Fiat is at it yet again. Just a few weeks ago, we complained about the fact that Fiat keeps on reusing the “500” name in the U.S., and once again we are apparently in for more 500s. Just like government documents spoiled the surprise that Fiat’s subsidiary company, Chrysler, was planning a revival of the Barracuda nameplate, government documents are now spoiling the fun for Fiat itself.
Documents leaked from the NHTSA and CARB are showing two models under the 500 umbrella that currently do not exist. One of those vehicles is the 500T, and “T” in this instance obviously means turbocharged. The other, and less newsworthy, is a 500 Abarth Convertible.
For those that know Fiats, you are likely wondering what’s going on, as there is already a turbocharged 500, it’s the 500 Abarth, which has a 160-horsepower Multi-Air 1.4-liter engine. What all of us experts – or so we like to call ourselves – agree upon is that this new 500T will likely feature a slightly detuned version of the Abarth’s 1.4-liter engine, ranging somewhere in the 130 to 140 horsepower range.
What Fiat would be doing with this is trying to target buyers that want a higher performance 500, but don’t want to fork out the $22,000 that it costs to get into an Abarth. If the 500T hits 130 horsepower, that would be 29 horsepower greater than the standard engine and likely enough to satisfy the hunger for a little more performance.
Using reasonable estimations, we would assume that the Fiat 500T would have an MSRP in the $20,000 range, as to keep it less than the Abarth, but slightly more than the 500 Lounge (the top trim level before the Abarth). That would position it just under the base MINI Cooper ($20,200) and well below the MINI Cooper S ($23,800).
Given these two models pan out, and the 500X that Fiat teased us with earlier comes to be, this would put the 500 at a whopping seven models. It’s starting to get a little ridiculous, Fiat.