NY Minute Reviews: Fiat 500 Abarth - IF YOU DON'T UBER...
Size does not matter (cough)
If you have taken the New York subway lately, you’ll notice people are starting to carry their dogs in shoulder bags. This is because the MTA has introduced a new $25 fine for all canine passengers who cannot fit in a carry-on bag.
New Yorkers are pretty used to small things so most dogs can still fit in a tote bag. Claustrophobic apartments. Cramped offices. We’re used to it all. And yet when it comes to cars, we still get around in vanilla Honda Accords.
That is, until Chrysler bought the Fiat 500 from Europe. And not just any Fiat 500, we’re talking about the Abarth. Starting at $22,500, it is 10% cheaper than the equivalent MINI Cooper S. But at 160 horsepowers, it is also 10% less powerful than the MINI. If you need a car that is more show than go, the Abarth is your perfect bargain.
And speaking of show, I have never driven a car with 160 horses that is as half as loud as the Abarth. Talk about smallest dogs always bark the loudest.
Like breakfast cereals, both Fiat and MINI go to great lengths to apply the concept of product diversification from MBA textbooks. These days, both companies are making convertibles, electrical, SUVs, and other variations of their iconic cars. MINI even makes one with lounge seating in the back. Why?
To differentiate itself from the rest of the 500s, the Abarth spared no expense. Side mirror is painted (think the Audi S series). Everything is chromed. Tinted headlights (my favorite). Racing stripes on the side. The color between gray and black is not called “Steel Metal”, it’s “Rhino”. How awesome is that?
If you have selected this Fiat as your mode of transportation in Manhattan, you are effectively communicating two messages. One: Instead of paying another $500 for a Porsche or a Jag in other parts of the country, you would rather spend the money on a parking spot near your brownstone. Two: Because you did not buy a Toyota Camry, you will never be driving Uber. So you must be very confident of your career choices and financial outlook.
Slightly larger than a baby stroller, the Fiat 500 Abarth is tasteful and badass at the same time. Compared to other top of the line options, the Abarth is not nearly as douchey. It is confident and suave and yet it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
And you know what sound system comes standard with the Abarth? Not Bose. Not Harman Kardon. You never see those in New York subway. The Abarth comes standard with Beats sound system. And that’s fantastic.