Fiat 500 Abarth to be unveiled next month

November 1, 2011 12:00 AM

The performance version of the subcompact Fiat 500 will be officially unveiled at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show on November 16th, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Known as the 500 Abarth, the new trim level for the small car is expected to boost performance up to 160 horsepower and offer drivers a sleek racing-inspired exterior and interior.

The vehicle gets its name from Karl Abarth, and Austrian auto designer who was known for his performance systems. The Abarth version of the 500 will include a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder engine, upgraded brakes and a completely retuned suspension. Chrysler and Fiat dealers are hoping that it will expand the 500's audience beyond J-Lo fans (the car features in her new music video) and those who think the car is "cute."

"It generates a little bit of a different customer base than the Fiat 500 because it is a sporty rocketship of a car," Carl Galeana, who owns a Fiat dealership, told the news source.

After its debut next month, the Abarth is expected to go on sale by June 2012. A price has not yet been announced, but it will likely cost thousands more than the 500's $15,500 sticker.

Drivers who purchase a new vehicle like the 500 Abarth should keep in mind that they will need to keep up with their auto maintenance, such as oil changes, to ensure their car stays on the road.

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