Fiat reveals “House Arrest” ad for the Abarth 500 with Charlie Sheen, Catrinel Menghia

Article by Christian A., on March 1, 2012

Chrysler Group said that its “House Arrest” commercial for the Fiat 500 Abarth that features actor Charlie Sheen will be seen very soon on TV. This 60-second ad spot will also star the Romanian model, Catrinel Menghia, who was seen in the car's "Seduction" Super Bowl commercial. This ad shows images of a 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth that’s racing through the hallways of a mansion filled with elegantly dressed partygoers.

The vehicle stops in a crowded room and the driver’s side door opens to show the left leg of Sheen with an electronic monitoring device around the ankle. He is then approached by Menghia. Sheen looks at the camera and declares his “love” for being under house arrest.

He turns to Menghia and asks: "What do I get for good behavior?" Automotive News had been the first to talk about this ad on Feb. 20. The ad was made in partnership with Doner of suburban Detroit. The Fiat 500 Abarth is powered by a 160-hp engine that produces 170 pounds-feet of torque. This is a high-performance version of the subcompact.

It is scheduled to arrive by early April to the 140 U.S. dealerships of Fiat. It will have a starting price of $22,700 (including delivery). In a statement, Olivier Francois, worldwide head of Fiat brand and Chrysler Group's chief marketing officer, said that the Fiat 500 Abarth is the “small but wicked' personality of the Fiat 500 and this spot captures that attitude and spirit.”

He said that the Fiat 500 Abarth is the “bad boy of the Fiat vehicle lineup. He also said that Charlie Sheen is the personification of the edgy and fun characteristics of the Fiat 500 Abarth in the “House Arrest” ad.

The overall design of the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is the result of fusing the proportions and iconic cues of the Fiat 500 hatchback with a stylish and aerodynamic exterior. The front end of the new Fiat 500 Abarth features a more pronounced fascia that is now 2.7 inches (69 mm) ahead of the hallmark "whiskers and logo" face. This doesn’t only improve the car’s aerodynamics but also allows for enough room to accommodate the all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine.

This treatment also evokes the frontal styling of the 850 TC and 1000 TC models. In addition, the aerodynamic front end of the Fiat 500 Abarth features the signature "Abarth" shield floats on a finned surface serving as an extra air intake. Below this are three air intakes with broader openings than those on the Fiat 500. Projector-beam fog lamps are now integrated on the car’s blacked-out fascia, which features twin "nostrils" that help optimize airflow in and out of the two engine intercoolers.

When viewed from the sides, the new Fiat 500 Abarth reveals Abarth-designed side skirts that help emphasize the car’s curves. These side skirts are complemented by Abarth-designed 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels. A 17-inch lightweight forged-aluminum wheel is optional. Both wheel designs provide needed ventilation for the car’s performance brake system while allowing the lacquered Rosso (red) brake calipers to be visible.

Meanwhile, the rear end of the new Fiat 500 Abarth features a large spoiler mounted on the liftgate, effectively extending the roofline of the car and generating additional downforce for better stability on high-speed driving. A two-piece Abarth-styled rear fascia doesn’t only boost the car’s road-holding stance but also helps optimize airflow output through its black-accented rear diffuser. The rear-end look of the Fiat 500 Abarth is completed by symmetric, twin exhaust cutouts and large concentric "double tip" exhausts.

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