Red hot Fiat coming to NZ

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

The Abarth 500 has proved so popular in Europe that Fiat has been unable to meet demand, causing the delay to its arrival for the New Zealand market.

“Blame the European performance car enthusiasts for the delay in the Abarth 500 arriving in New Zealand,” says Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Abarth in New Zealand. “Ever since it was launched Abarth has been unable to meet demand for the Abarth 500, thanks to the combination of the irresistible charm and character of the Fiat 500 combined with the outrageous performance delivered by the changes brought about by the engineers at Abarth, Fiat’s high performance division.”

The delay has provided one major advantage – the Abarth 500 Esseesse, the top version which can rocket to 100kmh in 7.4 seconds, will be the version to launch in mid-March. 

Compared to the normal Abarth 500, the Esseesse version destined for New Zealand has a power boost from 99kW to 117kW, while the maximum torque lifts from 206 to 230Nm. To cope with the power and torque lift, the Abarth 500 Esseesse has, over the normal Abarth 500, extra lowered suspension, up-rated springs and suspension, cross drilled brake discs and 7×17 inch alloy wheels in a style unique to the Esseesse. Top speed is 211kmh and the 100kmh dash is achieved in 7.4 seconds, yet fuel consumption is just 6.5 litres on the combined cycle.

“The Abarth 500 has been a remarkable success in Europe and it has become ‘the’ small car to be seen in right across Europe,” says Malatios. “We know that this success is about to be duplicated in New Zealand because we have had people banging on our door wanting to buy an Abarth 500 since it was launched in Europe. This demand will be further compounded by the keen pricing and specification which will be announced in March. So anyone who wants to get behind the wheel of an Abarth 500 Esseesse had better get to their Abarth dealer as quickly as an ….. Abarth 500!”

Full pricing and specification for the Abarth 500 Esseesse will be announced when deliveries start next month.