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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inside the Fiat Abarth 500C...

Fiat has released details of the new Abarth 500C, which will go on sale in Europe within the next few days. With the 500 Abarth due out in the US sometime next year, and the 500C commencing production in Mexico next March, it is logical to assume that the US will also get an Abarth 500C. With that, lets take a detailed look at the Abarth 500C, with the help of Fiat Group Press:

The all-new Abarth 500C was created by developing design without neglecting performance. This is not the first time that Abarth has tuned a convertible, and this time the operation affected both looks and engineering.

Alongside the classic body color scheme, Abarth is offering two-tone paintwork for the first time on a 500. Although your eye may linger on the new colors, the long, dynamic spoiler reminds you that the Abarth 500C is first and foremost a top-class sports car.

The spoiler not only adds flair to the sporting image but also ensures an improved CZ load and more effective air flow distribution.

The Abarth 500C is enhanced by new 17” diamond pattern alloys and a white diamond version of the popular 5 petal design.

Another strength of this model is its exceptional climatic and acoustic comfort. Thorough aerodynamic research means that the turbulence experienced with the roof open has been reduced to a minimum, allowing the open road and engine sound to be enjoyed to the full.

The Abarth 500C allows you all the sensations of a real sports car: with the hood closed, it offers performance worthy of a hard top version but when the roof is rolled down, the range of sensations and experience expands as you speed along with the wind rushing through your hair to the authentic sound of the twin silencer exhaust.

The electric hood, which traces the car's roof line, means that the Abarth 500C can be enjoyed at any time of year. A true design object, the hood of the Fiat 500C is distinguished by its sophisticated electrically-controlled movements and its impressively finished and carefully crafted technical features...

from the glass rear window to the third brake light built into the spoiler.

The hood is available in 2 colors (black and titanium grey) and can be combined with classic Abarth colors as well as 2 specially-created two-tone combinations: the more sporty version (racing black and white) and a more elegant version in two tones of grey. A chromatic liner runs along the two-tone body to simultaneously divide and combine the car's two spirits: out-and-out sports performance below and the elegance of a cabriolet above.

Performance: Abarth empowerment

The new car is a true Abarth and this is confirmed by a 1.4 Turbo T-Jet power unit that delivers 140 HP, for significant performance: 0-100 km/h in just 8.1 seconds and a torque of 206 Nm at 2000 rpm in Sport mode – a power unit that ensures thrilling performance while also making the Abarth 500C extremely satisfying to drive even during day-to-day use.

In detail, the engine is a 1368 cc 4 cylinder 16 valve unit (turbo charged with a fixed geometry IHI RHF3-P turbocharger) that delivers exhilarating performance. Top speed is 205 km/h while acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes place in just 8.1 seconds. This is partly achieved by the over-boost function, activated by the Sport button that modulates control unit mapping and turbo pressure in addition to load on the steering wheel. Yet this typically Abarth performance comes with very frugal fuel consumption: 6.5 l/100 km over a combined cycle.

This lively yet smooth new power unit also has proven eco-friendly credentials: the new Abarth car is already able to meet the toughest restrictions imposed by future European standards (Euro 5).

In addition to the engine, the Abarth 500C retains all the engineering features already so appreciated on the original model, such as TTC (Torque Transfer Control).

The most important new feature is the race inspired “ABARTH Competizione” gearbox.
The year was 1949 and Karl Abarth was beginning to market his first official product, a racing gearbox with a steering wheel-mounted for the Fiat Topolino, able to offer slick gear shifts under sporty driving conditions.

More than 60 years later, the ABARTH Competizione is offered as standard on the Abarth 500C with the same philosophy. It takes the form of a 6-speed gearbox with electro-hydraulic control and driver interface created with paddles behind the steering wheel in a configuration that enhances the car's attributes of thrift and efficiency under sporting driving conditions.

In detail, the innovative gearbox derived from an MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) unit consists of a conventional manual gearbox on which the manual linkage is replaced by an actuator controlled electronically by a TCU (Transmission Control Unit) which optimizes both gear shifting and mechanical efficiency. This gearbox also offers auto mode for greater comfort and manual mode for maximum driving satisfaction. A sport setting may be added to both modes, with repercussions on shift speed.

The new ABARTH Competizione makes driving more fun, complementing out-and-out racing attributes with the possibility of shifting up through the gears on the steering wheel as though you were driving a real supercar.

To confirm this car's paid-up membership of the Abarth club, a special
esseesse kit is being prepared as an additional customer offer.

The Abarth 500C is aimed at customers who seek all that Abarth has to offer in terms of sportiness and innovation but also design and even more versatile use.


In terms of safety, the Abarth 500C also offers the features already successfully adopted on the Abarth 500. The Abarth 500C was created to exceed even the toughest standards and is one of the safest cars in the entire segment. Stable, effective braking plus excellent pick-up ensured by the 140 HP power unit and predictable handling at all times allow the new car to deal confidently with critical situations.

The Abarth 500C is also fitted as standard with 7 airbags (two front, two window bags, two side bags and one for knee protection): a record for this car category. The new model also employs the most sophisticated technical solutions to ensure that the driver is in perfect control of the car (active safety): from ABS with electronic brake distribution (EBD) to the advanced electronic stability program (ESP), from the anti-slip regulation (ASR) system to the Hill Holder devices – which help the driver with hill starts - a nd hydraulic brake assistance (HBA) to help with emergency stops.

The Abarth 500C also offers two outstanding features by any standards: the “TTC” (Torque Transfer Control) and “GSI” (Gear Shift Indicator) systems. The first device improves the transfer of drive torque to the wheels and, in particular, guarantees excellent cornering behavior, thus making the car safer and more entertaining during a sporty drive.

The GSI (Gear Shift Indicator) encourages the driver to shift gear by illuminating a special indicator on the control panel (an LED flashes five times in succession). In detail, if Normal mode has been selected, the system tells the driver that fuel savings could be made by shifting to another gear. If the driver continues in Sport mode, a new gear is suggested to achieve the best possible performance.

The Abarth 500C also offers all the properties of dynamism and comfort that allow its users to tackle any kind of route in comfort. These qualities are enhanced by the suspension layout: the front system is a MacPherson configuration...

while the rear suspension features interconnected wheels (i.e. semi-independent) with a torsion beam. Created from a Magneti Marelli design, both configurations selected have been appropriately revised and developed for the new vehicle to ensure great handling and top level driving comfort.


140 HP 1.4 16v Turbo T-Jet Engine
4 cylinders in line, 4 valves per cylinder, 1368 cc
140 HP (103 kW) at 5000 rpm
maximum torque 206 Nm at 2000 rpm in sport mode
turbocharged with fixed geometry IHI RHF3-P turbocharger

5-speed Abarth Competizione gearbox
MTA gearbox - electrically-operated manual gearbox with gear shift paddles on the steering wheel

MacPherson independent front suspension
torsion beam at the rear with special calibration and anti-roll bar

Dualdrive electric power steering with sport setting
Sport/over-boost button (this function modulates the Dualdrive electric steering power-assistance level and increases engine torque from 180 Nm to 206 Nm)

ZPH 4.1.2 floating front calipers, 54mm diameter piston
self-ventilating front brake discs, diameter 284 x 22 mm
CII 34 floating rear calipers, 34 mm diameter piston
240 mm diameter x 11 mm rear brake discs
Electronic Stability Program
TTC SYSTEM - Torque Transfer Control

standard: 6.5x16” aluminum alloy rim - Tires: 195/45 r16”
options: 7x17” aluminum alloy rim - Tires: 205/40 r17”

complies with Euro 5 EEC-f5 standard
Emissions of CO2
155 g/km

top speed 205 km/h
acceleration 0 - 100 km/h 8.1 secs

Fuel consumption
43 mpg (6.5 l/100km) in the combined cycle
52 mpg (5.4 l/100km) over an extra-urban cycle
33 mpg (8.5 l/100km) over an urban cycle


roof opening/closing control
glass rear window

Courtesy of Fiat Group Press


Rusty said...

Argh, more seat color choices, I usually like tan leather the least but I'm liking the tone of this 500C seat.

Can't wait for a mini convertible 500C fight. said...

Rusty said...
"Argh, more seat color choices, I usually like tan leather the least but I'm liking the tone of this 500C seat.

Can't wait for a mini convertible 500C fight."...

Hi Rusty,

I love to see road tests on the 500. One thing to bear in mind is the MINI has more outright HP, so we have to take that into account, however the Abarth has a heritage and link to legendary performance cars second to none plus gives you membership in a pretty exclusive club;)

Rusty said...

Wow for having less HP, the Abarth definitely produces the more pleasing symphony in my opinion (:

I'll still look forward to pulling up to all those uninformed people at the red light, and showing off with a nice dash onto the freeway.

My current ride does 0-60 in 8 seconds from a stop with 250hp at 3700lbs, and that speeds plenty fast for my daily driving/passing, so I expect with the Abarth I'll feel even zippier in the tiny thing and with less mpg guilt when im not feeling exactly economical.