By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com
For 2015 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio brings a world class performance, aggressive styling, high power to weight ratio and limited production volume to the small-car segment in North America. The small but wicked Abarth models provide one of the most visceral driving experiences, inspired by the racing traditions that made Abarth a success on international racetracks.
The aggressive styling of the Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio embody the Abarth brand tradition in full purposeful and intentional details, all designed to improve the car’s performance while enhancing the clean and simple design language of the Cinquecento.
To improve aerodynamics and the necessary engine compartment space for the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, the Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio feature a more pronounced front fascia. For additional air intake, the signature Abarth shield floats on a finned surface, and a larger intake below consists of three inlets with broader openings than the standard Cinquecento models. For a more aggressive look, twin nostrils are precisely positioned on the front fascia to maximize airflow in and out of the two engine intercoolers.
From the rear, an aggressively styled Abarth-specific cloth-top-mounted spoiler extends the roofline and improves the Abarth Cabrio’s aerodynamic behavior by creating additional downforce. Below, the two-piece Abarth-styled rear fascia accentuates the road-holding stance and optimizes airflow with its rear diffuser.
For access to the trunk, premium parallelogram liftgate hinges conveniently position the liftgate out of the way, while the power-operated cloth-top automatically retracts back to the rear-spoiler position to avoid any obstruction. In addition to it’s cleverly designed multi-position power-retractable cloth-top, the Fiat 500c Abarth’s fully stamped body side silhouette retains the iconic Cinquecento form while delivering added structural rigidity.
The 2015 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio feature an advanced instrument panel with a 7-inch TFT cluster display that allows drivers to easily monitor data like g-forces, speed, fuel level and trip information. When the vehicle is in Sport mode, the TFT display becomes more aggressive in appearance, complementing the Sport mode’s more engaged driving experience.
The center console has been redesigned to make it more useful for drivers. The revamped console includes a new cup holder design and an additional, conveniently located USB port that is fully functional and integrated with the radio. Abarth models also include Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to the already standard Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Under the hood, the 2015 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio is powered by the track-proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine for up to 160 horsepower, 183 ft.-lb. of torque and 0-to-60 mph performance in the low 7 second range.
In addition a Sport calibration mode delivers a more engaging drive. Should the driver select Sport mode on the instrument panel, the Abarth-tuned PCM unleashes the full power of the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo with linear throttle response and a more precise steering feel.
For 2015, the Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio is available with an optional six-speed automatic transmission, helping to broaden the customer base for the high-performance version of the Fiat 500.
To ensure the 2015 Fiat 500c Abarth Cabrio remains true to its high-performance and track-ready heritage, the six-speed automatic transmission has been reinforced with more clutch plates and a more robust heat treatment to allow for higher torque capability. The Sport mode calibration allows for an even more engaged driving experience with special features, such as fuel-cut upshifts, rev-matching downshifts, brake-assist downshifts, corner gear hold and fast-off gear hold, as well as a more aggressive pedal map.
When it was launched two years ago, the Fiat 500 Turbo hit the sweet spot between the regular Fiat 500 and the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth, the availability of the automatic transmission now makes this sweet spot even sweeter, by expanding the Turbo’s appeal, particularly among young buyers who can now buy one of the most affordable turbocharged cars in the market with the convenience of an automatic transmission.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $26,395.00, the one I drove included the Customer Preferred Package 2FX, Comfort and Convenience Group, Premium Leather Trimmed Bucket Seats, Heavy Duty 6-Speed Automatic transmission, Black Trimmed Lights, Red Mirror Cap with Body Side Stripe, TomTom Navigation Unit with Blue & Me, and 17 Inch x by 7 Inch Forge Aluminum Hyper Black Wheels, and it came in at $34,095.00 including destination charge. The EPA fuel economy estimates 24 MPG City and 32 MPG Highway.