Fiat has made it no secret that it wants a share of the premium super-mini car segment that MINI has presidingly dominated for the past five years and a 180 bhp Fiat Abarth SS might be just the perfect challenger for Mini's top-of-the-range Cooper S.

If Fiat's 500 retro re-make didn't get you turned on at the official launch in Turin's Murazzi del Po area back in July, Fiat is developing a sportier 'Abarth SS' model to mark the return of its Abarth tuning division, named after Carlo Abarth's racing car make from 1949. Following the release of the 180 bhp Grande Punto Abarth Concept SS in Frankfurt, we expect the 'Cinquecento' Abarth SS, standing for Super Sport,  to be powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but whether it will get the full 180 bhp is still up in the air.

Earlier, we unveiled spy pictures of the 135 bhp 500 Abarth, but these latest pictures of the 'Abarth SS' show that Fiat has chosen to give its 500 model range some more muscle. Visual changes can be seen on the front bumper, where additional air-intakes channel more cooling air to the brakes and the engine.  New side skirts wrap around to a new rear bumper housing fat dual-exhaust pipes.  Meanwhile Fiat's standard 500 Abarth models have only a single exhaust set-up,  the Abarth SS dual-pipe set-up promises more power.

While some sources state that the Abarth SS will get roughly 150 bhp, we expect the Abarth SS to get the 1.4-litre turbocharged with the full 180 bhp found in its big brother 'Grande Punto'. Fiat has made it no secret that it wants a share of the premium super-mini car segment that MINI has presidingly dominated for the past five years and a 180 bhp Fiat Abarth SS might be just the perfect challenger for Mini's top-of-the-range Cooper S. Stepping on MINI's home turf, Fiat's Abarth SS would claim the crown of the most powerful supermini! Stay tuned for more information! How do you think that the Abart SS would compare to a Cooper S?

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Fiat 500 Abarth SS