Fiat Shows off 2015 500 Abarth Automatic


Written by Kenny Hoeschen | August 22, 2014

Fiat USA is looking to broaden the appeal of the Fiat 500 Abarth sports hatchback/cabrio with the addition of an optional automatic transmission. The 500 Abarth was first brought to the U.S. with only the manual transmission available, something that might not suit all drivers, many of whom are either not comfortable driving a stick or have never even learned to drive one.

In this video, Fiat USA Vehicle Integration Engineer, Allison Singer, takes us for a spin around the track in a 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth Automatic and explains what the team’s goals were in creating a real performance-built automatic version of the car. The 500 Abarth’s six-speed automatic is a re-engineered version of the auto available in the standard 500, but reworked and retuned to match the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with reinforced gears and extra clutch plates.

The automatic version of the car comes in at 157 horsepower, which is 3 hp less than the manual version, although it does produce an extra 13 lb-ft. of torque. As Singer describes, the new transmission brings with it a sport mode that provides rev-matched downshifts, fuel-cut upshifts, gear-holding through corners and “fast off” scenarios.

The 500 Abarth Auto lacks paddle shifters, although the driver can choose to manually shift through the use of the shift lever on the center console. Fiat hasn’t released final performance specs for the new version of the 500 Abarth, so we’ll have to wait to see if it can match the manual’s numbers.

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