THE Abarth 500C is one of the quickest citycars, a convertible with an automatic gearbox and performance and technology that should be taken seriously.
A 1.4-litre T-Jet turbocharged engine powers this distinctly nippy 500C. It’s the same one that’s found in the hard-top Abarth 500 but with an extra 5bhp wrung out of it to take the maximum power output to 140bhp at an accessible 5,000rpm. A Sport button on the dash can be pressed to modify the engine software and turbo for quicker responses and with Sport mode engaged, maximum torque is 206Nm at 2,000rpm.
It’s enough to get this 500C through 62mph in 8.1s and on to a 128mph top speed which will feel all the quicker in such a compact vehicle.
Sharing top billing with the engine in the Abarth 500C is Fiat’s standard fit Competizione gearbox. It’s a five-speed unit with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel and no conventional gearstick. Instead, buttons on the centre console allow drivers to select neutral, reverse or first gear and to switch between manual and automatic modes.
Work had to be done just to get the 1.4-litre T-Jet engine to fit inside the engine bay which means the beefed-up nose and yawning intakes of a hot hatchback are born out of engineering rather than cosmetic necessity. The mesh-covered cutaways in the bumper provide vital cooling to the engine.
With the specifications, it’s never going to be cheap but the far-reaching modifications made to the Fiat 500C to produce this Abarth version should represent value for money in the eyes of enough people to make it a success.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Abarth 500C (pictured)
PRICE: £16,856 - on the road
INSURANCE GROUP: 27
CO2 EMISSIONS: 151g/km
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph 8.1s / Max Speed 128mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 43.4mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Seven airbags, ABS, ESP
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Heightmm 3550/1627/1488mm