Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Detroit 2010: Fiat 500 BEV and Fiat 500 Abarth SS are in the house

Detroit 2010: Fiat 500 BEV and Fiat 500 Abarth SS are in the house

The tiny Italians are coming! That's right gentle readers, Fiat has dropped two little baby 500s off inside COBO Hall – and one of them's electric. Let's start with that one, the uninspiringly titled Fiat 500 BEV (background). The suffix stands for "Battery Electric Vehicle." Let's call it truth in advertising. The powertrain is carried over from the work Chrysler's now defunct ENVIgroup had been working on for the past couple years. We can't say too much more (hint, hint), but rumor has it that this sucker is fast. Also, no tail pipe(s).

Fast is good, however, and the Cinquecento that sets our hearts all a flutter is (obviously) the 500 Abarth SS. Or as they say in Italy, Abarth Esse Esse. That last part of the name is significant, as it indicates this particular 500 doesn't have 133 horsepower, but rather 160 hp. The beauty part? After standing next to the Abarth for a few moments it becomes uncomfortably obvious that its much smaller than the Mini. Meaning... all sorts of wonderful things.

Other than that, the Abarth SS has five-point harnesses tied into racing seats and perhaps the best badging in the industry. Scorpions are every where. Take a close look at the shot of the wheel. Not only does the center cap sport a scorpion, but the valve-stem cap does, too. It's all about sweating the small stuff. Lusting over it, too. No specific information is available on the time line/likelihood of either car ever showing up in a Chrysler dealer near you.


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