2012 FIAT 500 Abarth

Though reviewers say the FIAT 500 is a great downtown runabout, a few have noted that its 101-horsepower engine isn’t quite as peppy as rivals like the Mini Cooper. But Chrysler has announced that it intends to mitigate that, with the debut of the high-performance FIAT 500 Abarth at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Though it’s been confirmed for the U.S., Chrysler still won’t say whether we’ll get the 133-horsepower version of the engine or the 170-horsepower version, but Car and Driver says that either upgrade will be a welcome improvement.

Plus, FIAT will tack on other performance upgrades as well. “You can count on the car will ride on a lowered, stiffened suspension, along with performance oriented wheels and tires, as well as upgraded brakes front and rear,” writes Left Lane News.

The FIAT 500 Abarth will hit U.S. dealerships in early 2012, with a sticker price somewhere between the 500 Sport’s $17,500 base price and the Mini Cooper S’ $23,800 MSRP.

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