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Fiat 500 Abarth Competizione: Frankfurt Forbidden Fruit

Posted in Fiat, Frankfurt Motor Show by Kurt Ernst | September 5th, 2011 | 1 Response |

The Abarth 695 Competizione. Image: Fiat

In 2009, Fiat tuner Abarth got a crazy idea: work with Ferrari to build the world’s fastest Fiat 500, then put it into limited production at a cost-be-damned price just under $50,000. The result was the Fiat 500 Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, and the Italian tuner soon found that the stratospheric price was no barrier to sales. Since the car’s launch in July 2010, some 1,300 examples have been delivered to customers.

That car may have been a tough act to follow, except for the tried and true practice of Italian automakers: there’s always more sales to be had by offering a “Competizione” version. Enter the 2012 Abarth 695 Competizione, which will make its world debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Like the original 695 Tributo, the Competizione puts out an impressive 180 horsepower from its 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. It also features four-piston Brembo brakes and a stiffer, track-ready suspension.

Image: Fiat

What you don’t get is a back seat. Instead, there’s a competition-ready roll cage, painted in the same Grigio Competizione Opaco finish as the exterior. Light weight is the order of the day, and the Sabelt racing seats feature carbon-fiber shells, with leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. The dash is carbon fiber, too, just in case you need reminding that this is no ordinary Fiat 500.

Just like a Ferrari, you can have any transmission you’d like, as long as it’s a paddle-shifted automatic. Unlike row-it-yourself automatic gearboxes from other manufacturers, the Abarth unit really does speed up gear changes. For weekends, the transmission features a “Track” mode that forgoes comfort for performance; should you choose to drive the Competizione on a daily basis, there’s a “Street” mode for commuting to and from your office.

Abarth hasn’t yet priced the 695 Competizione, but expect it to cost even more than the 695 Tributo’s starting price of $47,000. It’s a moot point anyway, since we won’t be seeing the Abarth 695 Competizione on these shores any time soon.

Source: Fiat

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One Response

  1. Nephilim says:

    I’m a full-blooded Jeeper and as an admirer of the classic American muscle car my second dream car would be a cherry 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner 440 Six Pack in Lime Green.

    Having said that, I’d LOVE to have this little Fiat. High powered compacts are an absolute blast to drive. My ex/now close friend owns an ’05 SRT-4 (3rd gear synchro is shit for this year!!!!!!) and its one helluva fast and fun car but driving around town (Metro Phoenix) every little numbnut that owns a Civic or Integra with nothing more than a CAI, fart can and stickers knows what it is and wants to race me or her and it gets old. Quick. I love the idea that the only “tuners” here that would recognize the Fiat for what it is would be the ones that truly enjoy the world of sport compacts and would be the kind of folks I’d love to shoot the shit with. On the other hand, I could challenge and blow away the numbnuts if and when I felt like it or simply go about my errands. I think this little Fiat would be more of a sleeper than the fourth generation GTO.