OK, so here at Richard Hardie, we reviewed the new Abarth Competizione a couple of weeks ago. And now they’ve updated it. So we’d better catch up. What’s different?
Well, in short, apart from a few tweaks to the kit, it’s even more of a riot, to the tune of 20bhp, than its predecessor. But let’s remind ourselves what the Abarth Competizione is. It’s a Fiat 500 with attitude. Someone tweaked its tail and it’s angry.
Strangely, it’s not the fastest among the 500s, though. That honour goes to the 695 Biposto. Built with racing components, that little beast will take you from 0-62 in an adrenaline-fuelled 5.9 seconds and on and on, all the way up to 145mph. With Brembo brakes and Dog Ring gearbox, the Biposto is preposterous – in a good way.
The Competizione is much more the province of mere mortals. It’s a lot more street than track. So what Abarth models are on offer? Biposto aside, there are three to choose from – the 135bhp Abarth 500 Custom, the 160bhp 595 Turismo and the Competizione, which now hits 178bhp from its previous 158bhp. You can even have roofless versions, if you like being hit by hurricanes.
But did the Competizione actually need to be any more powerful? It was already a pocket rocket. Alongside that extra thrash of bhp, Abarth has increased torque from 170lb ft to 184lb ft at 2500rpm.
This is on a car that weighs little more than 1000kg. Which means that the Abarth Competizione is spectacularly quick, with a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds, up from 7.4, and a top speed of 140mph. Somehow, Abarth has also made it less thirsty than before, with an average official figure of 48.7mpg.
What else will appeal about the Competizione? The sabelt seats look like something out of an F1 car and there are Brembo brakes and 17-inch alloys. It’s even practical – with xenon headlamps and rear-parking sensors.
Of course, you can have any colour you like, so long as it’s red. Yes, the Competizione looks like it’s on fire. You can get as creative as you like with your paint scheme, though, with various embellishments ranging from stripes and stickers to contrast colour schemes. Suspension is low. How low? Think chihuahua.
How much will all these cheap thrills cost? You’ll pay a little less than £1000 more for the new version. The ‘old’ Abarth 595C Competizione weighed in at £18,990 in its naked form, while the new hatch is £19,890 and the convertible version is £21,890, or in automatic for an extra £1300.