Abarth 500 Review
In 1958, when tuning supremo Carlo Abarth created his masterpiece, the Fiat 500 Abarth, it had precisely double the power of the model it was based on – 26 bhp, up from 13 bhp. He worked his magic by increasing the 479cc engine’s compression ratio, fitting a larger Webber carburettor, optimising the fuel and air intake systems, and tuning the exhaust. Today, the basic Fiat 500 starts life with a measly 68 bhp, so it seems fitting that the modern day Abarth 500 boasts an almost double 135 bhp. In a world where the Clio Renaultsport and Peugeot 208 GTi have 200 bhp, that might not sound like much. But the Abarth has two particularly compelling strings to its bow: an abundance of character, and value for money. While many manufacturers are finding ways to increase their sticker prices, the cost of the Abarth actually fell recently, and today a shiny new 500 can be yours for just £14,205.
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