The updated 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth with its new six-speed automatic transmission will get improved drivability, but Australian drivers won't reap the benefits.
The updated Fiat 500 Abarth's 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine sees torque jump from 220Nm to 250Nm, matching the recently revealed Fiat 595 Abarth 50th Anniversary model's pulling power output. Its peak power output, however, is pegged at 117kW - down slightly from the standard manual version's 118kW and the new special model's 132kW churn.
Fiat says the six-speed automatic has been "reinforced with more clutch plates and a more robust heat treatment to allow for higher torque capability". The Abarth's Sport mode features a rev-matching mode on downshifting, brake-assisted downshifts, a gear-holding function for cornering (meaning less indecisiveness under pressure) and more aggressive throttle mapping.
However, Fiat Chrysler Group Australia has once again ruled out any plans for a six-speed automatic version of the Abarth, instead continuing with its current five-speed semi-automatic Dualogic transmission.
The US-spec Fiat 500 is built in Mexico, while the locally-delivered version is sourced out of Italy. According to the company, that's the reason we won't get it in Australia.
While the six-speed automatic won't be sold here, Fiat will introduce a mildly updated 500 - including the above digital instrument display cluster - in the third quarter of 2014.