Abarth is currently busy working on an all-electric hot hatch based on the Fiat 500e but the company is not neglecting the development of combustion-powered models. The brand is now returning to Brazil with its first-ever crossover, which will go on sale in the country under the Pulse moniker later this year. It will be sold in dedicated Abarth showrooms within Fiat dealerships, with the company’s initial plan being for about 50 stores around Brazil to be operational soon.
As you’ve probably guessed already, the Abarth Pulse is based on the Fiat Pulse, which is a small crossover for South America. It was launched last year with a cute exterior, compact dimensions, and a tech-heavy cabin with a fully digital instrument cluster and a large infotainment display on the center console. Abarth is now taking things to the next level with a full exterior makeover.
The sporty package consists of several components, including a new radiator grille with a honeycomb structure and a large Abarth logo, and a new front apron with modified side air vents and lower-mounted fog lights. At the back, there’s a tweaked rear apron with a new diffuser and two exhaust pipes, integrated at the left side. Red accents on the side doors, front fascia, and side mirror caps create a nice contrast with the main body color.
Unfortunately, we don’t know what’s happening under the hood. Abarth hasn’t provided information about whether there are any mechanical upgrades. In standard form, the Pulse is available with a base 1.3-liter Firefly Flex naturally aspirated engine, good for 106 horsepower (79 kilowatts) and 99 pound-feet (134 Newton-meters) of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard.
Optionally available is a 1.0-liter turbocharged gas unit with a peak output of 128 hp (96 kW) and 147 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque. This is enough power to accelerate the small crossover from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) in 9.4 seconds. This is definitely not an exciting number, though, and we expect Abarth’s version to be at least slightly more powerful and quicker off the line.