One last hurrah before the brand goes electric.
The Fiat 500 Abarth has been gone from our shores since 2019. The brand brought some simple, fun hot hatches to America, focusing on the driving experience in the same way a Miata does. Even though we can't enjoy them ourselves anymore, they're still kicking in other markets. For 2023, the brand has simplified the buying process to make it easier for the customer to build their perfect ICE Abarth before the brand goes electric in 2024 and has introduced new updates, including vibrant paintwork to keep the pint-sized hot hatch alive.
The Abarth line is starting to look very Dodge Challenger-esque with its dated lineup, and seeing as both companies are owned by Stellantis now and previously hailed from the FCA era, it makes sense. With development of an electric replacement in full swing, the vibrant new additions to the lineup may be the last chance anyone has to own these laugh-a-minute hatches.
What Abarth has done is clean things up to make it easier for would-be buyers to build out a car. The company says it's boiled down the process of creating your own personal Abarth into three easy steps: choosing between the 595 and 695, picking the "soul" in either Turismo or Competizione, choosing a color, and then picking an options pack (which sounds more like four to us, but who's counting.)
First, you choose between the tried and true 595 and 695, which means different outputs of the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine. In the base 595 version, this means a unit good for 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, and in the 695 version, that gets bumped up to 178 hp and 184 lb-ft. Both can be had with either a five-speed automatic or manual transmission.
The "soul" will then be the character of the car. The Turismo represents the style and comfort one would expect of Italian Granturismo. It comes with 17-inch Turismo alloy wheels, luxurious black leather seats, and Turismo badging. The Competizione, on the other hand, is the more performance-oriented one, with appointments that give the vehicle a sportier feel. This means 17-inch Competizione alloy wheels, aggressive Sabelt Carbon seats, and the Competizione badge.
Next, you pick your color, with the highlight of the model being a new color called "Orange Racing." Italian brands and the color orange are very in right now, and this livery was created by blending the brand's iconic colors of yellow and red together to make the little angry cars look like little angry pumpkins. We think it looks great, and more importantly, it has a real connection to the brand's racing history with the Fiat 131 Racing Volumetrico Abarth limited edition and its Orange Racing 255 livery of the late 70s.
Finally, to round out your three (or four) picks, you pick between two separate options packages: Tech and Comfort. Tech gives you a 7-inch navigation screen and automatic climate controls, and Comfort gifts you a Beats audio system and Xenon headlights.
It's a simple recipe for a simple car and a smart option for the aging lineup. It's also a preview of the end of this soon-to-be 15-year-old model, as the brand is planning on going all-electric in 2024. We would love to see the enthusiast brand make its way back to the states, as the Abarth-tuned 500 derivatives and the Abarth 124 Spider were absolute hoots to drive. Sadly, the American market shuns small cars. With the 500X being the last remaining Fiat model on sale in America, the chances of an Abarth return look ever-less-likely.