Abarth 500C and Punto Evo

Abarth to take new 500 Convertible and Punto Evo hot hatches to Geneva motor show

Like small fast Fiats? Us to, so we’re quite excited about the Geneva Motorshow next week where Abarth will launch two new models, the Punto Evo and the 500C convertible. What’s more German tuning firm Hamann will also be unveiling its take on the 500 hatch – with 240bhp.

Let’s deal with the mainstream stuff first. The Abarth Punto Evo uses the highly regarded 1.4-litre MultiAir engine, but here tweaked up to 161bhp and 184lb ft thanks to a larger turbo, yielding a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. Quick-ish, but not that fast, so it’s just as well Abarth will also offer an Esseesse kit with 180bhp. The MultiAir unit also offers start-stop tech, allowing it to return 47mpg on the combined cycle.

There are also mods to the suspension (larger anti-roll bar and 20 per cent stiffer front springs), while inside the Abarth Punto features electrically selectable driving modes. You can choose from Normal and Sport via a switch next to the gearlever, with Sport engaging the TTC (Torque Transfer Control) and sharpening up driving systems such as the throttle and steering.

Is it just us, or does the Abarth 500C look pretty tidy? It comes with a 1.4-litre turbo – but not the MultiAir engine of the Punto, which means it makes do with 138bhp, enough to send the pocket-sized drop-top scooting to 62mph in 8.1 seconds. If it’s anything like the Abarth 500 hatch, it won’t actually be that talented, but will make up for that with sheer enthusiasm.

If you do want your 500 to offer you a little something extra, then how about this? Hamann offer a series of kits (the HS1, HS2 and HS3) that offer anywhere from 160bhp to 240bhp. There’s a further kit (HS Cinqucento 575) that takes power to 275bhp. NO word on performance, but it’s safe to assume the torque steer will be rampant…

If you want to know more, steer yourself at Hamann's website

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