racers, it’s a car that straddles the fine line between feminine and the brutal, eat-your-face look of many new cars — especially of the performance vairety.
Not only is it made by the company that owns Ferrari, but it perhaps more importantly it has that exotic super car exhaust note that will send a shiver down the spine of any sports car lover.
To use a non-Italian term from Carlo Abarth’s era, driving the Fiat 500 Abarth is a hoot and a holler. You can smoke the front tires off the line (check the video) and that great exhaust note follows you right up to triple digits on the speedo.
The reviews for the Abarth seem to be fairly positive so far, with the price being the only issue.