Apparently a bespoke Abarth roadster was a victim of the global economic meltdown so it’s good news to learn that Fiat’s performance arm is moving further away from the mothership with a Speedster based on the Fiat 500.

And so it won’t just be offering us heated up versions of standard cars - not that we’re complaining about the 500 Abarth especially.

But news of the Speedster has reignited an office debate. Should we consider Abarth a separate member of the Fiat family, just as Alfa and Maserati clearly are?

Fiat’s top brass certainly thinks so and have been getting a bit uptight about us lumping Abarth models in with Fiats in our listings, when there isn’t a single Fiat badge on them, and even the V5 document recording ownership treats Abarth as a brand in its own right.

No question that Abarth has a proud history and everything points to it having an exciting future too. But is there currently enough evidence to justify us all treating it as a completely separate entity from Fiat? That’s a tough one.