The Fiat 500 Turbo: the non-Abarth turbocharged mini car
The new Fiat 500 Turbo, anticipated by many (though under the name 500T), amplifies the Cinquecento’s performance without adding the cost and stiff suspension of the Abarth model. Built for North America by Chrysler in Mexico, Fiat 500 Turbo uses a twin-intercooled, turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir® engine rated at 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo will be sold starting in the fall, with a retail price of $20,200 including destination.
On August 17, 2012, Fiat launched the 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo at the Concorso Italiano. Tim Kuniskis, head of Fiat North America, said, “The Fiat 500 Turbo hits the sweet spot between the regular Cinquecento and the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth.”
Behind its revised front fascia, the Fiat 500 Turbo has a single turbocharger, with twin intercoolers and sport-tuned exhaust to deliver 34% more power (135 vs. 101 horsepower) and 53 percent more torque (150 vs. 98 lb.-ft.) than the standard engine. It is paired with the C510 five- speed manual transmission, with a 3.35 final-drive gear ratio for quick acceleration and faster top speed, while still achieving 34 mpg (EPA highway figure).
The beefed-up suspension has an intermediate shaft with equal-length, 23% larger (28.1 mm) half shafts to avoid torque steer. Larger constant velocity (CV) joints with 53% greater torsional strength (2600 N•m vs. 1700 N•m in the Fiat 500) add durability and refinement.
The Fiat 500 Turbo fits it all in by pushing the front fascia out 2.7 inches; larger openings increase engine cooling, aided by twin “nostrils” on both sides of the front fascia, aimed at the intercoolers. Finishing off the look are new Gloss Black headlamp, parking lamp, and tail lamp bezels. In back, a two-piece lower fascia includes a black-accented rear diffuser and new sport-tuned exhaust. Colors will be Argento (silver), Bianco (white), Grigio (gray), Nero (black), Rame (copper), Rosso (red), and Verde Azzurro (green & blue.)
The Fiat 500 Turbo also has bolder side skirts, unique 16-inch aluminum wheels with black pockets, and a high-performance brake system with semi-metallic brake linings, and 11.1-inch ventilated front rotors; calipers are lacquered in red paint.
The lower control arm is also unique to the model; it uses the 500 Sport model’s spring rates, shock tuning, and steering calibration.
Inside, buyers will get a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel accented with Argento (silver) stitching, and a Grigio/Nero (gray/black) color scheme; heated leather seating in Nero/Nero (black/black) or vivid Rosso/Nero (red/black) is optional.
Chrysler’s hookup with Beats by Dr. Dre continues with the first Fiat use of a Beats audio system; it includes six speakers, an 8-inch dual-voice coil (DVC) subwoofer with trunk-mounted enclosure, and eight-channel 368-watt amplifier with digital sound processing (DSP).