Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal
Sadly for many of us who are car fanatics, as of September 2019, Italian brand FIAT discontinued production of the current-generation Fiat 500 and 500e in the United States. Unfortunately, Fiat 500 fans won’t be able to buy these models anymore in the US once the current inventory will be sold out.
Perhaps after a few years the 500 and 500e will become very rare and precious classic cars to own as there won’t be more production of these 2 models in the US. The current inventory left of the Fiat 500 and 500e will continue to be sold now during 2020, so this is your last chance to own a brand new Fiat 500 in the US.
FIAT will continue offering the new compact fun Italian-designed Fiat 500X all-wheel-drive compact crossover, the Fiat 124 Spider roadster, and the five-passenger Fiat 500L utility vehicle.
The Fiat 500
The new FIAT 500 model is a very appealing car with a very unique retro style. The 500 has received its cute exterior shape and style with inspiration based in the spirit of the original Fiat model during the 50s, during the last century.
The Fiat 500 Abarth was added to U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 list of ‘Fastest Cars for the Money. The FIAT 500 Abarth is very fast, it has been crafted with an aerodynamic shape that slices the wind. The 500 twin intakes makes the Abarth faster. It optimizes clutch operation for responsive driving.
The new 500 Abarth model is based on an Italian racing car founded by Italo-Austrian Karlo Abarth during the 50s. The Abarth logo is a shield with a stylized scorpion on a yellow and red background. The 500 is called in Italian: Cinquecento.
Austrian motorcycle and car designer, Karl Abarth became a big name in mechanics and automobile design first with his unique motorbike designs. After several racing feats, he eventually moved to Italy and continued his success by working on automobiles with his own personal touch. His influence and success grew up so much that his last name, Abarth, became a synonym for “upgrade”. Eventually, he started a partnership with FIAT cars, creating one of their signature vehicles, the famous classic FIAT 500 in 1959.
Back in 1959 the FIAT 500 became the cool car for young people and speed lovers. Small, but very fast, the Abarth has become legendary around the world and on the track. Its design for speed and handling makes it the perfect vehicle for those looking for a fun sports fast car. Karl Abarth had a mission, “Go faster than yesterday. Win more”.
The new 500 C Cabrio
About 50 years later, Fiat decided to re-make a new 500, with a convertible top retro style. The removable convertible roof made of soft material gives the 500 a fun and retro look.
Presented in spring 2009 at the Geneva motor show, the FIAT 500 C is a new fun car, similar to the Fiat 500 original model.
Priced around $22K, the FIAT Abarth 500C Cabrio has a good level of vehicle safety and a good efficient level of fuel economy around 27 MPG.
The Fiat 500C can be described as a compact convenient and functional convertible. Its small size makes this small car perfect for congested cities or for areas with limited parking space. Compact, fun and especially very fast.
The 500 has a unique original look, some competitor cars with a similar size or look are the Mini Cooper, Hyundai Veloster, and maybe the Ford Fiesta.
The Abarth 500 C is a great car for the money
The FIAT Abarth 500C is a very interesting remake of the original Fiat 500 and Abarth models. The soft black convertible top gives the 500 a very beautiful and unique retro style that anybody would like. The 500 is so cute and appealing, most people can’t stop looking at its beautiful exterior shape. The interior is small, very compact, ideal for those who don’t need much space and want a company and easy to maneuver car. The trunk is also small, so it is not ideal for big families, or people in need of large cargo space. Because of its compact size, it is super easy to park and to fit on any parking space, easy to ride, and ideal if you live or visit a large city center.
Average 160 horsepower is very good for such a compact car, it can be fast and loud on the road.
The 500 is definitely worth trying it, but if you like compact cars be careful because you may fall in love with its original shape and design.
In terms of pricing, starting around $22,000 is a great price for a cute Cabrio convertible, and its fuel economy is also good with an average of 27 MPG. It will be difficult to find another stylish convertible with a similar price.
The FIAT Abarth 500C Cabrio that I am testing is priced around 29K including optional equipment. The base MSRP for the 500C is around 22K. A convenient price for a very cute and original car like the 500.
|2018 Fiat Abarth 500C Cabrio||Starting at $21,990|
|2019 Fiat Abarth 500C Cabrio||Starting at $22,240|
The Fiat 500 Abarth can surprise you. It comes with track-capable performance. This compact fun car includes the track-tested, turbocharged and twin-intercooled 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, which provides 160 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque when mated to a proven five-speed manual transmission, and 157 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque when combined with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 500 Abarth’s MultiAir Turbo engine component upgrades include an Abarth-designed fresh-air intake system with high-flow air filter and smooth-flowing plumbing for maximum power, for better performance and minimal exhaust restriction.
The Abarth-designed concentric “double-tip” dual-exhaust delivers a high-performance look with menacing Abarth-tuned loud sound.
The Abarth-tuned performance hardware provides a great ride and track-ready durability with a lowered ride height, beefier suspension, larger brakes and wider tires, ready to run.
A folding top is an important detail of any convertible car. In the Fiat 500C model, it features an improved opening-closing mechanism with an electric drive.
Thanks to the original roof folding system as a parallelogram, the trunk remains spacious and access to it is not difficult even with an open top.
The Fiat 500 comes standard with the Uconnect 5.0 touchscreen and 5-inch touchscreen radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and integrated voice command
The FIAT Abarth 500C interior decorated also corresponds to sports stylistic, the three-spoke steering wheel beveled at the base, armchairs with developed lateral support, and in the modification with “mechanics” the picture is complemented by a chrome-plated knob of the gearbox.
All trim sets are full of features and include 7 airbags, automatic climate control, and parking sensors.
Functional & Safety Features
The FIAT Abarth 500C compact convertible includes 7 standard front and side airbags.
The FIAT Abarth 500C is very small and low-priced but it includes several safety and high-tech features. The Fiat 500C is a very good option compared to similar cars on the same segment.
FIAT Abarth 500C
Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)
6-speed automatic or 5-speed manual
1.4L 16-valve 4 cylinder MultiAir
Horsepower with manual transmission
160 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque with manual transmission
170 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Fuel economy MPG
Combined Estimated MPG
24 city / 32 HWY
FIAT Motors History
In 2013, FIAT was named the second-largest carmaker in Europe and the seventh in the world. The company produces cars under the brands Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Ram Trucks, and SRT. The brand is the market leader in Brazil, where the second-largest plant is located after Italy.
The car manufacturer FIAT was created in Italy in 1899. FIAT in Italian means Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino. The company Fiat Automobiles S.P.A. is the largest car producer in Italy, it is a subsidiary of FCA Italy S.P.A., and since a few years ago it is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Fiat has about 100 years of history in the US. In 1908, the Fiat Automobile company established an assembly plant in the U.S., to start producing FIAT in the U.S. a year later, starting production with the Fiat 60 HP and the Fiat 16-20 HP. However, the factory was shut down when the United States entered World War I in 1917. These first American Fiat cars were created long before Chrysler, which was formed later in 1925.
Then about 35 years later Fiat returned to North America in the 1950s, selling the original Fiat 500, Fiat 600 Multipla, Fiat 1100, Fiat 1200, and Fiat 1300. But at that time the sales were not as high as expected by Fiat and the company left the U.S. market again.
Fiat returned to the U.S. in January 2009, the Fiat Group acquired a 20% part of the US automaker Chrysler LLC. After this merge with Chrisler, the first Fiat brand model that appeared in the United States was the internationally popular Fiat 500, worshiped and blessed throughout the world. Thanks to the Fiat-Chrysler merge, we are able to enjoy many nice Italian cars in the US.