Adding wind-in-your-hair excitement to the hottest version of the Fiat 500 family, the new 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth makes its world debut in Los Angeles. Living up to its advance notice, this new al fresco variation on the 500 Abarth theme complements all of the performance enhancements from its hard-shell sibling with the slick power-activated soft top from the standard 500c cabriolet.

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As a quick refresher, the basic Abarth treatment endows the high-performance 500 coupe -- and now the 500c -- with functional exterior cosmetic tweaks, a more potent powertrain, focused chassis enhancements and distinctive interior cues. Visually, the new 500c Abarth shares the coupe's more aggressively sculpted and aero-optimized front and rear fascias, custom side skirts and Abarth rear spoiler and diffuser along with custom 16-inch cast aluminum wheels wrapped in Pirelli Cinturato  P7 performance tires or optional 17-inch lightweight forged alloy rims shod with Pirelli P-Zero Nero alternatives.

Motivation for the Abarth 500c also is common with its coupe kin. It matches a 160-horsepower version of Fiat's 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a high-performance 5-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front wheels via stouter halfshafts and stouter CV joints to enhance durability. Other dynamic upgrades include a full sport suspension, quicker and more communicative steering, bigger brakes with semi-metallic linings and an Abarth-tuned tri-mode (On/Partial-on/Full Off) stability control system that works in concert with the car's torque transfer control system.

Like the 500 Abarth coupe, the cabin of the new 500c Abarth has a performance look and feel highlighted by deeply bolstered Abarth-design sport seats in standard cloth or optional leather, an Abarth sport steering wheel, instrument cluster and aluminum pedal set along with a Sport button with Abarth-spec calibration that allows a driver to punch up an even more engaging motoring experience. Blue&Me Handsfree Communication technology can be augmented with an optional TomTom portable navigation system and a Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio system, the first Beats package ever created for a cabriolet model. Crowning it all is a one-button power-activated multilayer cloth soft top that can be partially retracted to roof-spoiler level at speeds up to 60 mph and fully lowered at speeds up to 60 mph.

The 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth goes on sale here in during the first quarter of next year. While pricing won't be announced until closer to the car's actual arrival date, it will include a full-day of expert advice and hands-on track time as part of an Abarth Driving Experience. 

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