New roadster and coupe versions of the Fiat 500 are in the pipleine at Abarth

Abarth is developing its own coupé version of the Fiat 500 in a bid to create a more exclusive, extreme version of the popular city car.

This caricature-like official artist’s impression gives little away about the car, which is inspired by the Zagato Abarth 750 T of 1959.

See the official artist's impression of the new Abarth 500 speedster

But it hints at a shallower glass area, cut-down windscreen and faster rake of the roofline and D-pillars. It’s understood the car will be offered in open and closed forms. The hard-top version will have the Zagato-signature double-bubble roof of the original.

The 750 T had huge scoops to feed its rear-mounted engine, and these will be hinted at by a new, enlarged tail spoiler. Bigger wheels and multiple detail changes will also distinguish these models, which will be the first modern Abarths with body styles exclusive to the marque.

There will be interior upgrades too, and some versions will have their rear seats removed, as was often the case with Italian coupés of the 1950s and 1960s.

The Abarth coupé is likely to be offered with the 178bhp 1.4 litre T-Jet engine from the limited-edition Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari.

An alternative would be Fiat’s new 1.4 MultiAir engine, which has just appeared in the Abarth Punto Evo. That engine develops 163bhp and 184lb ft of torque in standard form or 178bhp and 199lb ft of torque with Esseesse tuning.

Either way, the coupé is likely to be quick, with a 0-62mph time that should come inside the 7.4sec of the 500C Esseesse. Its top speed should be higher too.

This new 500 body style is expected to remain exclusive to Abarth and will be followed by a pure two-seat sports car, also expected to be unique to the brand.

The roadster was originally scheduled to have been based on the aluminium bonded chassis of the Lotus Elise, but insiders now say its core will be sourced elsewhere.

Richard Bremner

 

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Comments
18

21 July 2010

Wow, thought i was dreaming as this is what i have been wanting to see for ages and just recently posted about on autocar too. A small city car, check, a coupe, check, a 2 seater, check. a small turbo petrol engine, check. aluminium lightweight chassis, possible check. i cant believe its not butter.

happy joy.

The nightmare scenario is still alive though, please fiat/abarth if you are reading. dont fill it up with luxury options as standard, this is for fun primarily, if people want luxuries like air-con and electric windows let them pay for it as extras for a high premium price. yes. make it really simple machine, but great style and performance, list price minimisation, but make it fast, high performance out of the box, ready to go.

21 July 2010

If they'd just ditch the 500 styling and all its stupid retrofripperies, do a modern X1/9, I'd be really happy.

Still, this sounds like a definite step in the right direction. Deep joy.

God, I love Stanley Unwin. But theny allhafterhyhally doesn'tywhoflips?

21 July 2010

[quote Autocar]This caricature-like official artist’s impression gives little away about the car[/quote]

Caricature-like indeed. My first thought was "Noddy will be pleased". No way it makes it to production looking anything like that. Still, those 35" wheels do look the part.

21 July 2010

Abarth 750 T. Ooh, yes please...

Abarth 750 T

21 July 2010

Good to see Fiat being innovative and intelligent about developing the Abarth brand in a worthwhile way - it really shows up Renault's revival of the Gordini name look for the rubbish that it is.

Not sure about the push from a marketing point of view to separate the Abarth brand from the Fiat brand entirely and align it with Alfa Romeo and Maserati - surely it would be better as a Fiat offshoot. It's obvious that the cars are worked over Fiats, so why try to pretend they are anything different? The Holden/HSV relationship seems to be a good model to follow - HSV models have a lot of differentiation but no attempt to pretend it's anything other than a Holden underneath.

21 July 2010

i think this is a first for me, i agree with straight six

give us an abarth x19 please with big thick go faster stripes down the side

21 July 2010

A pocket speedster - a great idea!

21 July 2010

Cracking, make it please... and don't charge the earth for it. Its not an Audi TT make something that is affordable and within the spirit of the 500.

21 July 2010

A great car for people who find the Ford StreetKa not quite camp enough.

 

 

 

21 July 2010

This is more of a 'follow my leader' approach to MINI's marketing plan.

I think they conveniently found the legacy to the Zagato in a dusty filing cabinet to hide this copycat tactic.

Lets face it...MINI have FIAT covered on every level.

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