Fiat Going Soft with Automatic 500C Abarth?
We've already heard all the bitching and moaning regarding the lack of a manual transmission on the all-new Porsche 911 GT3- a true enthusiasts car- but now we expect to hear the same among Fiat/Abarth fans with the new 500 Abarth– which is also going automatic. Up until this point, the clunky little 5-speed gearbox hasn't received an automatic option due to a lower volume of sales and an overall enthusiast-based thinking by Abarth. But sitting down with Ward's Auto, Fiat's North American president, Tim Kuniskis, said that "We're not opposed to doing it. We just didn't' think there would be consumer requests for it, and there is."
With the recent introduction of the drop-top 500c Abarth also, Kuniskis expects to attract more women buyers with the potential of an automatic option. No word yet on whether these reports will be put into action, but we suggest Chrysler's 8-speed auto-box with paddle shifters. That could be one nifty little automatic hot hatch. PHOTOS: See more of the Fiat 500C Abarth