Normally, “sport” buttons don’t do much. You press “sport” and maybe the steering gets a little firmer, the throttle tip-in gets tipsier. But the Fiat 500C Abarth has a sport button that actually does something. In the Abarth, sport mode raises torque from 150 lb-ft to 170 lb-ft—a difference that you can definitely feel. That pile of torque (and the accompanying 160 hp) is pretty righteous for a 1.4-liter motor bolted into a car that only weighs 2,545 pounds.
Starting at $26,800 for the cabrio, Fiat calls the 500 Abarth the “ultimate in affordable high-performance Italian cars.” I call it, “the only affordable high-performance Italian car.” (I’m afraid the Alfa 4C doesn’t quite cut it in the affordability department.)
And, OK, we can quibble over the definition of high performance. You won’t smoke any Camaros in a drag race. But the Italian part of the equation, man, this thing has it nailed. This is a sharp-dressed sun-kissed hour-long espresso break on wheels. In fact, I decree that you cannot find a more Italian car at any price. And because everybody loves a good list, I hereby furnish you with ten reasons why the Fiat 500c Abarth is the most Italian car in America.