All the performance of an Abarth 500? Or all the freedom of a convertible Fiat 500? That was the choice TV presenter Melanie Sykes thought she was facing. That is when she discovered that the Abarth 500 was available in 500C convertible form, offering performance of the regular hard top variant with pleasure associated with wind-in-the-hair motoring.
Melanie, the new presenter of BT Sport’s MotoGP TV coverage, has previously owned a Fiat 500C and wanted another. But she was also looking for the added performance that a 140bhp Abarth 500 can offer.
“Having owned the Fiat 500C before, I knew I wanted to go back into a convertible, but I also had my eye on an Abarth,” says Melanie. “So when Abarth told me there was 500C version, I was really excited. And just look at it – it’s fabulous.”
The soft top of the Abarth 500C stands out for its refined electric linkage and quality engineering solutions, such as the foldaway glass rear window and the built-in centrally positioned high mounted stop light.
The car also features Abarth’s Competizione gearbox, a five-speed automated manual transmission, which also allows drivers to change gear using paddles mounted behind the steering wheel for a sportier feel. A 1.4-litre turbo-charged engine gives the 500C a top speed of 128mph, and 0-62mph time of just 8.1 seconds. The eco-friendly unit complies with Euro 6 standards.
The Abarth 500C costs £16,055 (manual version), and £17,355 (Competizione gearbox).
Melanie collected her car from London-based specialist Abarth dealership, Motor Village Marylebone.