Posts Tagged ‘Press Releases’

The new Abarth Punto Evo

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The new 165 HP Multiair 1.4 turbo petrol engine is the result of a winning partnership between Fiat Powertrain Technology and Abarth race-derived know-how.

Since the Fiat Powertrain engine was first presented at last year’s Geneva motor show, Abarth engineers have been working hard to squeeze every last drop of power out of it and to improve its sporting performance in typical Abarth style.

The new Abarth Punto Evo

The new Abarth Punto Evo

Multiair engine technology has revolutionised the world of petrol engines. Compared to a conventional petrol engine of equivalent size, a MultiAir engine develops more power (up to 10%) and more torque (up to 15%), while consuming significantly less (up to 10%) and emitting less CO2 (up to 10%), fewer particulates (up to 40%) and less NOx (up to 60%).

The genius of the Multiair engine is embodied in its electro-hydraulic valve control system. Both fuel consumption and pollutant emissions have been slashed by using the engine’s intake valves to control the air flow directly, without a butterfly valve in the intake. Using this already advanced technology as a starting point, Abarth’s development department has made a series of modifications to arrive at the innovative new 165 HP Multiair 1.4 16 V. Power output, for example, has been optimised by the intelligent application of a new, larger turbocharger from Garrett. The result is superb performance with peak torque of 250 Nm (25.5 kgm) at 2250 rpm, and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in only 7.9 seconds.

The sporty new Abarth Punto Evo also features a new performance mode selection system that modulates engine, braking and steering action to offer a choice of two different driving styles – Sport and Normal – to suit road conditions and driver preference.

The mode selector is conveniently located on the central tunnel in front of the gear lever and lets you switch between the two modes quickly and easily, simply by moving a lever. The currently selected mode is displayed on the dashboard. If you are looking for a safe, relaxing drive, all you have to do is select Normal mode, while if you feel the need to enjoy the full performance of your Abarth Punto Evo, flip the switch to Sport position and thrill to the power! Sport mode makes the car more responsive, using electrical servo systems to modify handling and deliver the ultimate sporting feel. Due attention has also been paid to safety of course, so Sport mode also engages the TTC system automatically.

As in rally cars, the driver is assisted by GSI (Gear Shift Indicator). On the Abarth Punto Evo, GSI acts like an intelligent “co-driver” and provides a signal on the instrument panel to tell you when the right moment has arrived to shift up reducing fuel consumption.

The Abarth Punto Evo’s 1.4 Multiair petrol engine also features Fiat’s innovative Start&Stop system. This switches the engine off automatically when the vehicle comes to a halt and the engine is left to idle, and restarts it again as soon as you are ready to move off. The system finds its ideal application in situations like city traffic and sequences of traffic lights. Whenever the control logic permits, Start&Stop automatically switches off the engine, saving up to 10% of fuel consumption and emissions in the urban cycle and up to 3.5% in the NEDC test cycle.

As soon as you take your foot off the brake or engage first gear, the system immediately restarts the engine to give you instant power and responsiveness. On top of this, if you accidentally stall the engine while moving off, all you have to do is press down on the clutch to re-start it automatically.

Start&Stop offers additional benefits in terms of comfort since it eliminates noise and vibrations from the passenger compartment while the car is stationary.

The system is full interactive, and tells you whether the function is engaged or not via clear indications on the instrument panel. Start&Stop can be disengaged quickly and easily by a switch on the dashboard near the steering column.

The innovative Multiair engine guarantees sports performance plus low emissions and reduced fuel consumption. Tests carried out by Abarth engineers have demonstrated that fuel consumption has been reduced despite the fact that power output has been increased. In particular, consumption is only 8.1 l/100 km in the urban cycle; only 6.0 l/100 km in the combined cycle, and 4.8 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle. The Multiair engine is also impressively clean and already conforms to Euro 5 standards thanks to emissions of only 142g/km.

The new Abarth Punto Evo

The new Abarth Punto Evo

The EVOlution of active and passive safety

The Abarth philosophy combines both performance and safety. The Abarth Punto Evo is therefore equipped with a series of highly effective systems to guarantee safe handling on all surfaces.

TTC (Torque Transfer Control) is the key to the car’s active safety. TTC improves the transfer of torque from the engine to the wheels and guarantees excellent handling on bends, making fast driving safer and more fun than ever. TTC is a differential locking system that uses the mechanical differential as a reactive element in the transmission to control torque via the braking system and ESP sensors (wheel speed, steering angle, yaw, etc.).

TTC is activated automatically in Sport mode. When engaged, the system automatically adjusts the degree of diff locking applied in accordance with dynamic factors like speed.

In the area of safety, the Abarth Punto Evo sets new standards thanks to 7 airbags, including a driver knee airbag. The Punto Evo is one of very few cars in its segment with a driver knee airbag fitted as standard on all versions.

The Abarth Punto Evo also boasts a powerful and effective braking system. Disc brakes are fitted to all wheels, with ventilated discs and Brembo double piston, fixed calipers at the front. The suspension system is derived from a tried and tested Abarth configuration. Front suspension is provided by independent McPherson struts, while rear suspension is semi-independent with a torsion bar. Abarth has also fitted a larger anti-roll bar together with front springs that are 20% harder than those of a standard suspension system. The result is impeccable road holding plus a high level of passenger comfort.

The new Abarth Punto Evo

The new Abarth Punto Evo

The EVOlution of race-inspired aerodynamics

Also on a style level, the changes that Abarth have made to the Punto Evo concentrate on improving the car’s performance and aerodynamics.

Compared to the Fiat version of the car, the front bumper has been extended in width to incorporate the side flaps. The black intake cowl on the front has also been made deeper to match the lateral air outlets. This corrects and controls air flow and significantly improves aerodynamic efficiency around the sides of the car, just as on the full rally version.

The rear of the Abarth features a completely redesigned bumper incorporating side air outlets. The diffuser, designed to optimise air flow, is a major feature of the bumper. The diffuser is the same as on the previous version, but has been given a new surround to enhance its looks and align its styling with the front splitter.

The exhaust features larger diameter twin tail pipes, an obvious tribute to Abarth’s glorious history. The new pipes, however have been given a different satin finish.

The reversing lights and rear fog lights have been moved to the centre of the diffuser, forming a focal point as on formula racing cars, while new side reflectors outline and accentuate the profile of the aerodynamic deflector, simulating the effect created by the LED light cowl on the rear window.

The spoiler has been completely redesigned, not only in terms of colour (it is now the same colour as the rest of the body, giving the car a longer, more dynamic look), but in terms of size too. Its longer, tapered shape has improved the car’s CX and CZ values and made the new Abarth Punto EVO more stable than its predecessor.

The logo trim has also been redesigned and combined with a new grille with a more sporty appearance. In the same way the badge is no longer round as on the previous version but has returned to the original shape, as used on the 500.

The side flaps and skirts are finished in the same colour as the body, emphasising the car’s aggressive nature and its “stuck to the road” handling. The side graphics have also been restyled to match the front bumper and given new dimensions. The result is more in proportion with the side of the car and gives the body colour areas a sleeker appearance. Another new feature is the completely redesigned 17’’ spoked wheels, with the Abarth scorpion logo in the centre.

Abarth Punto Evo interior

Abarth Punto Evo interior

The car’s interior has been completely updated too. The new materials have an appearance and finish inspired by the surface of motor racing circuits, bringing all the excitement of the track into the car.

The new central control console is divided into two sections. The audio section is characterised by a black surface and a central LCD display. Underneath, a separate section houses the air conditioning controls. The top of the console houses the air vents and a storage compartment.

The purpose-designed Jaeger instrumentation features larger dials for the speedometer and rev counter, new race-inspired graphics, and a new anti-glare cowling covered in leather with open red and yellow stitching.

The visual link with the new textured seats is obvious. The seats and seat backs are upholstered in soft black leather while the seat sides are finished in high-tech fabric to give the ideal balance between comfort, breathability and wear resistance.

Abarth Punto Evo interior

Abarth Punto Evo interior

Customers can still choose the optional “Abarth Corse” seats by Sabelt. These seats offer a perfect blend of racing characteristics including light weight and the ability hold the body steady against lateral and longitudinal forces.

The EVOlution of power – the “SS” kit

As was to be expected from Abarth, a high performance kit will be made available to coincide with the launch of the Abarth Punto Evo to boost engine power even further. In keeping with Abarth tradition, the tuning kit will give the new car more power than the basic model, enabling the Multiair 1.4 16v Turbo engine to develop a maximum power of 180 HP.

Following Abarth’s performance tuning philosophy, the “SS” kit also includes modifications to chassis components, including perforated, ventilated discs, high performance brake pads, lower springs, and 18” Abarth “SS” alloy wheels painted in white or titanium, and fitted with performance tyres.

The performance delivered by the Abarth Punto Evo “SS” kit is further enhanced by a special “powered by BMC” air filter.

As for the Grande Punto and the 500, the Abarth Punto Evo’s “SS” kit comes in a classic wooden performance case. To guarantee the highest standards of quality and safety, the kit can only be installed by Abarth’s official performance tuning network.

The new Abarth Punto Evo

The new Abarth Punto Evo


ABARTH PUNTO EVO 1.4 Multiair Turbo 165 HP E5 3P Start&Stop

• 4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cc
• Maximum power 165 HP (120 kW) at 5500 rpm
• Peak torque 250 Nm (25.5 kgm) at 2250 rpm
• Turbocharging with a Garrett GT1446 fixed geometry turbocharger
• Electronically controlled static ignition
• Start&Stop
• Gear Shift Indicator
• New Multiair electro-hydraulic inlet valve control

• 6-speed mechanical gearbox
• Normal/Sport performance modes

• McPherson front suspension with enforced anti-roll bar
• Torsion bar strut half-independent rear suspension

Steering system
• Electro-hydraulic power steering

• Brembo M4X40 front brake caliper
• 284 mm self-ventilating front discs Ø 305 mm x 28 mm
• 228 mm rear discs Ø 264 mm x 11 mm

• ET 39 7” x 17” alloy wheels with 5 petal design and internal paint finish
• 215/45 R17” tyres

• Complies with Euro5 EEC-p5 standards

CO2 emissions
• 142 g/km

• 6.0 l/100 km in the combined cycle
• 4.8 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle
• 8.1 l/100 km in the urban cycle

• Top speed 213 km/h

• 0-100 Km/h in 7.9 secs

Updated 10/5/2010 with interior photos.

The new Abarth 500C

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The brand new Abarth 500C is the result of developments in both style and performance. This is not the first time that Abarth has undertaken the performance tuning of a convertible and the company has used all its past experience to improve both stylistic and technical factors.

The new Abarth 500C

The new Abarth 500C

While the eye is inevitably drawn to the new body finish, based on elegant two-tone colour schemes, the extended, dynamic-looking spoiler instantly reminds you that the Abarth 500C is first and foremost a high class sportster. In addition to enhancing the aggressive appearance of the 500C, the spoiler effectively boosts CZ loading and creates a smoother air flow.

The looks of the Abarth 500C have also benefited from the new design 17” diamond finished alloy wheels, including the sought-after diamond finished 5 petal white wheels.

Another strong point of the Abarth 500C is its exceptional interior climate and acoustic comfort. Thorough aerodynamic research has minimised turbulence with the roof open, allowing the sound of the road and engine to be enjoyed to the full. The new car therefore delivers a more complete sport driving experience and enhanced enjoyment. In an Abarth 500C, you can experience all the thrills of a real sports car. With the roof up, performance is on a par with a hard top. When the roof down, the range of sensations and emotions is dramatically extended, and includes all the pleasures of feeling the wind in your hair and the sound of the twin tail pipes.

Abarth 500C interior

Abarth 500C interior

The roof is electrically operated and slides along guides in the car’s sides to let you enjoy your Abarth 500C all year round. A true object of design, the Abarth 500C’s roof stands out for its elegant, electrically controlled movement and its impressively finished and carefully administered technical features, including a glass rear window and third brake light built into the spoiler. The soft top comes in a choice of two colours (black or titanium grey), to suit the classic Abarth colours as well as the 2 two-tone colour schemes created specially for the car: one overtly sporting (black and race white) and the other in two elegant shades of grey. Finally, a coloured graphic runs around the two-tone body, simultaneously dividing and uniting the two souls of the car: below, all the performance of a true sportster, above, all the elegance of a convertible.

The new Abarth 500C

The new Abarth 500C

Performance: Abarth tuning

The 500C is a true Abarth, as its 140 HP 1.4 Turbo T-Jet engine clearly shows. Performance is impressive: 0-100 km/h in only 8.1 seconds and a peak torque of 206 at 2000 rpm. An engine that not only delivers thrilling performance but also makes the Abarth 500C extremely pleasant to drive day in, day out.

The engine is a 4 cylinder, 16 valve, unit of 1,368 cc, fitted with an IHI RHF3-P fixed geometry turbocharger. The unit delivers exciting performance, pushing the car to a top speed of 205 km/h and accelerating it from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.1 seconds. These exceptional figures are also the result of an overboost function engaged by pressing the “Sport” button, which modifies engine control unit mapping, turbo pressure, and steering wheel loading. Yet despite its true Abarth spirit, the 500C still only consumes 6.5 l/100 km in the combined cycle.

The car’s sporting yet flexible engine is also environmentally friendly and already conforms to the strict Euro 5 standards soon to be introduced.

On top of its superb engine, the Abarth 500C boasts all the technical content of the model from which it is derived, including TTC (Torque Transfer Control) The most obvious innovation, of course, is the race-derived “ABARTH Competizione” gearbox, fitted as standard.

Abarth 500C interior

Abarth 500C interior

It was 1949 and Karl Abarth officially began marketing the first product, a race-derived gearbox with steering wheel control for the Fiat Topolino, capable of delivering quick gear changes in sporty driving conditions. With the same philosophy, more than 60 years later, the “ABARTH Competizione” is offered as standard on the Abarth 500C. This electro-hydraulically actuated, 6-speed gearbox is operated by steering wheel paddles and controlled by a system that maximises economy and performance when driven hard.

The innovative MTA-derived (Manual Transmission Automated) system is based on a conventional mechanical gearbox on which the traditional gear lever has been replaced with an actuator electronically controlled by the TCU (Transmission Control Unit) to optimise gear changes and mechanical efficiency. The gearbox can be used in two modes: auto for maximum comfort, and manual for maximum performance. “Sport” mode can be engaged in both gearbox modes and reduces gear shift times.

The new “ABARTH Competizione” gearbox makes driving even more fun thanks to race-derived functions like steering wheel paddle-shifting, just like on a real super-car.

Further confirmation that the 500C is a genuine Abarth comes from the fact that a specific “SS” tuning kit is currently being developed specially for it, offering an even higher level of performance.

The Abarth 500C is aimed at customers seeking everything the scorpion brand represents in terms of performance and innovation, plus the ultimate in style and versatility.

The new Abarth 500C

The new Abarth 500C


The Abarth 500C incorporates all the safety systems already installed on the Abarth 500.

Designed to conform to the strictest standards, the Abarth 500C is one of the safest vehicles in its class. Stable and effective braking, exhilarating acceleration from a 140 HP engine, and ultra-reliable handling mean that the Abarth 500C will get you through even the tightest scrapes without you batting an eyelid. The 500C is equipped as standard with 7 airbags (two front, two window and two side airbags plus one driver knee airbag): a record for this class of vehicle. The new version is also equipped with sophisticated technical solutions to maximise active safety and control: these include ABS with EBD (Electronic Braking Distribution), a sophisticated ESP system (Electronic Stability Program), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) traction control, Hill Holder to facilitate starting off on slopes, and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) to help with emergency braking.

The Abarth 500C also features two advanced control systems: “TTC” (Torque Transfer Control) and “GSI” (Gear Shift Indicator). TTC improves the transfer of torque from the engine to the wheels and in particular gives excellent handling on bends, making sports driving safer and more fun than ever. GSI (Gear Shift Indicator) provides a signal on the instrument panel (a LED that flashes five times) to tell you when to change gear. In Normal mode, GSI tells you that changing up will help reduce fuel consumption. In Sport mode, the signal means that changing gear will give you better performance.

Finally, the Abarth 500C is fitted with dynamic systems and comfort-enhancing equipment to ensure that occupants enjoy luxury as well as safety on all types of journey. Take the suspension system for example. The front suspension is based on independent McPherson struts, while the rear suspension is semi-independent, with an inter-connecting torsion bar. Specially developed by Magneti Marelli, both suspension schemes have been optimised specifically for the Abarth 500C to ensure superb handling and the highest possible level of comfort.

The new Abarth 500C

The new Abarth 500C


ABARTH 500C – 140 HP 1.4 16v Turbo T-Jet

• 4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cc
• Maximum power 140 HP (103 kW) at 5000 rpm
• Peak torque 206 Nm at 2000 rpm in Sport mode
• IHI RHF3-P fixed geometry turbocharger

• “Abarth Competizione” 5-speed gearbox
• MTA shift system with electrical actuation of mechanical gearbox and steering wheel paddles

• McPherson strut independent front suspension
• Torsion bar rear suspension with special calibration and anti-roll bar

Steering system
• Dualdrive electric power steering with Sport mode
• Sport/overboost button (modifies effect of Dualdrive electric power steering and boosts engine torque from 180 Nm to 206 Nm)

• ZPH 4.1.2 floating front caliper with 54-mm ø piston
• Self-ventilating front discs, diameter 284 x 22 mm
• CII 34 floating rear caliper with 34-mm ø piston
• 240 mm x 11 mm ø rear discs
• Electronic Stability Program
• TTC (Torque Transfer Control)

• Standard: 6.5×16” aluminium alloy wheels with 195/45 R16” tyres
• Optional: 7×17” aluminium alloy wheels with 205/40 R17” tyres

• Complies with Euro5 EEC-f5 standards

CO2 emissions
• 155 g/km

• Top speed 205 km/h
• Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 8.1 secs

• 6.5 l/100 km in the combined cycle –
• 5.4 l/100 km in the extra-urban cycle –
• 8.5 l/100 km in the urban cycle

• Roof open/close switch
• Glass rear window

Updated 10/5/2010 with interior photos.

New Abarth 500 on sale now

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Following the huge success of Abarth’s re-launch last year, the Fiat Group’s performance division has now created the ultimate sporting expression of the 500.

By thoroughly re-engineering the highly acclaimed and universally popular city car from the ground up, Abarth has produced a machine purpose-built for the modern driving enthusiast. Not only does it look the part, thanks to bodywork that’s longer and lower than a regular 500, it’s also entertaining to own and drive while maintaining class-leading economy, low emissions and low running costs.

New Abarth 500 on sale now

New Abarth 500 on sale now

Already a winner of BBC Top Gear magazine’s prestigious Hot Hatch of the Year award, the Abarth 500 has been designed as the credible option for drivers seeking to express themselves through their choice of car.

As a faithful modern incarnation of the tuning firm’s ‘small but wicked’ mantra of the 1950s, this latest 500 also follows the traditional Abarth ethos of using racing experience to make rewarding, high performance road cars at an affordable price. Sales to customers then fuel the racing activities which lead to further road-car developments in what amounts to a ‘virtuous circle’. The most tangible result of this phenomenon is the high-performing 190bhp Assetto Corse version which competes in the one-make Abarth 500 Trofeo Europa.

As befits a car with its roots firmly ensconced in motorsport, all versions of the new small Abarth feature a zesty 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, which has been designed to be responsive throughout its entire rev range as well as being economical and gentle on the environment.

Squeezing a turbocharger into the tight confines of the 500’s engine bay was no mean feat, and led Abarth engineers to completely redesign the front end of the vehicle. As a testament to their skill, Abarth technicians created a deeper spoiler that feeds the engine with sufficient air while maintaining the frontal appearance of the 500.

This isn’t the only alteration to its looks compared with the regular 500 which includes adding sporty side skirts, a much larger roof spoiler, and a deep aerodynamic diffuser at the rear. These addenda are the result of hours spent in the wind tunnel and help improve the car’s stability at speed. With vents to draw hot air away from the brakes, twin tail pipes mounted at either edge of the diffuser and small scorpion logos printed just above them, the Abarth 500 is designed to leave a lasting impression on people looking at it from any angle.

New Abarth 500 on sale now

New Abarth 500 on sale now

But this is much more than simply a bodywork makeover. The Abarth 500’s performance is similarly and dramatically uprated, with a 128mph top speed and a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. To ensure it’s as much fun to drive as it looks, the suspension has been comprehensively re-designed and the car is equipped with Torque Transfer Control to improve its poise through corners even more.

This helps make the newcomer a reassuringly safe car. Based around a Euro NCAP five-star winner, it comes with seven airbags and a host of electronic safety systems to minimise the effects of the unexpected.

The Abarth 500 is available in both standard trim and in esseesse (SS) form. The regular model is well equipped, with air-conditioning, electric front windows, seven airbags, electrically adjustable body coloured door mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, an Interscope sound system with radio, CD and MP3 file player, and Fiat’s innovative and unique Blue&Me hands-free communication system.

Optional equipment includes 17-inch wheels, Abarth leather interior, an electrochromatic anti-dazzle mirror, automatic climate control, and chequered roof stickers. There’s also Blue&Me MAP which employs motor racing technology to help drivers improve their skills at the wheel through telemetry, in addition to offering regular satellite navigation.

The esseesse version allows drivers to further upgrade their car’s performance courtesy of a retro-fit kit. This boosts engine power to 160bhp using a re-mapped ECU (Electronic Control Unit) and new air filter, as well as adding uprated brakes and springs along with unique 17-inch wheels.

In both regular and esseesse guise, the Abarth 500 interior has an uncompromisingly sporty feel. The one-piece leather-covered sports seats hug the driver and front passenger, and the thick-rimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel looks and feels as though it’s been lifted from a sports car costing twice the price. There’s a dash-mounted turbo boost gauge and gear shift indicator to help drivers get the most out of the Abarth 500’s performance when the Sport button is pressed, and aid economy when it isn’t.

It typifies a machine designed to empower owners to express their passion for driving, without sacrificing any environmental responsibilities.


The Abarth 500 has been designed to put a premium on driving satisfaction. Entirely new springs and dampers are fitted to the front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension, while the car is also equipped with Torque Transfer Control. This advanced electronic system replicates the effects of a limited slip differential on the driven front wheels to ensure maximum entertainment and safety during cornering.

In addition to having its road manners honed for predictable, agile and responsive handling, the Abarth 500 has had its safety systems engineered to meet the highest standards. A robust braking system features ABS anti-lock braking with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) to ensure maximum stopping power when required. There’s also an ESP (Electronic Stability Program) to ensure control is maintained at all times, while Hill Holder makes for stress-free starts on a slope.

As well as the all-important mechanical alterations, drivers and passengers benefit from the high quality sporting environment. Figure-hugging one-piece sports seats are designed to hold driver and front passenger firmly in place, and feature shoulder slots to accommodate racing harnesses. The black leather-clad steering wheel has a thick rim that gives it a chunky feel, with moulded grips for thumbs and a racing car-style flat bottom. And there’s a new gear lever, again finished in black leather, and designed to nestle sportily in the palm. The look is finished off with privacy glass at the rear and black headlining that’s unique to this model.

New Abarth 500 interior

New Abarth 500 interior


The heart of the Abarth 500 is its 1.4-litre 16-valve turbo engine. This engine develops a peppy 135bhp at 5500rpm, with peak torque of 206Nm (152lb ft) in Sport mode at 3000rpm. In Normal mode the engine’s 180Nm (132lb ft) at 2500rpm still gives it a pleasing urgency.

The results are a top speed of 128mph while the 0-62mph dash is covered in 7.9 seconds. This is achieved thanks to the dash-mounted Sport button which alters the engine’s power and torque characteristics for sportier responses, while increasing load through the electric power steering for a firmer steering feel and added poise in corners.

The feeling of sportiness is reinforced by the sharp-shifting five-speed gearbox and suspension designed to ensure the driver always feels in close contact with the road.

Yet none of this is achieved at the expense of the environment. The Abarth 500 conforms to strict Euro 5 exhaust emissions legislation, well in advance of it being enforced. And its emissions and fuel consumption – 155g/km of CO2 and 43.4mpg in the official combined cycle – make it a top class performer.

Extracting maximum performance or economy is helped by the gearshift indicator housed within the dash-mounted turbo boost gauge. Push the Sport button, and just like in a racing car, the indicator flashes to tell the driver to change up when engine RPM reaches the 6000rpm red line. With the Sport button disengaged, it reverts to fuel-saving mode, advising the driver to change gear at the point in the rev range where maximum economy can be achieved.


Blue&Me MAP is the ultimate all-round driving aid. This portable navigation device is in keeping with Abarth’s sporting heritage and tradition.

Unique in a car of the Abarth 500’s compact dimensions, Blue&Me MAP allows drivers with motorsport aspirations to monitor and analyse their skills behind the wheel. Employing know-how acquired from electronics expert Magneti Marelli’s exploits in motor racing, a real-time telemetry screen displays the engine’s RPM, gear selected, and vehicle speed. Should the driver take his car on a lap of a motor racing circuit, such as Brands Hatch or the Nürburgring for example, and if he or she is using one of the motor racing circuits pre-loaded on an SD card, satellite tracking will show the exact position of the car on the race circuit, and its lap time. On a race track that isn’t on the database, a slow lap with the ‘circuit acquisition’ feature in operation will record all relevant details.

Afterwards, all the information from a track session can be accessed and analysed to enable drivers to improve their performance. Sessions can also be downloaded for comparison with friends, colleagues and other Abarth 500 owners.

But Blue&Me MAP is much more than simply a tool for sporting drivers. Using Bluetooth connectivity, it enables drivers to interact with the in-car audio system and control the satellite navigation safely and without taking their hands off the steering wheel. Navigation instructions appear in the main instrument cluster for enhanced safety. And because this navigation device is portable, drivers can take it with them to use as a map on the move.


Owners who want to take their Abarth 500 even closer to the tuning firm’s ‘racer for the road’ ideal, can plump for the esseesse specification. The word esseesse means ‘SS’ in Italian and lives up to its name by giving the car a supremely sporting twist.

Abarth 500 esseesse

Abarth 500 esseesse

The £2500 conversion has to be carried out within 12 months or 20,000km of the car’s first registration and can only be undertaken by Abarth’s skilled network of technicians. Their first job is to upgrade the engine’s Electronic Control Unit so that the 1.4-litre turbo pumps out 160bhp at 5750rpm – more than double the power output of the regular Fiat model and very much in keeping with historic Abarth practice. To help with this power upgrade, a new air filter made by Italian specialist BMC is fitted.

To match the additional power, drilled and ventilated 284mm x 22mm brake discs are fitted at the front, together with new pads, while 240mm x 11mm drilled discs replace the already powerful standard items at the rear. Uprated Abarth springs are fitted front and rear too, and so that the esseesse looks even racier, the regular 16-inch wheels are replaced with 17-inch white or titanium colour alloy rims and 205/40 R17 tyres.

A tyre pressure monitoring system and unique key cover are the final touches in this transformation to the ultimate road-going Abarth 500.

Even though this upgrade relies heavily on modern technology, the esseesse kit stays loyal to the legend of Abarth by being delivered to customers in a high quality wooden crate. Once its contents have been emptied, the crate then becomes the property of the customer as a charming memento.


Abarth has built its rich heritage on making automotive sporting excellence available to everyone. Based on the principles of employing cutting edge materials, innovative design and an unyielding attention to detail, Austrian Karl (renamed Carlo when he changed his nationality to Italian) Abarth founded his business 60 years ago.

By tuning and thus extracting the maximum performance from a series of Fiats, Abarth notched up a string of endurance and speed records during the mid-1950s. But it was his tuning of the original 500, just over half-a-century ago, which acted as a catalyst, taking the company to 10,000 track victories, 10 world records and cementing the Abarth name in the public consciousness.

Born 101 years ago, Carlo Abarth presided over the running of his company until his death in 1979. Despite his demise, the business continued, winning its third World Rally Championship in 1980. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Group, Abarth has inherited all the competition activities of the Fiat Racing Team.


Competition has always been one of the building blocks for Abarth’s success. And it’s no less important now than when Carlo Abarth established his company in 1949. While the Abarth Grande Punto S2000 has recorded remarkable championship- winning success on Europe’s rally stages, 2009 marks the firm’s return to Europe’s race circuits.

The Abarth 500 Trofeo Europa will involve a field of 190bhp Abarth 500 Assetto Corse models running as support to the all-action World Touring Car Championship. They will compete around some of the world’s most famous circuits, including Brands Hatch in Kent and Italy’s Monza.

Abarth’s sporting activities aren’t just limited to the professionals. The newly formed Abarth Driving School offers young drivers the chance to learn how to get the most out of high performance cars in complete safety.

Developed in conjunction with four-time Monte Carlo Rally winner, the legendary Sandro Munari, the course uses a combination of theory and practical teaching to raise road safety awareness among everyday drivers.

Abarth 500 Pricing

Basic: £11,278.36
VAT: £1,691.75
OTR Charges: £629.89
Total OTR: £13,600.00


Code Option Price
140 Climate control £260
195 50/50 Split folding rear seat £150
732 Leather Sports Interior £800
400 Electric “Sky Dome” sunroof £550
59E Fixed glass sunroof £325
410 Auto-dimming rear view mirror £100
55Y Blue&Me Nav w/telemetry £240
55E Five-hole 17″ alloy wheels with 205/40R17 tyres £175
4AY Ten-spoke 17″ alloy wheels with 205/40R17 tyres £175
802 “Funk White” Pearl Paint finish £700
5CE “Crossover Black” Metallic Paint finish £375
5CJ “Pasadoble Red” Special Paint finish £250
5JQ “Campovolo Grey” Special Paint finish £250
4RR Chrome finish door mirrors £70
5HP Red checked roof £135
5HQ White checked roof £135
5HR Black checked roof £135
5HS Red Scorpion bonnet decal £75
5HT White Scorpion bonnet decal £75
5HU Black Scorpion bonnet decal £75
5HI Red Abarth Stripe & Mirrors £160
5HM White Abarth Stripe & Mirrors £160
5HN Black Abarth Stripe & Mirrors £160
5JK Alloy gear knob £50