*6/26 - now updated with EPA mpg figures!
Production of the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth equipped with an automnatic transmission has just started today at the Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico. The availability of an automatic transmission will help boost sales of the Fiat 500 Abarth, which is already enjoying a 16 percent increase over last year. Studies show very few Americans buy manual transmission cars - only about 5 -7 percent according to Automotive News - so having an automatic transmission option makes sense.
The Aisin AW automatic transmission being used in the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth is a traditional torque converter type, beefed up for high performance use with more clutch plates and a more robust heat treatment to allow for higher torque capacity. Special care has been taken to ensure the 500 Abarth driving experience is retained. When sport mode is selected, more aggressive transmission settings are activated such as throttle-blipping, rev-matching downshifts along with gears being held longer when accelerating out of corners and when getting off the gas. The engine has a fuel-cut off during spirited upshifts, making for the Abarth's signature exhaust pop and the transmission downshifts when getting hard on the brakes to assist stopping performance and to ensure the car is in an appropriate gear to accelerate again. Transmission upshifts take 150-200 milliseconds at full-throttle!
Control is by a console mounted gear shift, and the 6-speed transmission can be shifted manually if desired. The paddle shifters used on the European Abarth 500 could not be fitted as it would have required the elimination of the cruise control, a feature that is a prerequisite in the North American market.
As I have mentioned in previous postings, the use of an automatic transmission opens the possibility of higher engine outputs and the engine of the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth when teamed with an automatic transmission is now rated at 183 ft.-lb. of torque - that is up from the 170 ft.-lb. the manual transmission Abarth's have. Horsepower is 157, just down slightly from the 160 hp in manual cars.
The automatic transmission equipped Fiat 500 Abarth is rated by the EPA to get 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway for a combined average of 27 mpg. This is down slightly from the manual transmission Abarth's 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined average figures.
Fans of the Fiat 500T Turbo will be happy to know that the 500T will also receive the same reinforced heavy duty automatic transmission option, just calibrated differently. Look to see 2015 Fiat 500 models in Fiat Studios later this summer.
Fiat 500 Abarth AW6F25 Transmission SpecificationsSix-Speed Automatic, Electronically
Controlled, Fully Adaptive, Electronically
Modulated Torque Converter
Final-drive Ratio 3.50
Overall Top Gear 2.35
Estimated EPA Fuel Economy mpg:
24 / 32/ 27 with six-speed automatic transmission
Fiat 500 Abarth C510 Performance FIVE-SPEED ManualAvailability Standard on Fiat 500 Abarth and Fiat 500T
Description: 1st, 2nd gear: Double Cone
3rd, 4th, 5th, gear: Single Cone
Final-drive Ratio 3.353
Estimated EPA Fuel Economy mpg:
28 / 34 / 31 with five-speed manual
9-22: updated story with specific 500 Turbo information