Not satisfied with the performance and power output of the stock Abarth 500? These aftermarket tuners have a few answers.
Anyone who's ever driven the base Fiat 500 is fully aware of how severely underpowered it is. Yes, Fiat unveiled the 500 Turbo last year, but for the true enthusiast, there's only one option: the potent 500 Abarth. With its 1.4-liter turbo four, the little Italian pocket rocket is a blast to drive and is probably the closest thing to a street legal go-cart. But if the stock 500 Abarth still doesn't meet your expectations, then check out these enhanced Cinquecentos from various aftermarket tuning firms.
Vancouver-based SR Auto Group recently turned its attention from supercars to the little pocket rocket itself. With its matte black body wrap, the side mirrors are also composed of carbon-fiber and the tuner added a Novitec Challenge Corse suspension system that stiffens the ride. A set of 17-inch alloys finished in brushed silver and gloss black round out the exterior upgrades, while under the hood lies a Magneti Marelli engine controller. The interior was given a new short-throw shifter and Recaro sport seats to make the whole driving experience that much tighter.
Romeo Ferraris celebrated its US-market arrival with this tuned 500 Abarth, called the Cinquone Stradale USA Tribute. Painted in red, white and blue, the car has received new bumpers and the fenders have been widened in order to accommodate the new 18" wheels. Power has also been increased to 235 horsepower thanks to an ECU remap and a new turbocharger. Also added were new pistons, camshafts, exhaust, a limited-slip differential and Brembo brakes. The interior receives Recaro bucket seats covered in leather and Alcantara as well as a roll cage specifically for track duty.
The idea in this case was simple: lower the roof and add power. German tuning firm G-Tech accomplished both of these tasks and the final result is one solid-looking piece of driving fun. The 1.4-liter turbo four was upgraded to 230 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque thanks to a new exhaust system with electronically-operated exhaust valves. Want even more power? The R variant packs 260 hp and 258 lb-ft. But for track enthusiasts, G-Tech also built the track-only Sportster GT/R which has 350 hp and 332 lb-ft as well as a dual-clutch gearbox.
Looking for a tuned 500 Abarth without any exterior mods? Then British tuner Superchips has the answer. Focus was entirely given to output which increases to 155 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. Despite that, the tuner proudly claims that the car's fuel economy numbers remain the same as that of the stock version. The car also has improved throttle response and in-gear acceleration. Perhaps the best part about the kit is its price, which comes in at just £455. That translates into only £20.68 for each extra horse under the hood.
Novitec has plenty of experience tuning Ferraris and Alfa Romeos, so when it came time to power up the 500 Abarth, something special had to be done. The finished car's exterior comes with a set of lightweight alloys along with a stainless steel, adjustable sport suspension. The turbocharged 1.4-liter four has been tuned to produce between 164 and 212 horsepower thanks to a new power kit. It's composed of a new turbocharger, a more efficient air supply and an improved air-filter box. There's also a new high-performance exhaust system. All of these enhancements allow the car to go from 0-60 mph in only 6.8 seconds.