Fiat has announced a special Ferrari-themed version of the 500 supermini that will be available to buy in right-hand drive in the UK.
The Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, as the special edition is called, is based on the Abarth 500 – the hot hatch version of the Fiat 500 city car.
Just 152 of these hot little cars will be offered in right-hand drive to UK buyers, which might not sound like many until you learn the price.
Though the car will be available to order through UK dealers it will be sold in Euros – 35,500 of them, to be precise. At the current exchange rate that’s £29,750 – twice the price of the standard car.
Abarth is clearly aiming the 695 at existing Ferrari owners – in much the same way that Aston Martin is planning to produce a luxury version of the Toyota iQ supermini called the Cygnet.
180hp and paddle shift gearbox
For the money, you do admittedly get an extensive number of enhancements over a regular Abarth 500 – starting with upgrades to the engine.
The 1.4-litre T-Jet turbo petrol engine produces 135bhp in standard Abarth 500 form. Official ‘esseesse’ performance kits can increase this to 160bhp, but the Tributo Ferrari has 180bhp right from the factory. That’s a staggering amount of power for such a small car.
The engine is paired to a special version of the Manual Transmission Automated (MTA) gearbox, with faster shift times taken care of via race-inspired paddle shifters. The car also receives a Record Monza exhaust, valved to get louder above 3,000rpm.
Presumably this will stop Ferrari owners from missing their V8s and V12s too much as they pootle to the shops in their little Fiat.
Ferrari red with plenty of carbon-fibre
Joining the performance modifications are a number of chassis and styling changes.
Bigger brakes and bespoke suspension are settled behind 17-inch alloys, deliberately made to resemble the wheels of the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. The car is finished in similarly evocative Scuderia Red paint, with carbon-fibre door mirrors and Racing Grey detailing.
More carbon-fibre bedecks the inside, together with unique Jaeger dials, Abarth scorpion logos on the pedals, and ‘Abarth Corsa by Sabelt’ black leather sports seats that are 10kg lighter than the usual seats. In addition, the steering wheel has red leather inserts, the footwells are non-slip aluminium, while the sill plates bear the individual vehicle series number.
Orders being taken now
The 695 element of the Tributo Ferrari’s name is an homage to the origins of Abarth – company founder Karl Abarth made his name tuning the original Fiat 500, and one of his most successful creations was the 695.
Abarth is now a wholly Fiat-owned subsidiary, but it has its own development facilities producing high-performance versions of the 500 and Punto. More Abarth machines are promised in the near future.
Abarth dealers are already entertaining serious enquiries about the new 695 Tributo Ferrari. So if you are interested, and can overlook the price, you’d better get your skates on.
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