After the U.S. launch of the regular Fiat 500 and the canvas-top 500C, it’s time for the Italian automaker to introduce the sportier version of its retro-styled mini, the new 2012 500 Abarth that makes its debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The good news is that Fiat opted to offer the 500 Abarth with a more powerful engine than the standard 135-horsepower four-banger that’s available on the basic European model.
In the States, the hot 500 gets a turbocharged, twin intercooled and MultiAir-equipped 1.4-liter engine that produces a more robust 160-horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 170 lb-ft (230Nm) of peak torque between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm. A five speed manual gearbox along with an Abarth-tuned Torque Transfer Control (TTC) system help transfer power to the front wheels.
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