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This comes from Chris who runs the fiat500usa.com site (Great site, be sure to visit). He is a very well-connected gentleman. This is the response he received from a FIAT honcho, who should know:

Q1. What Turbo is in the Abarth? Euro-spec (IHI) or the same turbo found on the R3T / Punto SS (Garrett GT1446) or something different?

A1. The new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth has a different turbocharger than the European-spec Abarth 500. For NAFTA, the car features the Garrett GT1446 (Honeywell), the proven turbo that is found in the Assetto Corse, R3T racecars and the Abarth Grande Punto. For reference, the European Abarth 500 (non-MultiAir) uses an IHI turbo.

So, let's give it up for Chris. Since the IHI turbo was maxed out at 160hp, this will make 180-200hp possible in the future! Sweet and a BIG bonus for the NA Abarth.... Thanks, Chris!
 

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Looks like FIAT is giving the USA the best of everything except for the optional Abarth Corse sports seats by Sabelt (likely due to side-impact occupant protection requirements). The US-spec Abarth 500 should be a good one.
 
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