Since it re-launched here in the U.S., Fiat has done little to excite me, save for its 500 Abarth. Though it is not overly powerful or insanely fast, there is just something about that tiny car that feels faster than it really is that gets my blood pumping. Lately, however, the addition of the Fiat 124 Spider and now a new report of a potential Abarth-tuned 500X have led me to pay a lot more attention to the small, Italian automaker.
You read that right, according to a report from Automotive News Europe, Abarth’s head of marketing, Fabrizio Simoni, is hoping to offer a hopped-up version of the subcompact crossover. Unfortunately, the details surrounding this model are under wraps, but that doesn’t mean my imagination can’t run wild here.
Like all Abarth-touched models, you can expect the usual bits, including upgraded wheels with sticky rubber, larger brakes, a tighter suspension, a body kit, some decals to set it apart, and the famed scorpion badges. Inside, look for contrasting colors and stitching to make it stand out, and possibly a sportier steering wheel and seats.
Lest we forget the most obvious part of the Abarth touch: an upgraded powerplant. Rumor has it, and logic points toward, the 500X using the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder powerplant as the reported 124 Spider Abarth. This engine is rumored to crank out 200 horsepower in the roadster, but I suspect the 500X will see a few more ponies given the most-potent engine in the 500X, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, already pumps out 180 horsepower.
For now, the 500X Abarth remains unconfirmed for production, but Automotive News is about as reliable as they get. Plus, the fact that this report comes straight from the mouth of a Fiat executive adds even more credence to it.
Once more concrete details roll out, we’ll let you know, but until then, keep it locked here for all of the latest.