August 31, 2015,
Auburn Hills, Mich.
The Fiat 500 Abarth brought 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 in the industry, inspired by the racing traditions that made Abarth a success on international racetracks.
For 2016, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio models feature the Uconnect 5.0 system with a 5-inch touchscreen that enables handsfree calling via Bluetooth-equipped phones, as well as voice-command control of AM/FM, and optional SiriusXM Radio and navigation system. Digital music can be streamed wirelessly from compatible Bluetooth smartphones or audio players supported by a media hub equipped with an auxiliary jack and USB port that enables recharging and seamless operation of portable devices. An integrated CD player offers additional media flexibility.
New exterior paint colors for 2016 are Grigio Cenre (light gray), Rhino (dark gray), Celeste Blue (light blue) and Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Pearl Yellow). Additional exterior customization is available with new-for-2016 wheel options.
Open-air freedom with an intelligent power cloth-top and rigid structural design
With the Fiat 500 Abarth’s high-performance DNA intact, the 2016 Fiat 500c Abarth delivers the same track-proven attributes that have made the hatchback model a success on European and North American roadways and racetracks, but now brings even more fresh air and the unmistakable Abarth-tuned exhaust note into the cabin.
With just the push of a button, the Fiat 500c Abarth’s power-operated cloth-top retracts up to the rear spoiler during speeds up to a best-in-class 60 mph (a midway point can be chosen by pressing the button anytime in between). Press the roof button again, and the roof will fold all the way open and tuck neatly behind the rear head restraints (up to 50 mph).
For access to the Fiat 500c Abarth’s 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 its 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.
“Abarth treatment” and tradition continue to deliver extraordinary results
In the late 1950s, Karl Abarth believed that race cars with brilliant performance could be derived from small, lightweight, everyday driving cars, including the original Cinquecento (500). And his tradition of track-ready small cars continues today with the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio.
Staying faithful to the performance principles that made the Abarth name a success, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio embody the brand’s motorsport traditions:
1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine with 117 horsepower per liter
- Everyday performance car
- Track-ready capability, high horsepower-per-liter engine, combined with the quality, efficiency and refinement expected in a world-class small car
- Benchmark levels of performance, track-proven reliability and durability
- Purposeful and functional performance design, Abarth-tuned powertrain control module (PCM) and performance-tuned exhaust with menacing sound
- State-of-the-art powertrain and chassis technology once limited to premium-priced performance cars
- Racing heritage
- More than 60 years of performance and competition tuning, including active international series races today
The 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature the track-proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine for up to 160 horsepower, 183 lb.-ft. of torque and 0-to-60 mph performance in the low 7-second range.
Compared with the naturally aspirated 1.4-liter MultiAir engine, the boost in horsepower on the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio is largely due to its single turbocharger that operates off engine exhaust and utilizes energy that would normally be wasted through the tailpipe. The turbocharger spins up to 230,000 rpm to convert exhaust heat and pressure to a rotational force that drives a compressor. The compressor draws cool air and pumps it into the intake manifold at increased pressure that results in a greater amount of air in the cylinder and, hence, more power.
The 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo’s induction system includes two intercoolers located behind the driver and passenger side air inlets of the Abarth-styled front fascia. The intercoolers are designed to remove heat in the air charge that the turbocharger generates while compressing incoming air (higher air density for more power). Reducing heat provides a cooler, denser air charge that helps increase the potential for more power.
Other high-performance engine component upgrades include an Abarth-designed fresh-air intake system with high-flow air filter and smooth-flowing plumbing for maximum power. And to make sure the engine is operating with minimal exhaust restriction, an Abarth-designed concentric “double-tip” dual-exhaust system delivers a high-performance look with menacing Abarth-tuned sound.
Optional automatic transmission allows more customers to enjoy track-ready Abarth
The 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio are 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 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio remain true to their 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.
The 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio come standard with a track-proven five-speed manual transmission.
The standard five-speed manual transmission is mated to the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine for 160 horsepower and up to 170 lb.-ft. of torque. The optional six-speed automatic transmission is also paired with the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, delivering 157 horsepower and up to 183 lb.-ft. of torque.
Track-ready performance components
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio are designed, engineered and tested to deliver the high-performance driving and enduring capabilities needed for track use.
Like the Fiat 500 hatchback, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature an enhanced front and rear suspension design to deliver the precision handling, steering and refinement needed for high-performance driving. Compared to the Fiat 500, the Abarth models features a unique MacPherson suspension design with stiffer front spring rates and 0.6-inch (15 mm) lower ride height for improved handling and minimal body roll. Abarth-designed cast-iron front lower control arms provide improved lateral stiffness, while an increase in negative camber to -1.5 degrees delivers improved grip and steering precision. In addition, dual-valve frequency selective damping (FSD) Koni twin-tube struts deliver road control and maximum grip while actively filtering out high-frequency suspension inputs from uneven road surfaces to adjust for comfort and smoothness.
The beefier rear suspension design of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio takes the Cinquecento model’s (already 300 percent stiffer than the European Fiat 500) twist-beam design further, with a torsionally rigid rear axle designed with strengthened coil-spring supports for greater durability. A 22 mm Abarth-specific solid rear stabilizer bar increases cornering grip. For improved handling, minimal body roll and ride-height control (when fully loaded), the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature stiffer rear springs with 0.6-inch (15 mm) lower ride.
Delivering 10 percent quicker steering, enhanced responsiveness, maneuverability and high-performance feel, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio features a 15.1:1 (up from 16.3:1) steering-gear ratio. Compared to the standard Cinquecento models, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a uniquely tuned electronic power steering (EPS) calibration for increased steering response and feedback. In addition, a road-crown and crosswind algorithm automatically compensates for temporary situations where there is a constant push of the car to one side or another, assisting the driver against such conditions.
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a high-performance brake system with semi-metallic brake linings at all four corners and larger 11.1-inch ventilated rotors for greater stopping power (up from 10.1-inch). Both front and rear brake calipers are lacquered in Rosso (red) paint for an athletic look. An Abarth-tuned electronic stability control system (ESC) features three calibration modes to maximize handling capabilities on and off the track. When ESC is selected from “On” to “Partial Off” or “Full Off” on the instrument panel, the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio’s innovative torque transfer control (TTC) system maximizes throttle performance during on-throttle cornering.
Standard on the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio are 16 x 6.5-inch cast-aluminum wheels with 195/45 R16 Pirelli Cinturato P7 tires that deliver all-season traction and low-noise characteristics. For even more performance, larger and wider 17 x 7-inch forged-aluminum wheels keep this Cinquecento lightweight at each corner and feature high-performance three-season Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires with a 205/40 R17 size for a wider stance and reduced profile for improved handling.
Exterior and interior design enhancements added only for performance gain
The aggressive styling of the Fiat 500 Abarth and 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 500 Abarth and 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 (both intercoolers are visible through the “nostril” inlets).
Abarth-designed side sills give an athletic profile, while 16-inch or optional 17-inch lightweight forged-aluminum wheels fill the flared wheel arches and provide ventilation for the performance brake system.
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.
The interior design theme of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio is an artistic blend of clean and functional performance appointments. An Abarth-designed steering wheel features a thick rim, perforated leather and flat bottom to provide the look, feel and increased roominess desired during at-the-limit driving.
The 7-inch high-definition color TFT (thin-film transistor) cluster display sits behind the steering wheel and features a leather-wrapped cluster brow wrapped in Nero leather with Rosso accent stitching. The cluster display allows drivers to easily monitor data like g-forces, speed, fuel level and trip information. When the vehicle is in Sport mode, the TFT cluster display becomes more aggressive in appearance, complementing the Sport mode’s more engaged driving experience. Below the instrument panel, Abarth-designed aluminum pedal covers feature Nero rubber trim for a decidedly racing look, while the Nero leather shift knob with Rosso accent stitching provides a precise feel of the shifter.
Unique Abarth-styled front performance seats feature a one-piece design with large side bolsters, a racing-harness pass through, accent stitching around the perimeter and integrated side-thorax air bags.
Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature innovative technologies
Abarth-tuned Sport mode
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature a Sport mode calibration for more engaging driving. 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. When Sport mode is not engaged on an Abarth model equipped with the manual transmission, the Abarth returns to Normal mode and limits the torque in first and second gears to enhance fuel efficiency and minimize CO2
Abarth shift light with turbo-boost gauge
An additional benefit of the Abarth-tuned PCM is the turbo-boost gauge mounted left of the instrument cluster. Should the driver choose to switch to Sport mode in a Fiat 500 Abarth, the boost gauge illuminates “Sport” to alert drivers that they’ve chosen to drive in Sport mode and an up-shift light integrated in the TFT cluster will alert the driver when engine speed is approaching the redline – giving the immediate feedback needed on the track or during high performance driving.
Beats by Dr. Dre
Beats by Dr. Dre audio system offers passengers of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio models a high-definition music experience the way the artist intended. The BeatsAudio studio-quality sound system includes six premium speakers, an 8-inch dual-voice coil (DVC) subwoofer with trunk-mounted enclosure and 8-channel 368-watt amplifier with BeatsAudio digital sound processing (DSP) algorithm.
More than 35 safety and security features, including Abarth-tuned electronic stability control (ESC)
State-of-the-art connectivity and more than 35 safety and security features keep passengers of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio connected, comfortable and secure.
The Fiat 500 Abarth and Abarth Cabrio feature seven standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger advanced multistage air bags, driver’s knee air bag, full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, offering enhanced protection to all occupants in the event of a collision.
In addition, a unique three-mode ESC system is standard for improved braking performance in wet or panic conditions. The Abarth-tuned ESC system features a three-mode calibration, including “ESC On” to “ESC Partial Off” and enthusiast-desired “ESC Full Off.”