By Paul Rachwal
Thursday, Nov 1st, 2012 @ 1:05 pm
 

The chic Fiat 500 is all about customization and personal expression, so Fiat brought no less than four customized 500s to the 2012 SEMA show. They are the Beach Cruiser, Café Racer, Magnetti Marelli Fiat Argento and Venom, in the order in which they appear in the photos in the gallery above.

The Beach Cruiser is based on the 500C ragtop and was customized to reflect the West Coast custom car scene. Its body was widened by a foot front and rear before being sprayed in a matte grey paint. The fender flares envelop the custom aluminum wheels that get covers for hiding the lug nuts. The teak roof rack carries a small surf board to cement the California theme.

The car also gets a Mopar intake and cat-back exhaust, along with a strut tower brace and a lowered suspension. Inside, Katzkin recovered the interior while custom teak floor mats sit in the foot wells.

The Café Racer sports some more extensive body modifications such as a chopped roof and shaved door handles. A cold air intake feeds from the hole leftover by one of the fog lights in the 500s jutting front fascia, and a one-off side draft exhaust expels combustion gases.

Its namesake comes from the custom Café Racer-themed motorcycle that sits on a trailer behind the car and matches its design motif. The twin-cylinder bike also gets disc wheels and takes the minimalist approach to the maximum, with a scorpion logo on the tank branding it as an Abarth. The hitch receiver for the trailer is, of course, a Mopar accessory.

Other than the Katzkin leather upholstery inside, the interior is otherwise sparse and simple.

The Magneti Marelli Argento is arguable the most performance-oriented of the bunch, with a nod to the historic Italian aftermarket and racing parts company. As such, its exterior is adorned with a plethora of carbon fiber parts, including spoiler, diffuser, lip, mirror covers, antenna cover, and grille inserts. It rides on 17-inch wheels shod in performance-oriented, low-profile tires, while the body is wrapped in a matte black and carbon film.

Performance modifications include lowering springs, a brake booster, larger and better brakes and pads, a one-off intake and a Bombardone 2.0 exhaust. A strut tower brace stiffens the hatchback's structure as well.

The interior gets even more carbon fiber accents and Katzkin leather wrapping and trim.

The Abarth Venom has appeared earlier this year and also promises a significant performance boost. It also gets Magnetti Mirelli parts, including lowering springs that plunk the car two inches lower to the ground, a cold air intake, Brembo big brakes up front and a deleted rear seat for less weight. A cargo net and sport bar sits in its place, the latter tying together the rear strut towers.