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The lovable Fiat 500 is ditching a 4-cylinder hamster circle and going turbo.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced during a Chicago Auto Show currently that, for 2018, a Italian meatball will be roadkill no more: Its bottom 101-horsepower, routinely aspirated engine is being late for a turbo-4 common by a rest of Fiat’s lineup.
Gaining 33 percent some-more horsepower over a prior leafblower, a 135-horse 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo is a detuned chronicle of a 160-horsepower buzzsaw in a 500’s Abarth opening model.
The 500’s engine is common by a rest of Fiat’s lineup that includes a Pope’s favorite ample hatchback, a 500L; a 500X subcompact crossover; and a Fiat 124 Spider sports car. All Fiat models accept trim and underline updates for a new indication year.
A buttress in parsimonious Italian streets given 1957, a 500 — or “Cinquecento” in Italian — has struggled to benefit traction in SUV-obsessed America since a introduction in 2011.
In further to a tiny size, a 500 was derided for a shy mill. The new engine comes customary on Pop and Lounge trims with a six-speed primer delivery an option.
The feisty, top-trim Abarth, meanwhile, maintains a turbocharged 160 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque while charity sporty touches like bolstered seats, stiffened suspension, 16-inch black aluminum wheels, red stop calipers and a dual-exhaust with an repulsive howl.
Abarth owners also get — giveaway of assign — a one-day high-performance pushing educational during a Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix.
The 500 lineup adds new colors for 2018 — Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl and Vesuvio Black Pearl — for a sum of 11 paint choices. The 500 is also accessible in a topless “Cabrio” physique character as good as an all-electric 500e chronicle targeted during West Coast greenies. The latter is usually accessible in California and Oregon.
Also new for 2018, a 500L facilities a redesigned extraneous with new front, rear, and side pattern updates. The 500X gets FCA’s award-winning Uconnect 4 infotainment complement customary — including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. The 124 Spider — that shares a skeleton with Mazda’s Miata — introduces a Red Top Edition on upper-trim Lusso models.
Henry Payne is automobile censor for The Detroit News. Find him during email@example.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.