The Ultimate in Affordable High-performance Italian Cars: 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio
•Track-tested, turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir engine provides the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio wîth 160 horsepower, up to 170 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a race-proven five-speed manual transmission
•Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio (500c) features a clever open-top design for a high-performance four-passenger cabrio experience
•Abarth-tuned performance hardware delivers world-class ride and track-ready durability wîth a lowered ride height, beefier suspension, larger brakes and wider tires
•Continuous improvements: revised passenger seat sits 1 inch (25 mm) lower for increased headroom and now offers seat memory and arm rest
•Both Abarth models include a §egmènt-exclusive full-day Abarth Driving Experience September 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich.
- The Fiat 500 Abarth brought world-class performance and precision, purposeful and aggressive styling, high power-to-weight ratio and limited-production volume to the small-car §egmènt in North America. Adding even more excitement to the 'small but wicked' lineup, in 2013 the Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio (500c) arrived, harking back to the open-air track cars of the 1960s. The Abarth models provide one of the most visceral driving experiences in the , inspired by the racing traditions that made Abarth a success on international racetracks. Continuous improvements to style and functionality
For 2014, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio models feature new multi-spoke 16-inch aluminum wheels finished in Hyper Nero (black) and wrapped in 195/45 R16 Pirelli Cinturato all-season performance tires as standard equipment.
In addition, both Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio models include a revised passenger seat that sits 1 inch (25 mm) lower for increased headroom. For even more comfort and convenience, the passenger seat now includes an arm rest, along wîth seat position memory wîth the tilt/slide handle.
New colors for the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio lineup include Granito Lucente (granite crystal) and Nero Puro (straight black).
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 1.4 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 160 hp
Torque: 170 ft-lbs
5-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
Open-air freedom wîth an intelligent power cloth top and rigid structural design
With the Fiat 500 Abarth's high-performance DNA intact, the 2014 Fiat 500c Abarth is engineered wîth the same track-proven attributes that have made the hatchback model a success on European and North American roadways and racetracks, but now brings even more fresh air and the unmistakable Abarth-tuned exhaust note into the cabin.
With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500c Abarth's power-operated cloth top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to a best-in-class 60 mph (a midway point can be chosen by pressing the button anytime in between). Press the roof button again, and the roof will fold all the way open and tuck neatly behind the rear head restraints (up to 50 mph).
For access to the Fiat 500c Abarth's trunk, premium 'parallelogram' liftgate hinges conveniently position the liftgate out of the way, while the power-operated cloth top automatically retracts back to the rear-spoiler position to avoid any obstruction.
In addition to its cleverly designed multi-position power-retractable cloth top, the Fiat 500c Abarth's fully stamped bodyside silhouette retains the iconic Cinquecento form while delivering added structural strength. In addition, its longer windshield and minimized header design maximize rear-seated passengers' outward visibility while minimizing cabin turbulence.
'Abarth treatment' and tradition continue to deliver extraordinary results
In the late 1950s, Karl Abarth believed that race cars wîth brilliant performance could be derived from small, lightweight, everyday driving cars — including the original Cinquecento (500). And his tradition of track-ready small cars continues today wîth the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio.
Staying faithful to the performance principles that made the Abarth name a success, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio embody the brand's motorsport traditions and include:
•Everyday performance car
•Track-ready capability, high horsepower-per-liter engine, combined wîth the quality, efficiency and refinement expected in a world-class small car
•Benchmark levels of performance, track-proven reliability and durability
•Purposeful and functional performance design, Abarth-tuned powertrain control module (PCM) and performance-tuned exhaust wîth menacing sound
•State-of-the-art powertrain and chassis technology once limited to premium-priced performance cars
•More than 60 years of performance and competition tuning, including active international series races today1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine wîth 117 horsepower per liter
The 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature the track-proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine for 160 horsepower, up to 170 ft.-lb. of torque and 0-to-60 mph performance in the low 7 second range.
Compared wîth the naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine, the boost to 160 horsepower on the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio is largely due to its single turbocharger that operates off engine exhaust and utilizes energy that would normally be wasted through the tailpipe. The turbocharger spins up to 230,000 rpm to convert exhaust heat and pressure to a rotational force that drives a compressor. The compressor draws cool air and pumps it into the intake manifold at increased pressure (maximum 18 psi / 1.24 bar) that results in a greater amount of air in the cylinder and, hence, more power.
The 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo's induction system includes two intercoolers located behind the driver and passenger side air inlets of the Abarth-styled front fascia. The intercoolers are designed to remove heat in the air charge that the turbocharger generates while compressing incoming air (higher air density for more power). Reducing heat provides a cooler, denser air charge that helps increase the potential for more power.
Other high-performance engine component upgrades include an Abarth-designed fresh-air intake system wîth high-flow air filter and smooth-flowing plumbing for maximum power. And to make sure the engine is operating wîth minimal exhaust restriction, an Abarth-designed concentric 'double-tip' dual-exhaust system delivers a high-performance look wîth menacing Abarth-tuned sound.
Developed for high-output applications, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio are equipped wîth the track-proven C510 five-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
Proven on the European 500 Abarth models, this transmission features a 3.35 final-drive ratio for quick acceleration and faster top speed while delivering up to an EPA estimated 34 mpg on the highway.
Designed to handle the increased torque loads, the C510 transmission includes an intermediate shaft wîth equal-length half shafts to mitigate torque steer. Compared wîth the naturally aspirated Cinquecento, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature 23 percent larger half shafts (28.1 mm diameter vs. 22.8 mm diameter in the Cinquecento) for increased strength and to reduce torsional stress in the driveline during performance driving on the road or track. To handle the increased power and torque of the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, larger constant velocity (CV) joints wîth 53 percent greater torsional strength (2,600 N•m vs. 1,700 N•m in the Fiat 500) deliver added durability and refinement.Track-ready performance hardware
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio are designed, engineered and tested to deliver the high-performance driving and enduring capabilities needed for track use.
Like the Fiat 500 hatchback, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature an enhanced front and rear suspension design to deliver the precision handling, §teering and refinement needed for high-performance driving. Compared to the Fiat 500, the Abarth models features a unique MacPherson suspension design wîth stiffer front spring rates and 0.6-inch (15 mm) lower ride height for improved handling and minimal body roll. Abarth-designed cast-iron front lower control arms provide improved lateral stiffness, while an increase in negative camber to -1.5 degrees delivers improved grip and §teering precision. In addition, dual-valve frequency selective damping (FSD) KONI twin-tube struts deliver road control and maximum grip while actively filtering out high-frequency suspension inputs from uneven road surfaces to adjust for comfort and smoothness.
The beefier rear suspension design of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio takes the Cinquecento model's (already 300 percent stiffer than the European Fiat 500) twist-beam design further, wîth a torsionally rigid rear axle designed wîth strengthened coil-spring supports for greater durability. A 0.87-inch (22 mm) Abarth-specific solid rear stabilizer bar increases cornering grip. For improved handling, minimal body roll and ride-height control (when fully loaded), the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature stiffer rear springs wîth 0.6-inch (15 mm) lower ride.
Delivering 10 percent quicker §teering, enhanced responsiveness, maneuverability and high-performance feel, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio features a 15.1:1 (up from 16.3:1) §teering-gear ratio. Compared to the standard Cinquecento models, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a uniquely tuned electronic power §teering (EPS) calibration for increased §teering response and feedback. In addition, a road-crown and crosswind algorithm automatically compensates for temporary situations where there is a constant push of the car to one side or another, assisting the driver against such conditions.
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a high-performance brake system wîth semi-metallic brake linings at all four corners and larger 11.1-inch ventilated rotors for greater stopping power (up from 10.1-inch). Both front and rear brake calipers are lacquered in Rosso (red) paint for an athletic look. An Abarth-tuned electronic stability control system (ESC) features three calibration modes to maximize handling capabilities on and off the track. When ESC is selected from 'On' to 'Partial Off' or 'Full Off' on the instrument panel, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio's innovative torque transfer control (TTC) system maximizes throttle performance during on-throttle cornering.
Standard on the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio are 16 x 6.5-inch cast-aluminum wheels wîth 195/45 R16 Pirelli Cinturato P7 tires that deliver all-season traction and low-noise characteristics. For even more performance, larger and wider 17 x 7-inch forged-aluminum wheels keep this Cinquecento lightweight at each corner and feature high-performance three-season Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires wîth a 205/40 R17 size for a wider stance and reduced profile for improved handling.
Exterior and interior design enhancements added only for performance gain
The aggressive styling of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio embody the Abarth brand tradition in full — purposeful and intentional details, all designed to improve the car's performance while enhancing the clean and simple design language of the Cinquecento.
To improve aerodynamics and the necessary engine compartment space for the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a more pronounced front fascia. For additional air intake, the signature 'Abarth' shield floats on a finned surface, and a larger intake below consists of three inlets wîth broader openings than the standard Cinquecento models. For a more aggressive look, twin 'nostrils' are precisely positioned on the front fascia to maximize airflow in and out of the two engine intercoolers (both intercoolers are visible through the 'nostril' inlets).
Abarth-designed side skirts give an athletic profile, while 16-inch or optional 17-inch lightweight forged-aluminum wheels fill the flared wheel arches and provide ventilation for the performance brake system.
From the rear, an aggressively styled Abarth-specific cloth-top-mounted spoiler extends the roofline and improves the Abarth Cabrio's aerodynamic behavior by creating additional downforce. Below, the two-piece Abarth-styled rear fascia accentuates the road-holding stance and optimizes airflow wîth its rear diffuser. Integrated behind the diffuser, the low-restriction Abarth-tuned exhaust system features concentric 'double tips' and the signature Abarth-tuned sound.
The interior design theme of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio is an artistic blend of clean lines and functional performance appointments. An Abarth-designed §teering wheel features a thick rim, perforated leather and flat bottom to provide the look, feel and increased roominess desired during at-the-limit driving. A large concentric instrument cluster wîth 160-mph speedometer, tachometer and trip computer sits behind the §teering wheel and features a leather-wrapped cluster brow wrapped in Nero leather wîth Rosso accent stitching. To the left, an analog turbo-boost gauge has an integrated LED shift light in the center that illuminates an instant before redline to optimize gear changes. Below the instrument panel, Abarth-designed aluminum pedal covers feature Nero rubber trim for a decidedly racing look, while the Nero leather shift knob wîth Rosso accent stitching provides a precise feel of the shifter.
Únique Abarth-styled front performance seats feature a one-piece design wîth large side bolsters, a racing-harness pass through, accent stitching around the perimeter and integrated side-thorax air bags. To highlight that this cabrio has the most interior space, rear-seat legroom and shoulder room among key competitors, the rear passengers' upper seatbacks are raised and bolstered for added back support.Beats by Dr. Dre audio adds to Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio's innovative technologies
• Beats by Dr. Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre audio system offers passengers of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio models a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended. The Beats Audio studio-quality sound system includes six premium speakers, an 8-inch dual-voice coil (DVC) subwoofer wîth trunk-mounted enclosure and 8-channel 368-watt amplifier wîth Beats Audio digital sound processing (DSP) algorithm.
Abarth-tuned 'Sport' mode
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a 'Sport' mode calibration for more engaging driving. Should the driver select Sport mode on the instrument panel, the Abarth-tuned PCM unleashes the full power of the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo (torque increases from 150 ft.-lb. to 170 ft.-lb.) wîth linear throttle response and a more performance-weighted §teering feel. When Sport mode is not engaged, the Cabrio returns to 'Normal' mode and limits the torque in first and second gears to enhance fuel efficiency and minimize CO2 emissions.
• Abarth shift light wîth turbo-boost gauge
An additional benefit of the Abarth-tuned PCM is the driver's shift light wîth turbo-boost gauge mounted left of the instrument cluster. Should the driver choose to switch to 'Sport' mode, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio's LED-illuminated shift light flashes as the engine speed approaches the redline — giving the immediate feedback needed on the track or during high-performance driving.
• BLÚE&ME Handsfree Communication technology
BLÚE&ME Handsfree Communication technology is an in-vehicle, voice-activated communication system that allows the driver to operate a Bluetooth-compatible phone while keeping his or her hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Úsing a series of voice commands, the driver can place phone calls and access the phone's address book. BLÚE&ME Handsfree Communication technology supports most mobile phones wîth Bluetooth technology.
• Innovative TomTom navigation
With the available TomTom navigation wîth BLÚE&ME Handsfree Communication technology, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio integrate an innovative 4.3-inch TomTom portable navigation device that docks on top of the instrument panel. With its large touchscreen, simple map displays wîth available real-time traffic, weather and points of interest, TomTom Navigation wîth BLÚE&ME Handsfree Communication technology is intuitive for the driver to use. And wîth its direct integration into the interior system, the driver is able to use §teering-wheel-mounted controls to make operation even easier.More than 35 safety and security features including Abarth-tuned electronic stability control (ESC)
State-of-the-art connectivity and more than 35 safety and security features keep passengers of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio connected, comfortable and secure.
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature seven standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger advanced multistage air bags, driver's knee air bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, offering enhanced protection to all occupants in the event of a collision.
In addition, a unique three-mode ESC system is standard for improved braking performance in wet or panic conditions. The Abarth-tuned ESC system features a three-mode calibration including 'ESC On' to 'ESC Partial Off' and enthusiast-desired 'ESC Full Off.' Abarth Driving Experience for new owners
Included wîth each 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio is the opportunity for new owners to attend a §egmènt-exclusive driving experience at no additional charge. The Abarth Driving Experience is an entire day of full-throttle training, guided by professional instructors from the Richard Petty Driving Experience to ensure fun and top-level instruction in a safe and structured setting.Source - Fiat
With more than four million produced during its twenty-year production run, the tiny Fiat 500 was something to behold. Easy to spot by its rounded egg-like body, the Fiat 500 filled a need for utilitarian transportation for the Italian masses when it was introduced in 1957. The post-war European market needed an affordable option, and the rear-engined Fiat 500 was just the solution. The rear-engine design was taken from the Volkswagen Beetle and proved popular enough to be adopted by several other carmakers.
The designer behind the 500 was Dante Giacosa, who was famed for being one of the greatest designers in Fiat's history who not only dealt with the car design, but also had a big hand in the engineering. A cheap and practical town car, the Nuova (new) 500 was debuted in July 1957 and is considered one of the first city cars and lasted until 1960. Giacosa was extremely motivated to construct a car that packed more into a smaller space and he did this by making the engine mount at the rear side. It featured a smaller two-cylinder engine than all newer models, and produced just 13 bhp. The Nuova featured a fabric roof that folded entirely back to the rear of the car, similar to the Citroën 2CV. It was one of three models that came with 'suicide doors'. A stylish Sport version of the Nuova came with a special red stripe and more power in the engine.
With kart-like handling, the four-seat 500 was powered by an air-cooled 479cc flat twin, which eventually was boosted to 499cc that gave 18 bhp. With a top speed of 55mph, the 500 was an incredibly popular and practical vehicle of choice throughout Europe. Weighing at only 1,100 pounds, the 500 had a wheelbase of 72.4 inches, a length of 116.9 inches, a width and height of 52.0 inches. The 500 had a Cx (aerodynamic resistance coefficient) of 0,38, which was quite impressive for the era.
The 'D' replaced the original Nuova in 1960. Similar in appearances to the car it replaced, two differences set the models apart: the engine size and the roof. The D came with an uprated 499 cc engine that produced 17 hp as standard and continued to be used until the end of the L in 1973. The roof for the D didn't fold back as far as the Nuova, but it that earlier roof was available as the 'Transformable'. The D also came with 'suicide doors'. Torino Motors assembled the 500D in New Zealand and it was locally dubbed the 'Fiat Bambina'.
The 500 was offered as the 'Giardiniera' station wagon variant in addition to the two-door coupe in 1960 until 1975. The wagon had the standard engine laid on its side, an additional 10 cm wheelbase that made room for a useable rear seat, larger brakes and a full-length sunroof. Called the K or Giardiniera, the estate version of the Fiat 500 is the longest running model. To create a flat loading surface, the engine was laid under the floor of the trunk. The roof stretches all the way to the rear and didn't stop at the driver and front passenger like other models of the time. The K came with 'suicide doors', and unlike other models, it continued to carry these doors into the 1970s. Production moved to Desio in 1966 and the Giardiniera was constructed by Fiat subsidiary Autobianchi. Production of the Giardiniera tallied at 327,000 which later examples featuring Autobianchi rather than Fiat badging.
The Fiat 500 F or Berlina was produced from 1965 until 1973 and spans two period of 500 production, the D and the L. Because of the two production periods, the F model is very easily confused and misidentified. The F sported the same badging as the D from 1965 until 1969, but the two models can be easily told apart by the positioning of their door hinges. The F produced from June 1965 finally featured front-hinged doors while the D has 'suicide doors'. From '69 until '72 the F was sold next to the Lusso models as the less expensive 'base model' version. There wasn't much mechanically different from the F and L, but the main differences lay in the bumpers and the interior. The L had an extra chrome nudge bar, and the inside of the L featured a fresher updated look while the F interior didn't change from the original 1957 design.
Introduced in 1968 was the L or Lusso 500 model. It featured a modern interior that included a revamped dashboard and paid special attention to comfort and style for the passenger. The 500 L was produced until 1972.
The final version of the 500 was the R or Rinnovata version. The R model sported a larger 594 cc engine that was designed by Abarth with a more practical power rating of 23 bhp and a full synchromesh gearbox. This final model was much more comfortable than previous version yet was more simply equipped and trimmed than before. The fuel gauge was removed and only the low fuel indicator was left.
Several custom models of the 500 were produced, included the 'Jolly' version by Carrozzeria Ghia with inspiration taken from the very exclusive Fiat 600 Jolly. The Jolly came with wicker seats, a chopped-roof, no doors and usually seen with a canopy roof.
Showing that they had a lot of muscle behind their compact frame, seven Fiat 500s contested the first and only Liège-Brescia-Liège Rally in July of 1958. They were beaten by Messerschmitt TG500 and the Berkeley SE492s, but the little Italian cars show their rugged side and proved they were capable of incredible durability. Reputed to be the smallest car to complete a world circumnavigation, a 1969 Fiat 500 travelled 32,000 road kilometers in less than 100 days. In 2005 a 1973 500 took a 16,000 km trip travelling through Russia for a 100 day journey. Its progress was documented by newspaper and television stations worldwide and eventually a book entitled La bizzarra impresa ('The bizarre exploit') was published about the trip. In 2007 this same car became the first Fiat 500 to reach the Sahara dunes was taken around the Mediterranean Sea for over 10,000 kilometers.
The Fiat 500 was produced from 1957 until 1975 and was replaced with the Fiat 126. The 500 R was sold alongside the 126 for two years before the 500 was retired. More than 3.6 million Fiat 500 cars were sold during its lifetime and at end the production had been outsourced to a Polish company called FSM. The 126 never reached the same popularity as its predecessor in Italy. In March of 2007 Fiat debuted the all-new 500 model, based on the '04 Fiat Trepiuno concept. Its arrival coincided with fifty years since the original 500. The new 500 is also dubbed the bambino and competes with the Mini Cooper and the Volkswagen Beetle.Sources:
By Jessica Donaldson