The Mexican built 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth arrives in America with the racing traditions that has made it a notable success on European roadways and racetracks. As expected, this includes world-class performance, rapid acceleration, precision steering plus purposeful and aggressive styling. This is all wrapped up in an elevated “power-to-weight ratio” package for consumers. This small "A" segment four passenger personal size hatchback is also built in just limited production volume. Therefore, perhaps raising the bar for being sought after by auto enthusiast everywhere. The performance Fiat Abarth was first introduced here stateside last year, helping to round out and broaden the Fiat line of vehicles to the end user. Overall, the car clearly is lightweight but it has a lengthy list of safety enhancements. This includes advanced multi stage front airbags, front seat side mounted airbags as well as side curtain airbags, electronic stability control plus their wireless tire pressure monitoring system. By making this sleek looking car “track-tuned” from the factory, this purpose-built vehicle is designed to bring new life to the legendary racing heritage of the brand. Also in the plus column is the fact that this Italian high-performance two door is also engineered for everyday driving as well. This helps build on a foundation of excitement by forging together the ultimate high-performance small exclusive Italian exotic car with the brand DNA of the entry level Fiat 500. With its all new 1.4-liter four cylinder MultiAir® Turbo charge engine, the Abarth unleashes the brand’s legendary performance heritage to American drivers. Its EPA numbers reflect 28-mpg city/34-mpg highway and around 31-combined mpg, under most driving conditions. Similar to all gasoline powered Fiat's from Chrysler, its recommended from the factory to operate with premium, high octane fuel. The Abarth is rated at 160-horsepower. The engines output is funneled to the car's front drive wheels with a 5-speed performance manual transmission. The car also has a uniquely tuned suspension and high performance braking system. Overall, the Abarth's exterior also has a race inspired design and many other rolling technology features not traditionally included on a vehicle of this mini-compact size. To turn back the clock, it was in the late 1950's when Karl Abarth believed that race cars with brilliant performance could be derived from small, lightweight, everyday type driving cars. This tradition and formula of track ready small cars continues today by utilizing the 2013 Fiat 500 Sport as a base point for the new high performance Fiat 500 Abarth. The car's duel bright and nicely polished tail pipe outlets plus the Abarth badging helps set it apart from the standard Fiat 500. And when you start up the engine, the exhaust rumble makes a powerful statement in form of an impressive brassy exhaust note. Side body ground effects, rear air spoiler, front fog lamps and bi-functional halogen projector headlamps also helps make this Fiat turn heads with its curb appeal. Abarth's interior has unique performance leather trimmed high back front bucket seats and a turbo boost gauge mounted on the left side of the instrument readout cluster. The vehicle also has a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob as well as aluminum foot pedals. Some of the additional items that come standard on this trim level include; security alarm, cruise control, rear window defroster, intermittent front wipers, remote keyless entry system, air conditioning with pollen filter, power windows and door locks, Alpine Premium audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio receiver, hands free communications, USB port, steering wheel audio controls and an auxiliary audio input jack. The rear split seats will also fold forward in order to help with the vehicles small cargo carrying capabilities. On the option list, Abarth offers a dash mounted navigation system for $500, power operated sun roof at $950, high end audio speakers at $700 and for an additional $1,200 they will include from the factory their 17-inch forged aluminum gloss white wheel package and all season performance tires. The base warranty is for 4-years/50,000 miles. The price point starts out at $22,000 which does not include shipping and destination charges. That comes out to be $700 additional. At road test, the MSRP for the 2013 Fiat Abarth I recently drove indicated $28,050 after options. If this car is on your new car shopping radar, their company web site lists all dealer locations and related vehicle information. It's accessible at: www.fiatusa.com.