Abarth rules out roadster, tuned Fiat 500L

Abarth will keep its lineup small in the medium-term future.

A new report indicates Fiat's performance-focused Abarth division has decided not to expand its lineup with tuned variants of the Fiat 500L and the Europe-only Panda hatchback. Abarth has also ruled out launching a small brand-specific roadster.

Rumors circulating around the auto industry indicated Abarth was developing a lightweight, bare-bones two-seater sports car aimed at the Lotus Elise. Intended to sit at the top of the Abarth lineup as a halo car, the unnamed convertible was killed at the embryonic stage of development because it would have cost too much to develop while overlapping with the recently-introduced Alfa Romeo 4C.

The rumored Abarth 500L was aimed squarely at the MINI Countryman Cooper S. Abarth never provided technical details about the car but it was believed to use a 180 horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine found under the hood of other Abarth models including the limited-edition 595 50 Anniversario. Power would have been sent to the front wheels via Abarth's Competizione gearbox.

While an Abarth-tuned Panda is a no-go, Fiat has not ruled out developing a successor to the range-topping Panda 100 HP produced from 2006 to 2010. The hot hatch would be designed in-house and it could be launched across Europe as a limited edition model before the middle of the decade.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

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