Fiat 500 Abarth SS Gives Mini Cooper S Italian Job

Fiat_500_Abarth_SS Based on the already appealing Fiat 500 Abarth. The Essesse (Italian for "SS") tweaks that car’s ECU to boost the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from 135 to 160 HP. Torque is up to 170 Lb-Ft. Also upgraded are the suspension, brakes and wheels, which are stiffer, bigger and better looking.

This is a lot of power for a 2,282-pund FWD car. Keeping it from tearing your arms off under acceleration is a Torque Transfer Control system that mimics a Limited Slip Differential in its ability to keep the little Fiat pointed in a straight line.

The Essesse can hit 62 MPH in 7.4 seconds, continuing to a top speed of 131 MPH. it’s also capable of returning MPGs in the mid 30s. The sportier model carries a $3,500 premium over the regular Abarth.

Fiat_500_Abarth_SS_02 Fiat_500_Abarth_SS_03

Since we’re already big fans of the Mini Cooper S and the Fiat 500, we look forward to finding out what it’s like to combine the speed of the former with the diminutive size of the latter. But we’ll leave the Mini-esque roof checks and keep the 500’s simple good looks if we ever get the chance to buy one on this side of the Atlantic.

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