There’s definitely something appealing about a small car with a lot of power, my mind wanders back to the quest to put more power in the back of my Beetle, or the famous Mini Cooper rally car from the sixties and seventies.
Resplendent in a classic Mini Cooper-style red, the Special Edition Fiat Abarth 595 Pista is another small package that packs a punch, and next week Fiat will reveal all at the Geneva Motor Show which runs from March 9th until the 19th.
Pista means ‘track’, and the 595 Pista Fiat infotainment system allows access to Abarth Telemetry, which will come already set up with maps of some of the globe’s favourite race circuits.
The Fiat 500 has been a pretty resounding success since it’s reinvention and relaunch a few years back, and Fiat were not about to sit back and bask in their success, as the Fiat Abarth 500 was introduced to good reviews in 2008. The 5-speed Abarth had a turbocharged, intercooled 1.4 petrol engine giving 133hp and a hefty bit of extra excitement to the little Fiat.
The Abarth 595 hot hatchback itself has been around a while, getting a facelift in 2016 with 143bhp for the entry-level model and a decent 165bhp for the 595 Turismo, while the 595 Competizione offered the addition of Limited Slip Differential to help tame its 178bhp output.
The Abarth 595 Pista will be a special edition model with the usual 1.4 4-cylinder petrol engine plus 158bhp and 230Nm of torque that should see you anything but stranded at the traffic lights. A maximum speed of 134mph with a 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds completes the basic figures.
Some nice touches include the option to specify paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a sequential gearbox. As standard, the Pista comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Adjustable aftermarket shock experts KONI supply the rear suspension using FSD damping technology. FSD is KONI’s answer to the age-old shock absorber problem of performance over comfort – if you want to go round corners like you’re on rails, you tend to have to sacrifice comfort and suffer over the potholes. FSD technology utilises a hydraulic amplifier ‘that delays the build up of pressure’ KONI says.
The Pista sports seats are height adjustable so you can dial in the best possible driving position, while the info touch screen gives you access to both Apple with Apple CarPlay and Android with Android Auto.
The actual appearance of any Fiat 500-based model is always pleasing on the eye, and the Abarth 595 ups the ante a little with a classic red with matte black highlights – always a winner. These accents include mirrors, 17-inch wheels, bumpers and a smart looking surround for those quad tailpipes.
If black isn’t your thing, you can choose yellow or red. Extras include xenon headlamps, tinted windows and an electric glass sunroof. A nicely placed badge just to the rear of the doors completes the look. Oh, and it will be available in a cabriolet version too. Prices are yet to be announced.