As you will note - with a mouthful of the omelet generously furnished by the Fiat Experience organizers that you will later determine was a poor choice prior to autocrossing in the sweltering noonday sun - the 2012 FIAT 500 Abarth marks the return of a lineage previously thought extinct in the US. Though your own personal knowledge of Karl Albert Abarth might be extensive, your memory will be jogged by the short introductory video they will play before letting your greasy little hands near the gearshift. It is meant to instill a renewed respect for the vehicle you now own, as well as provide a brief crash course (we’re incorrigible) on the history of the Scorpion badge. If, like us, you’re already pretty well up to speed on Abarth history, the video will at least give you a metric by which to measure the vehicle. It was intended, so the somber video intones, as a phoenix from which Abarth might emerge from dormancy in the states – which is a pretty tall order to fill given Fiat’s professional associations.
They have, by all accounts, succeeded.