LA 2011: 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth

Giving the Fiat 500 the Abarth treatment, get ready for the ultimate high-performance small car - Italian style.

As promised, Fiat has unveiled their little, but mighty 500 Abarth for North America at this year's LA Auto Show. Describing it as "small but wicked" in the official press release, the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth comes to the U.S. with the racing traditions that have made it a success on European roadways and racetracks. With its world-class performance and precision, the lightweight 500 Abarth is powered by an all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.

If it remains tuned exactly as its European counterpart, it should produce 133hp and 152lb-ft of torque and mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Interestingly enough, this engine is already built in Michigan, so we can't image there'll be any significant changes. Fiat describes the car as having track-ready capabilities, benchmark performance levels, and state-of-the-art powertrain and chassis technology that in the past was available only on premium-priced performance cars. Official pricing hasn't been released just yet, but the 2012 Fiat Abarth 500 should no doubt be everything we've been hoping it'll be.

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