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Old 2nd October 2013, 17:53   #1
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Default Fiat 500 Abarth - Quick Review & Drive at Florence, Italy

Abarth Punto is a highly anticipated performance car for Indian market and surely there will be more takers than ones in Italy.

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Since I am contemplating to purchase either a Wrangler (if finance permits) or the Punto Abarth, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to quickly TD the car and have plenty of time to think over my anticipating decision.

Unfortunately, the Punto Abarth Supersports was unavailable for TD though the salesperson at Brandini Florence tried their best. They could arrange the 500 Abarth for a TD.
This is a very quick review since I did not have time to have an elaborated photoshoot session, so please bear with the pic quality and not so good coverage. I will share a short video of the TD.

The 500 Abarth has 90% same shape as the Fiat 500, the Abarth has a slight hump in front bonnet to accommodate the Abarth tuned engine and other components. Back in Italy the car is available in weird colors similar to Enfield Bullet's sand storm.

The car I drove was
Abarth Zerocento 1.4 T-Jet
Power - 160 bhp @5500 rpm
Torque - 230 Nm @ 2500 rpm

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Max my 17mm could cover.
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Rear is same as the Fiat sibling.

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The interior is roomy but rear is cramped following Fiat's tradition. I do not have rear room picture.

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Meaty 16 inchers (195/45 R16)

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Expensive alloys to drool for.

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I hunted a lot for this emblem but could not get any.

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The real difference is witnessed once you get behind the wheels. Once you press the gas, the car will NOT surprise you with the conventional T-Jet Turbo kick. Rather it feels linear, and the car touches 100 in no time.

The character of this car is very similar to the Palio 1.6 sports.

Here is a short video of my TD. Please ignore the slightly error proned talks taking place between the salesperson and me ;-) ..

The car has intoxicating exhaust note after 1500++ rpm. I must say it is highly anti-social sound and quite deafening. Very easy to grab attention on road and show-off, something which I would hate to do.

Till date I used to drool over my Linea's steering but not anymore after driving this 500. The steering was slightly free than my Linea, thicker to hold but with excellent grip and worked like a laser point and shoot. You turn the car in any circle, any corner at any speed, believe me nothing will scare you.
I did not drive anything of this sort before in my life before (until I drove the Ferrari F430).
Add up the linear pick up, amazing steering grip, and pin point handling, this car is second to none what we have in India.

Here are some more pictures which I took in a hurry.

The never-leave-me steering wheel.

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Gear lever and instrument console

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The front dash. I somehow did not understand the material it was made of. From far it looked like cheap plastic, but once you touch it was something totally different. Zerocento gets body colored dash.

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Dual outlet exhaust.

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Here is the interior of 595 competizione

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The backrest adjustment lever. Funky enough.

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Apart from this I had a chance to have a look into Punto 500 Supersports. Please allow me to talk about this car's looks.

It is the 2-door Abarth Punto with a long front door.
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Once you enter the car, there is a heavy luxurious feel due to the long door which gives a lot of room to enter. The seats will automatically hug you like a pram. The interior is pitch black which gives a highly sporty feel.

Plastic quality was notch better than Merc C Class. The interior quality is such that sometime you feel like licking the dashboard. I hate Fiat for such a sub-standard quality they have for us.

O.T. It was in Italy that I sat in the C Class car for the first time and no offense to the owners, I could not understand what is special in the C Class interiors to drool about.

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The speedo console. I could not use flash for some reason.

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Front with smoked headlamp.

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Heavy and filled rear

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The emblem which I need at any cost

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Front grill

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Supersport badge
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Apart from Abarth I took some record shot of 500L and wrangler.

I personally did not like the 500L looks at all. The size of this car is in Ertiga territory.

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Wrangler interior. The car was plagued with uneven panel gaps.
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My verdict about Abarth is, given the impression Fiat have in India and the car does not look highly distinct on Paper (the 500), Fiat may face tough time sell it.
The Punto supersports is a sensible car, but it has a tag of 22k+ euro in Italy. With Punto supersports, the car can only sell if Fiat gets foot-in to their showroom since the car's interior can melt any rock heart.
I was surprised by the expected FE of 500 zerocento with 7-8 kmpl when dragged and 12-13 kmpl in city when sedated. So this basically keeps the 'kitna deti hai' questioners happy.

If Priced between 16-18L OTR, I think I would go ahead with the Punto Supersports.

Last edited by GTO : 19th February 2014 at 10:38. Reason: Fixing youtube link
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Old 19th February 2014, 10:40   #2
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Default Re: Fiat 500 Abarth - Quick Review & Drive at Florence, Italy

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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