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2018 Fiat 500 video preview

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Can frugal be fun? Fiat might have shown us that with cars, it can be.

Unintended consequences may not be a bad thing sometimes. The 2018 Fiat 500 gets a turbocharged engine in the name of efficiency, but the 1.4-liter turbo-4 also adds 33 percent more power. We haven’t yet driven it, but the pint-size Italian just might be surprisingly fun?

The busy turbo-4 makes 135 horsepower mated to a manual or automatic transmission. Want more power? An Abarth model makes its return and offers 160 loud horsepower that’s hilariously crass on cold starts

In a select few states the all-electric 500e returns with and EPA rating 84 miles of range and 112 MPGe combined.

No matter the engine power is sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.

Aside from a large power bump, the 500 now features 16-inch alloy wheels standard, performance braking system, sport suspension, fog lights, and a backup camera.

Turbocharged powertrains can be used for better mileage, or more fun, or sometimes both. We’re waiting for our turn behind the wheel of one but there’s a decent chance both of those things will be present here. Look for the refreshed 500 to hit dealer showrooms in the second quarter of 2018.

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