Abarth Hit The Hot Hatch Sweet Spot: New 595
We love a hot hatches – who doesn’t? But we can’t help feeling that the true essence of what makes one so special has been overlooked by most manufacturers. We believe that a hot hatch should be small, light, relatively inexpensive and, of course, quick. We also think that anymore than 3 doors instantly disqualifies a car from the hot hatch club.
How many of the current crop can tick all of those boxes? The MINI Cooper is a case in point – it’s become an up market porker over the years and the 5 door versions are just plain ugly.
The Fiat 500 based Abarth models that first appeared back in 2008 were closer to the true hot hatch spirit but subsequent models and variants have crept up in terms of cost and bloat. It is super-refreshing then to see that FCA have decided to launch a new entry level performance model with the 2016 Abarth 595. The pocket rocket comes in at $27,500 plus on road costs and we think it hits the price/performance/fun/style sweet spot almost perfectly.
So what do you get with the new Abarth 595? Well there’s the tweaked 1.4 turbo mill that now puts out 103kW145 HP and 206 Nm of peak torque. This propels the little car to a 204 kph top speed and acceleration of 0-62 in 7.9 seconds – plenty quick enough in our book.
The car comes with 16” alloys instead of 17” on the 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione models. It also comes with Fiat’s clever Torque Transfer Control which helps gets the considerable down on to the tarmac without fuss.
On the cosmetic side of things the car really looks the part with a lower stance, deeper front air dam and cheeky twin tailpipes emerging from the rear diffuser.
As with all hot hatches the big question is does the overall package incite desire? Our verdict is yes – hell yes, we want one!