As local Fiat importer Ateco risks becoming the boy who cried wolf and Australian buyers lose hope of ever seeing the hi-po 500 Abarth on local roads, Fiat has revealed the long-rumoured 'Esseesse' (pronounced "SS") version of the convertible 500C.
Set to debut at Paris later this month, the 500C Abarth Esseesse is powered by a 120kW 1.4 litre turbo-charged petrol engine, producing 230Nm of torque - up from 105kW and 206Nm for the 'regular' 500C Abarth.
The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in 7.5 seconds, slicing more than half a second from the 500C Abarth's 8.1 second shuffle. Top speed is listed as 210km/h.
On the styling and handling front, the 500C Abarth Esseesse gets 17-inch alloy wheels and a unique two-tone paint scheme.
Joining the 500C Abarth Esseesse at Paris will be the Fiat Punto Evo Esseesse, the power of its 1.4 litre Multiair engine boosted from 123kW and 250Nm of torque to 135kW and 270Nm. The 0-100km/h run is over in 7.5 seconds - not the quickest hatch around, but no tortoise either.
Larger than its 500C cousin, the Punto Evo Esseesse gets 18-inch alloy wheels.