Fiat has decided they will offer the 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Abarth Cabrio with an optional automatic transmission, much to the dismay of Fiat gearheads. Don’t worry though as the Italian automaker says that the specially tuned automatic transmission will keep the high-performance legacy of Fiat Abarth models while opening up the models to a wider range of consumers.
Since engineers want to maintain the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth and 2015 Abarth Cabrio’s high-performance capabilities, the six-speed automatic transmission (Aisin AW6F25 six-speed) has been reinforced with more clutch plates and a more robust heat treatment for more refined torque. There will be a “Sport mode” which will allow the driver to experience an even more precise driving. Features in the Fiat 500 Abarth Sport mode include a more aggressive pedal map, fuel-cut upshifts, rev-matching downshifts, brake-assist downshifts, and corner gear hold and fast-off gear hold.
“Adding an optional automatic transmission makes the Abarth and Abarth Cabrio accessible to an entirely new group of customers who want to enjoy the thrilling driving experience of the Fiat 500 Abarth with the convenience of an automatic gearbox,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT North America.
Both the automatic and manual transmissions for the 2015 Fiat Abarth and 2015 Abarth Cabrio will be mated to the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine. Also both Abarth models will continue to include the Abarth Track Experience, which allows Fiat 500 Abarth owners to get a full day of professional driving instruction so they can really learn to utilize that automatic transmission.
2015 Fiat 500 Turbo
The 2015 Fiat 500 Turbo will also offer the Aisin AW6F25 6-speed automatic transmission as an option. (Don’t worry gearheads this means you can still buy a stick shift if you want.)
“When it was launched two years ago, the Fiat 500 Turbo hit the sweet spot between the regular Fiat 500 and the high-performance Fiat 500 Abarth,” commented Stoicevich on the 500 Turbo model. “The availability of the automatic transmission now makes this sweet spot even sweeter, by expanding the Turbo’s appeal, particularly among young buyers who can now buy one of the most affordable turbocharged cars in the market with the convenience of an automatic transmission.”
The automatic transmission offering is not the only change for the 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth and Turbo models. Whole Fiat 500 lineup will get interior updates for 2015, including an cleaner instrument panel with a 7-inch high-definition display to help drivers monitor vehicle information more easily and quickly. Fiat expects to start shipping the 2015 Fiat 500 lineup to dealerships nationwide by July (2014).
We tried to get an Abarth enthusiast to comment about the automatic transmission addition to the 2015 Fiat Abarth and Turbo lineup… but they were too busy uncontrollably vomiting for us to get a quote.