2013 FIAT 500 Turbo is one Spicy Meatball

Slick and cool without look too silly, the 2013 FIAT 500 may be the best of the bunch!

Take a regular FIAT 500, add some of the spicy internals the Abarth has, place in the middle of the 500 lineup and what do you have? You have a rolling Italian meatball with a dash of pepper.

I love spicy meatballs and so do you.

It’s not quite as simple as I just wrote, there was a lot of designing needed to produce a cost effective vehicle that has the right combination of power and economy. We had a hint of the 500 Turbo when The Fast Lane Car attended the Las Vegas, NV press launch of the FIAT 500 Abarth. Sitting in a corner, looking only half as garish as the Abarth was a FIAT 500 that was tastefully decked out… but it had one exhaust pipe. I assumed it was not an Abarth, but one of the designers quietly pointed out the intercooler. Before I could ask, we were whisked away to our Abarths for testing.


I’m glad they took this idea and ran with it. Having a FIAT 500 that has good power without the Abarth’s track friendly setup is a brilliant move. Both Roman and I love the 500 and we are very excited to get our hands on a 500 Turbo.

Here are five things you need to know about the FIAT 500 Turbo:

  1. The 2013 FIAT 500 Turbo will have a turbocharged, 135 horsepower “MultiAir” 1.4-liter engine that makes an impressive 150 lbs-feet of torque. Despite the beefier engine, FIAT expects to get 34 mpg on the highway. A beefed up five-speed manual will be standard, and – we’re pretty sure – an automatic will come shortly after. It has twin intercoolers stashed in inlets that are in front of the front wheels. This is because of a lack of space and it looks cool.

    Dr Dre will split you head and fill it with funky beats! Or something like that…
  2. Chrysler Group LLC and FIAT have a comfortable arrangement with Dr. Dre. The “segment exclusive” Beats (by Dr. Dre) audio system will be available for the FIAT 500 Turbo and, we wager, it will blow you away. We used a similar Beats audio system in a Chrysler 300 and were blown away. Besides, Dr. Dre supplying your audio entertainment is cool.
  3. Steering: it’s always been a bit too light on the regular 500 and a bit synthetic on the Abarth. Expect a better balance in the 2013 FIAT 500 Turbo. The overall handling should cut the difference between the regular FIAT 500 and the Abarth too. I suspect it will be the best of both as the highway handling of the Abarth was less floaty than the regular 500 while the street ride of the base 500 was most comfortable. Having sharp handling while not loosening your molars makes your ride cool.
  4. The 2013 FIAT 500 Turbo will have unique 16-inch wheels with black highlights, red highlighted brake calipers, unique taillights and additional body add-ons that will quickly differentiate the 500 Turbo from the regular and Abarth 500s. According to FIAT: “Exterior colors for the 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo include Argento (silver), Bianco (white), Grigio (gray), Nero (black), Rame (copper), Rosso (red) and all-new Verde Azzurro (green & blue.).”  FIAT slapped on 11.1-inch brake discs for better stopping power. That’s up an inch from the regular discs. Beefy brakes are cool.
  5. When the 2013 FIAT 500 Turbo debuts this fall, it will have an MSRP of $19,500. Just like everything else, you’ll notice that’s pretty much in between the 500’s base price of $15,500 (17K well equipped) and the Abarth’s base price of $22,000. At the time of its introduction, it will be one of the cheapest turbocharged cars sold in America. That’s because cheap Turbos are cool.

Yes, I admit it. I am a pushover for the slick (cool) FIAT 500 and I’m chomping at the bit to drive one of these growlers. The Abarth is an awesome machine, but it can be a little rough for some commuters. This 500 Turbo might just be a tasty morsel that many consumers are looking for. Can’t wait!

For now, enjoy Roman’s fun video of living with the Abarth and trying to compete in a local bicycle race. I like it when he sounds a bit beaten up. Enjoy the video!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide!