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Fiat 500 Abarth Buyers Put on Wait List

If you were considering buying a 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, the high-performance version of FIAT’s small car, you’ll have to wait for more to be built. Chrysler Group says in a statement, “Dealer orders for the Abarth … exceeded the production run of this model for the 2012 model year.”

The 500 Abarth hit dealerships in April, and overall FIAT May U.S. sales were up 128 percent compared with the same month a year ago. Shoppers who want to buy a new Fiat 500 Abarth and can’t find one at their local dealer will be placed on a waiting list for the 2013 model, “with those cars expected to arrive in the fall,” Autoblog reports.

Starting at $22,000, the Abarth costs $6,500 more than the base Fiat 500, and at an Abarth press event in March, Matt Davis, head of FIAT product marketing, said the 500 Abarth fills a niche in the market. “It’s like the Italian sports car for the everyday driver,” Davis said. “… it’s like the guy that wants 34 miles per gallon that wants to have fun on his daily commute. And at the same time, if he finds a track, he can take it there and let it rip.”

The Detroit News says the Abarth’s high demand is partly a result of “rave reviews in a number of leading automotive publications.”

The Abarth's strong demand might also be attributed to FIAT's ads for the compact car. After the 500 Abarth’s Super Bowl commercial aired, which featured supermodel Catrinel Menghia, we saw a pageview increase of almost 205 percent for the 2012 Fiat 500 compared with the prior weekend. Meanwhile, Edmunds.com recorded a 3,354 percent increase in pageviews of their review of the Fiat 500.

Since the Abarth model is in such high demand, FIAT isn’t offering any lease deals or low interest rates on it this month, but the 2012 Mini Cooper S, the Abarth’s closest rival, is available with 0.9 percent financing for three years. The base 2012 500 can be leased for $199 a month and the convertible model for $299 a month, both for 42 months with $0 due at signing.

Shopping for a FIAT or an affordable small car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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