Interested in a more powerful Fiat 500, but turned off by the harsher ride offered by the sporty Abarth model? Fiat will be bringing a turbocharged edition of the subcompact hatchback to the United States in 2013, a vehicle that will provide a mid-point in terms of power between the current entry-level model and the top-tier Abarth.
The Fiat 500 Turbo is destined to receive a 135 horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged Multiair four-cylinder engine that will be matched with a five-speed manual transmission. Also capable of generating 150 lb-ft of torque, the 500 Turbo offers a 25 horse upgrade over the base 500's 110 ponies, as well as a more significant 52 lb-ft increase in twist. Abarth sales are unlikely to suffer, as the 500 Turbo is still down 25 horsepower and 20 lb-ft of torque from the sporty hatch. Fuel efficiency is advertised as 6.7 L/100 km on the highway, with a city rating currently unavailable.
What other goodies are packaged with the Fiat 500 Turbo in order to justify its higher asking price? The 500 Turbo features a Beats by Dr. Dre stereo system (currently available in the Chrysler 300), spiced-up exterior styling, a stiffer suspension system borrowed from the 500 Sport, and larger brakes than the base model. Beefier equal-length half-shafts help to fight against torque steer, which is certainly not a concern with the naturally-aspirated Fiat 500, and a new steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, and two new colours also make an appearance with the model.