If any city knows how to get topless, it’s Los Angeles, which made the LA Auto Show the perfect place to introduce the FIAT 500 Abarth Cabrio. One of three new Cinquecento models debuting this month, the new soft-top combines the track-ready performance attributes of the FIAT 500 Abarth with the carefree fun of the FIAT 500c – all in the same package.
Like the FIAT 500c, the Abarth Cabrio is fit with a power cloth top that lets in the sun with the push of a button. Drivers can open the top to the rear spoiler at speeds up to 60 MPH, or fold it all the way back and down the rear hatch at up to 50 MPH.
For the traditionalist, the top can also be closed– making it easy to combat a sudden inclement weather. And when access to the liftgate is needed, the premium power cloth top automatically retracts to spoiler position to provide unobstructed trunk access.
Inside, distinctive Rosso (red) and Nero (black) abounds, with additional flair courtesy of perforated leather, aluminum, and rubber trim. A thick-rimmed steering wheel and one-piece seats with side bolsters and a racing-harness pass-through gives the new FIAT Abarth Cabrio a serious track cred.
While we can’t imagine anyone would ever tire of hearing the Abarth’s signature dual-exhaust growl, the newly-available-for-2013 Beats Audio system provides some pretty slick accompaniment.
Of course, an Abarth is not an Abarth without track-ready guts, and the new FIAT Abarth Cabrio delivers. Powered by the FIAT 500 Abarth’s efficient and track-proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine rated at 160 horsepower and up to 170 ft.-lb. of torque, the lightweight 500c Abarth goes from 0-60 in the low seven-second range.
Delivering precision, the same five-speed performance manual transmission found in track-proven European Abarths is included, and with “Sport” mode selected, the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo jumps from 150 ft.-lb. to 170 ft.-lb. of torque for even more power.
Throw in Abarth-tuned front-and-rear suspension, responsive Abarth-tuned steering, and available lightweight 17” forged-aluminum wheels turning with high-performance brakes, and you’ve got yourself one awesome, open-air Scorpion.
The 2013 FIAT 500c Abarth arrives at FIAT Studios early next year. And yes, purchase will include the full-day Abarth Driving Experience.