Drop-top Abarth would have more power and kit than Mini Cooper
21 July 2009

Fiat is working on a hot Abarth version of the new 500 convertible, Autocar can reveal.

The car would go head to head with the Mini Cooper cabrio, and although it is unlikely to significantly undercut the British-built car on price, the Fiat 500 would offer more power and extra equipment for the money.

A Fiat source told Autocar a cabrio Abarth was “very likely”. Whereas many convertibles suffer from a loss of stiffness in the bodyshell, the Abarth 500C would have the same roll-back canvas roof, which retains the roof rails and pillars. This way the car could keep its rigidity and avoid any weight gain through extra strengthening.

Expect two versions of the 500C Abarth: a 1.4 T-Jet with 133bhp (15bhp more than a Mini Cooper) and an Esseesse model with 157bhp. Each will come with a huge range of customisation options to personalise the car, and an extensive level of standard kit.

Taking into account the £3000 premium for the new 1.2 Pop 500 convertible that has just been announced, the standard Abarth T-Jet version would cost just over £16,000.

The cabrio Abarth is not likely to arrive in the UK before next spring.

Our Verdict

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is a deserved success story for the brand, offering bags of style, a fine drive and low costs

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