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Source [FiatScene]
The US-spec car's manual transmission is Fiat's C514 gearbox.


Some technical details are posted here:




C514


Center Distance: 170, 182 mm
Configuration: W-E, 2 axys
Max Input Torque: 150 Nm
Lenght: 362 mm (5-sp), 410 mm (6-sp)
Mass: 33 Kg (5-sp), 35 Kg (6-sp)

For those looking to install aftermarket power mods, the standard Fiat 500 manual transmission can handle up to 150 Nm, which is approximately 111 lb-ft of torque. The US car's torque peaks at 98 lb-ft around 4000 rpm, stock.


The bottom line is that any power modifications will need to be coupled with upgrades to the manual gearbox.


C514 cutaway:





Here are some technical details of the C514 gearbox variant with six speeds:


http://benzs.blogspot.com/2008/01/fiat-bravo-in-depth_6495.html


Enhanced acoustic comfort, reduced engagement effort even when cold and more precise gear engagement. These are the advantages that the motorist can expect from the C514 gearbox (transverse configuration with two cascade shafts and differential) on which various improvements were made to the gear train, synchronisers, lubrication, internal gear control and clutch control, before being used on the Fiat Bravo.


The gearbox is available with six speeds for the 90 bhp 1.4 petrol engine, and adopts a gear control which prevents the involuntary engagement of reverse, thanks to a stroke limiter in the selector, and guarantees more precise engagement of fifth and sixth. With this configuration, the gearbox can transmit up to 128 Nm (13 kgm) at 4500 rpm. The technical characteristics worth highlighting include the gearing housing and clutch housing, both of which have been optimised to reduce weight and to absorb more noise, using FEM (Finite Element Method) calculation techniques. But also Borg-Warner free-ring synchronisation on all speeds. And finally, for first and second, the speeds most used by any motorist, dual cone synchronisers have been fitted, requiring 40% less engagement effort than the conventional single-cone type.


The internal gear control system offers four levels of selection, with a central positioner fitted with bearings. Lubrication is dynamic, and the oil flows are channelled through bore holes in the boxes. The advantages include reduced wear, more efficient torque transmission and better manoeuvring at low temperatures.

The C514 is currently used in many Fiat Group products, including the current Alfa Romeo MiTo, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Fiat Bravo, and others.
 

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As far as I know the Abarth uses the C510. Its not so much the overall torque that shreds a tranny as it is how you drive it. Ripping gears under load while having more than the recommended torque yield and youll turn those gears to mush. However if you shift sensibly the trans will be fine. Mods like intake exhaust and ECU wont detonate your trans.
 
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