"We love an underdog here in the UK. For reasons I’m not sure any of us understand, we always get behind the team or player who’s not supposed to go far, the one who isn’t meant to "
Abarth: 595 Turismo
When Abarth released their tweaked version of the hugely successful Fiat 500 prodigy we were banging their doors down to have a crack at the little whip.
It was actually the ‘Essesse’ version that we ended up ragging round the hills of the Brecon Beacons. Put it this way. I strapped my two toddler sons in the back of the little pocket rocket as we headed to Eppynt and they giggled, guffawed and screamed in glee with the sheer fun of it all. Now the 595 Turismo has been uncaged, marketed to celebrate the 50th year of the Scorpion badge. This is just one of the harder, more extremely tweaked versions of the Abarth 500. It comes complete with 160 BHP thanks to trick tuning, and now incorporating adaptive damping, it’s sure to hit even harder in the hilarity stakes.
Sure enough, the little monster looks the part. Like a latin terrier nipping at the heels of anything on the road (particularly in London’s Mayfair, replete with an acreage of pointlessly gurgling Aventadors and 458s) it seems wholly appropriate that such a little maven might be the choice of an off-duty oligarch (there are enough of them round here). What better way to turn up at the Sunseeker showroom after breakfast at Claridges than scaring the bejeesus out of your average dowager than blipping a few decibels from the exhaust.
We only had a little bit of time to ascertain wether the latest Abarth edition stays true to Carlo’s creed of bringing racetrack performance to the huddled masses. That’s the thing: you don’t need much time shifting up through the tight little gearbox, flinging the issue around those W1 corners and poking around in the sheer condensed cuteness of the thing to realise that yeah, this car would work towed onto the back of aforementioned superyacht – and also for the upstepping midrange working stiff who likes to drive and likes to look as if he likes to drive.
All in all, we have to give a heartfelt bravissimo to whoever it was at Abarth/Fiat for delving ever deeper into the performance capabilities of its game changing savant. And I know, even though, the boys are a bit older now, they’d love it.
They could probably reach the pedals now too.
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