The Fiat 500 Abarth has a lot going for it, but the lack of an automatic transmission is a deal breaker for a lot of American consumers. This will soon change as the company's president has confirmed plans to offer an automatic gearbox.

The Fiat 500 Abarth has a lot going for it, but the lack of an automatic transmission is a deal breaker for a lot of American consumers.

Citing customer feedback, Fiat's North American President Tim Kuniskis has confirmed plans to offer an automatic transmission "at some point." Executives believed the model would be fine exclusively with a manual transmission but Kuniskis says enough people have requested an automatic gearbox so the company is "not opposed to doing it."

The move should help to broaden the model's appeal, particularly to women. As Kuniskis noted, 80 percent of Abarths sold in North America are bought by male drivers. This could change when the convertible is introduced but Kuniskis believes there won't be a huge influx of female buyers until the automatic is launched.

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Fiat 500 Abarth to gain an automatic transmission - report