By Jennifer Geiger on August 17, 2012
The Fiat 500 lineup continues to expand with a new turbocharged model. The 2013 500 Turbo joins the regular 500, the 500 convertible and the performance-tuned Abarth model and features a turbocharged engine, sporty exterior styling and a unique interior.
Power comes from a toned-down version of the Abarth's turbocharged 1.4-liter. Here it makes 135 hp instead of the Abarth's 160 hp. A five-speed manual is the only transmission. Just like Abarth, Fiat estimates the Turbo model will get 34 mpg on the highway. The regular 500's 101-hp 1.4-liter is EPA-rated at 30/38 mpg city/highway.
The 500 Turbo rides on a sport-tuned suspension and has performance-tuned brakes and a specific exhaust note, Fiat says. It sounds a lot like a tempered version of the Abarth.
Unique exterior styling cues make it look more aggressive than the regular 500, but don't approach the Abarth’s attitude. The 500 Turbo's front fascia has been pushed 2.7 inches forward and has what Fiat calls "twin nostrils" to maximize airflow in and out of the two intercoolers. It also has unique side skirts, a liftgate-mounted spoiler and 16-inch aluminum wheels with black pockets. Gloss black headlamps add to the more aggressive look.
Inside, Fiat says there's a sport-designed leather-wrapped shift knob, heated leather seats in some new colors with silver contrast stitching and Beats by Dr. Dre audio.
The 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo goes on sale this fall starting at $20,200, including a $700 destination charge. The 2013 500 Abarth starts at $22,700, including destination.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer