Lively engine, fun and focused drive, sporty looks, excellent handling
Limited dealership network, jerky automatic gearbox, pricey when compared to bigger Punto Evo
Following the relative success of Abarth’s return to the UK market in 2008, Fiat’s high performance brand has taken the 500C and given it the full scorpion badged makeover. As with the usual 500C you get the same drop-top cool but the Abarth additions means it gets a 1.4-litre turbocharged Multiair engine with 140bhp making what is already a fun car to drive in Fiat guise, a more focused and exciting prospect.
Disappointingly the sporty paddleshift gearbox is jerky and lets it down somewhat. If the regular Abarth version won’t do, then there’s an Esseesse version that pushes power up a further 20bhp and adds stiffer suspension and improved brakes.