The ‘small but terrible’ term has been thrown around over the course of history way too many times. Sometimes, the description is justified, but more often than not, it veers towards hype and exaggeration.

In the auto industry, very few cars can lay claim to this title, but if there was one that truly personifies it, it is without question Abarth. The miniscule muscle car, which is owned by Fiat Automobiles SpA, was re-launched in Europe back in 2007 after almost 2 decades in hibernation, and with the merger between Fiat and Chrysler, there’s that possibility that Abarth could be headed to American soil in the foreseeable future.

It’s safe to say that apart from racing aficionados, not a lot of Americans are familiar with the Abarth brand so a brief history lesson might be in order.

Back in the 60’s, Abarth made a name for itself in hill climbing and sports car racing – competing against two of most legendary sports racing vehicles in history, the Ferrari Dino and the Porshce 904. Apart from their affiliations in auto racing, Abarth also produced compact yet powerful sports cars with the likes of Porsche and Simca. These cars, borne from the tradition of innovation, power and adrenaline, made Abarth a hot item in the 70’s and 80’s.

Continued after the jump.

Continued

But for one reason or another, the brand faded into anonymity in the 90’s and barely a whisper was made out of it until Fiat Automobiles SpA relaunched the brand in 2007 with the release of the Fiat Punto Abarth and the Fiat Grande Punto Abarth S2000 – two cars that should never be mistaken for weak just because they’re small.

Abarth’s entry in the US market is by no means finalized yet, but with the merger between Chrysler and FIAT in the books; don’t be surprised to see a small, scorpion- emblazoned vehicle terrorizing the streets of America.

That’s Abarth and should FIAT end up bringing the car across the Atlantic, muscle-car and sports car fanatics in the US better get used to seeing this ‘small but terrible’ vehicle out on the loose.

Source: Abarth

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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