The Fiat 500 Abarth is back for 2014 with new colors, new wheels and a more comfortable passenger seat design. The 500C cabrio was new with Abarth trim in Spring of 2013, and is expected to be the volume leader for 2014 with almost no performance or interior room downsides versus the coupe.
These cute Fiat 500 twins are looking just as fresh and intimidating as always versus the hum-drum base-engine 500 models, and the rest of the econo-car hatchback market in the U.S. These are two cars for people who have chosen the ultra-nimble hot hatchback route, plus they offer up both driving thrills and the feeling of driving a classic Italian racing brand.
While the regular 500 undercuts the Mini Cooper significantly on price, the $6,000 Abarth premium makes life more challenging versus the hottest Mini performance cars. Even so, the Mini ’s dated styling means the trendiest shoppers have long since moved on to something more current.
The 500 Abarth also undercuts the equivalent Mini Cooper S engine on price, but moves this tiny machine past $26,000 for the Abarth 500C - which is uncomfortably close to the Subaru BRZ and other performance cars.
The arrival of the American-spec Ford Fiesta ST certainly complicates the theoretical comparison test for these performance supermini’s.
Logic is typically not the most critical factor in this realm of the new car segment, and the 500 Abarth nails the less-concrete buying criteria like passion, brand image and performance zest.
Click past the jump for the full review of the Fiat 500 Abarth and the new 500C Abarth, with all the updates on the new features and changes for 2014.
Updated 11/7/2013: TopSpeed’s Phillipe Daix got his hands on a 500 Abarth this week and put together a short drive video of the peppy city car. Check out the video after the jump.