Fiat documents seem to support rumors of a new model slotted between the standard Fiat 500 and the Abarth. The company’s filing with the NHTSA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) indicate a plan to present a 500T Sport for the 2013 model year. Just in case you were wondering, the T in 500T stands for “turbo.”
This new model is equipped with a weaker version of the U.S.-spec Abarth’s 160-horse turbo four. The chart that Fiat submitted to the NHTSA provided information on how to decode VIN numbers. It shows that a “500T Sport” is listed under Fiat’s 2013-model-year offerings. Fiat listed the trim levels for the base 500 as Pop, Sport, and Lounge.
However, the 500T Sport is listed separately from those and is set apart from the 500C convertible models. It also marks the first time that an Abarth is listed among the convertibles. This isn’t too surprising as there really is such a car but Fiat hasn’t confirmed its arrival to the U.S. yet. The introduction of the 500T is supported with CARB paperwork shown last month. Every engine that will be offered for sale in California gets its own certification even if it will be fitted in numerous vehicles.
California had certified a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine to be used in several Dodge Dart models, the Fiat 500 Abarth, as well as another Fiat 500. For now, the Abarth is the lone 500 to feature a turbo 1.4.
However, this engine is exactly what is expected to be placed in the 500T Sport. This isn’t the first time that Fiat uses this strategy. The 500 Abarth offered in Europe delivers only 133 hp in regular trim but the Esseesse or “SS” kits deliver more power. This likely means that the 500T has an output of around 130hp.