“Tale il padre, tale il figlio”, in Italian, means, “like father, like son”, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the new Fiat 500 Abarth.
Karl Abarth was born and died under the sign of Scorpio, and the famous Austrian spent his entire life racing and tuning European automobiles and motorcycles. It must have seemed a no-brainer for Fiat to build a special car named after a special man.
I had seen the Charlie Sheen and Super Bowl commercials and was excited to get behind the wheel of the new car, which is scheduled to go on sale this week.
Fiat brought a room full of automotive journalists up to speed on the long-anticipated pocket rocket and then graciously turned us loose for a couple of hours on an autocross course designed to let us slide the little thing around.
Now edgy, totally different than the standard car, like the Zombie movies where the guy dies and 10 seconds later comes back with a really bad attitude, the Abarth has woken up tough, mean, nasty and hungry… for asphalt.
Inside the well thought out racy interior, adjust the seat, twist the key, and the twin exhausts scream a different note, emitting a wonderful sound all the way to redline. And the handling is terrific; tight, responsive, very little body roll, and thanks to a 37 foot turning circle, it practically turns itself around in a parking spot.
What this car lacks in straight line acceleration, it more than makes up for in seat-of-the-pants, sh*ts-and-grins stuff.
It’s now that 350cc café bike you always wanted and you’ll be tempted to:
- drive with sunglasses on even when it’s raining
- learn all the words to Nessun Dorma
- gulp espresso all day
You don’t buy the new Fiat 500 Abarth to dust Porsches. You buy this car to take 20 years off your life and to transform every trip into La Dolce Vita.
Buy your wife and kids the regular version of this car. Buy the 500 Abarth for yourself.
An affordable blast. Bravissimo Fiat!
See you on down the road,