Fiat has been on the go with a slew of launches globally, the latest being the Tipo / Egea sedan and 124 Spider roadster. Fiat is also increasing its portfolio with launch of super-tuned Abarth versions in many of its models.
The latest buzz is that Fiat is looking at re-entering the rally scene and could be considering the Abarth 500X for the job in the WRC (World Rally Championship). Abarth's chief, Paolo Gagliardo said that they want to keep growing and stabilize and also that the Abarth versions would go beyond the 500-based models as well. He also said that Fiat wants to make a re-entry into rallying and the 500X is a potential contender for the same. Apart from Lancia, the Fiat brand also has quite been active in WRC in the past and had also signed Kimi Raikonnen to drive the Fiat Punto in 2009-10.
The 500X is fitted with a 1.4 Multiair-II petrol engine that is also available in the ?124 Spider in a 138bhp state of tune. The Multiair-II is a very capable mill and Abarth is working on extracting upto 170bhp from this motor, that will do duty in both the 124 Spider as well as the 500X. The latter would be a four wheel drive and would also feature a six-speed manual gearbox and also have a option of a dual-clutch, six-speed automatic.
The Abarth 500X will get upgrades to its interior and exterior in terms of styling along with new graphics, Abarth logos and new alloy wheels. The Abarth 500X will be sold globally, however the focus will be more on the US market, which apparently has a good demand for Abarth products, amounting to almost 20 percent of Fiat 500 sales.
Source : MotorOctane