I don’t see many FIATs in my neck of the woods.
A new dealer has opened downtown, and I see a few of the cute and sprightly little FIAT 500 hatchbacks every now and then. I’ve never seen a 500 Abarth wild on the streets here.
While sales of the 500 haven’t exactly blown the doors down, Americans have fallen in love with the performance-oriented Abarth version. In fact, the 2012 model is all but sold out.
The Fiat Abarth’s sales performance is noteworthy, especially since May marked the first full month of deliveries for the high-performance model, which went on sale in the U.S. in mid-April. Fiat sold a record 16,702 Fiat 500s in the first five months of the year, but individual sales figures are not available on the 500 Abarth.
That seems a little questionable, honestly. I can’t imagine FIAT has no idea how many Abarths have found new homes here. Regardless, this brings up an interesting counterpoint to yesterday’s post on models carrying a more expensive “Eco” trim model. Commenter Randy said,
what’s wrong with spending a few bucks to reduce fuel consumption and emissions? Not everyone is a self-absorbed big spender who delights in overconsumption.
The Abarth 500 rings the bell at $22,700 to start, which is significantly more than the $15,500 price of the base 500. Really, what’s the difference if someone wants to spend the extra dough toward performance or toward driving a little more green?
Not that the Abarth is a pure performance machine. With a 160-hp turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder, it’ll zip off a 0-60 run in under 7 seconds. Not pavement-peeling, but a great improvement over the non-turbo version that makes 101 hp and gets to 60 in, well, eventually. Most reviews of the 500 Abarth label it as zippy and fun while still returning 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 on the highway.
Maybe it’s no surprise that American consumers are scooping these up as fast as they hit dealer lots.
And yes, FIAT will boost production for the 2013 model year to keep up with demand. Maybe then they’ll tell us how many they sell.
Have you seen a FIAT 500 Abarth where you live? Would you be interested in one?