• The entire 2012 run of the new FIAT 500 Abarth has sold out
  • Sellout is despite expanded production to respond to strong pre-order interest
  • The 2013 model will begin arriving this fall

FIAT's sporty 500 Abarth is sold out for the rest of the 2012 model year. That's the latest from Chrysler, the Italian brand's U.S. affiliate, which is advising customers interested in purchasing the hot hatch to wait until 2013 models begin arriving at dealerships this fall.

According to Chrysler, the Toluca, Mexico, factory that produces the 500 and its high-performance Abarth stablemate was originally slated to build just 1,000 units of the sporty hatchback for the 2012 model year. However, pre-orders reached that number within weeks after Chrysler announced the Abarth's availability. In response, Chrysler upped the production volume to 3,000 units-the factory's entire capacity for the model year. Now, even those extra cars are spoken for.

For car shoppers interested in the sporty FIAT, that likely means they'll have to wait until 2013 models come out this fall to get their hands on a brand-new Abarth, unless they've already submitted a deposit. It also means the model will continue to be in high demand at dealerships, as it has been since it went on sale earlier this spring.

It's understandable why buyers have been eager to get a 500 Abarth. The base model wouldn't catch the eye of an enthusiast, with its 1.4-liter 4-cylinder making 101 horsepower. The Abarth version, though, offers a turbocharged version of the same powerplant that's good for a rousing 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The engine propels the Abarth from 0 to 60 mph from a standing start in a respectable seven seconds, thanks to a standard six-speed manual transmission and an impressively taut curb weight of just 2,400 pounds.

The horsepower boost is not the only thing that justifies the Abarth's increased base price of $22,700 with destination. Other upgrades include a revised sport suspension with stiffer springs that's designed to reduce body roll, a Sport mode that tightens the hatchback's steering and improves throttle response and a host of interior and exterior upgrades that distinguish the sporty model from its standard sibling.

Because of the sellout, most car shoppers won't get to experience the Abarth's improvements until later this year, when the 2013 model comes out. Some buyers may grow impatient and purchase one of the hot hatch's rivals instead, but we think it may be wise to wait for one of the most exciting FIAT ever offered in the U.S.

What it means to you: If you're interested in Fiat's sporty 500 Abarth, start calling your local dealerships-or be prepared to wait until fall.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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