Fiat has announced a series of changes to the Abarth 500 line-up. The Abarth models – which are badged as Abarths rather than Fiats and sold through a distinct network of 24 Abarth dealers – are sportier versions of Fiat’s popular 500.
The existing Abarth 500 carries on as the entry-level model
for the range but is joined by two new variants, the 595 Turismo and 595
Competizione; the 595 badge recalls the famous Abarth 595 SS of 1964. The modern
595 models have a 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine, a handy
boost compared with the power of the similarly-sized engine in the Abarth 500
(135 in the case of manual cars and 140 in the case of those fitted with the MTA
automated manual transmission). There’s no sign yet in the Abarth line-up,
though, of Fiat’s two-cylinder TwinAir engines, a popular choice in the standard
500. The standard Abarth 500 and the new 595 models are all available with a
choice of hatchback or 500C-style convertible bodies.
Prices for the Abarth 500 start at £13,975, with convertible and MTA versions costing more. The 595 Turismo starts at £17,725, and as well as its more powerful engine gets dark tinted rear windows, upgraded dampers, climate control, leather upholstery, red brake calipers, 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlamps and special trims. The 595 Competizione adds further features such as cross-drilled brake discs and an upgraded exhaust. Prices for the Competizione range from £18,725 for a hatchback with a manual gearbox to £21,925 for an open-topped car with the MTA transmission – which may at first sight seem to be quite steep for a car based on the Fiat 500, but isn’t particularly extreme by the standards of the 500’s great rival, the BMW Mini.