High-performance Fiat Shows Notable Jump in Torque
Production has begun for the U.S. 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth (and Abarth drop-top) with the new six-speed automatic transmission, which will provide drivers with the convenience of clutch-free operation and the performance of a hi-po Fiat. In fact, it might be providing a bit more power than the manual version: Fiat indicates outputs of 157 hp and 183 lb.-ft. of torque for the automatically transmissioned 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth, while last year's model with a DIY-only transmission made 160 hp and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. It's a minor difference in horsepower, but a non-negligible increase in torque of more than 7.6 percent.
Of course, it's possible the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth will get the same new ratings with a manual transmission, but it's not necessarily a given. Nor did Fiat give any indication of pricing or fuel-economy marks for the 2015 edition, although using the 2014 model provides benchmarks of $22,195 and 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway/30 mpg combined. However, the brand did remind folks that the entire 2015 Fiat 500 lineup will get a fairly deep interior refreshing for the next selling season, highlighted by a redesigned instrument panel and 7-inch HD color display.
The party line from Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC: “Accessible performance has always been a hallmark of the Abarth name. Now, with the addition of an optional automatic transmission, an entirely new group of customers will be able to experience the thrill of driving the Fiat 500 Abarth lineup. Fiat 500 Abarth sales increased more than 16 percent during this year, and we expect this sales success to continue with the launch of this new automatic transmission.”
(Note: The 2015 Fiat 500 Turbo and Turbo Cabrio, providing mid-range performance between the entry-level and Abarth models, also will introduce an automatic transmission for the first time this year and have begun production as well.)