2015 FIAT 500C Abarth - Single-Footed Stomping the Scorpion - Short Review, Video

Scorpions have one nasty sting!

Just  like Godzilla did to Bambi, humans can dispatch that venomous insect with one "swift, single-footed stomp."

FIAT, maker of insect-sized cars, recently cajoled "Drive...He Said" into taking a quick spin in their "Scorpion", the 2015 FIAT 500C Abarth. The "C" represents nature's free air conditioning via a clever, pillar-full rag-top Cabriolet.

The 2015 500C Abarth hasn't really changed from the  2012 Gonzo-As-Ever-Squat-Bug , which earned the forewarning:  "Don't You Dare Call It Cute."

- Inside, twist the switch-blade style key into the steering column ignition. What, no keyless start?

- In your face is a new TFT white-on-blue gauge cluster featuring digital speed readout. Throttle and steering influencing Sport Mode offers up detailed performance data in aggressive graphics. You'll hardly notice minor changes to the center console.

- Yet, peer below the thicker than porridge, flat-bottomed sport steering wheel.  Where you'd expect to find three metal covered pedals, there are but two: the brake and the accelerator.

- THIS particular FIAT 500C Abarth was fitted with a new 6-speed auto-stick automatic transaxle. Starting with 2015 MY it is a $1350 stand-alone option.

FIAT passed on on their 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox. Initially slow witted in the  500 L MPV, the DCT merited a voluntary recall.

Switch ON Sport Mode and switch OFF traction control. Bother not with Auto-stick manumatic sequential gear selection.

Then just mash that one foot down on this Scorpion's accelerator. Among the neat tricks permitted by this torque converter automatic are: rev-matching downshifts, throttle blipping and corner gear hold.

Since the 500C Abarth's automatic backs off the throttle far less during gear swaps, wastegate boost is maintained, eliminating some turbo lag.

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This hot city hatch still prefers two firm, outstretched arms to counter understeer and deft heel-to-toe action against mid-corner lift just like the last Fiat 500 Abarth coupe we tested. Given the Snap, Crackle and Pop exhaust, and the hoppy (though not slamming) ride, only drivers seeking involvement need apply.

Now about the 2015 FIAT 500C Abarth automatic's available left driver's leg. It can be tapped to the beat of the "Beats" sound system.

 

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