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New models - Abarth - 695 - Biposto

Abarth 695 Biposto sprints in

Pocket rocket: The Abarth 695 Biposto will retail from $65,000 plus on-roads Down Under, but options can bring the price up to six figures.

Pint-sized Abarth 695 Biposto powerhouse leads Fiat’s emotional recharge

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Abarth logo12 Sep 2015

By STUART MARTIN

TOUTED as the world’s smallest supercar, the Abarth 695 Biposto has finally turned a wheel on Australian roads, with just 14 examples earmarked priced from a staggering $65,000, plus on-road costs.

With every box ticked, the Abarth can reach $108,000, placing it in Porsche Cayman pricing territory, so demand is not forcing Fiat to ask for any more than the 14 vehicles so far destined for Australian homes.

Fiat and Alfa Romeo product manager Aitezaz Khan said it would be difficult identify a better example of the brand’s slogan “performance is a state of mind” than the 695 Biposto.

“Even with every option ticked I challenge you to find anything anywhere near its price point that even comes close to offering this level of theatre and this racecar experience,” he said.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia director marketing and product strategy Zac Loo said the Fiat brand’s success in Australia had largely come from the aspirational, rather than the rational side of the product portfolio, which suggests Abarth will be key to Fiat’s revival in Australia.

This is the road-going version of the Asseto Corsa racecar that campaigned at recent production-car endurance events in Australia.

The two-seater might not have a sound system or air conditioning but can be upgraded with several options, including the $15,000 race-track sourced Bacci Romano gearbox kit that adds dog-rings, allowing rapid upshifts using the long gearshift mechanism, an all-aluminium affair with a standard ‘H’ configuration.

The dog-ring gearbox allows for quick clutches gearshifts without using the copper-racing clutch. Fiat says around three quarters of Biposto’s sold in Australia will be fitted with the optional dog gearbox.

Also included in the option pack is a mechanical limited slip diff and carbon-fibre tunnel and handbrake cover.

There’s more carbon-fibre to be had through the interior with the $9000 option pack the 124 Speciale option pack adds $5000 worth of aluminium bonnet and lightweight metal caps for coolant, oil and fuel.

The fastest street-legal Abarth ever made tips the scales at 997kg, with 140kW and 250Nm coming from the 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant, enough to see 100km/h appearing on the digital dashboard in 5.9 seconds and a 230km/h top speed, yet it still boats a 6.5 litres per 100 kilometre combined cycle fuel figure.

The power is all to put ground using a clever front diff, backed by a Torque Transfer Control system that uses brake intervention rather than cutting power to maintain stability without loss of performance.

A rear roof spoiler, front splitter, flared wheel arches and the bulging alloys distinguish the Biposto from its less-frenetic Fiat 500 siblings, but there’s scope for more.

For the serious racer there’s a Track Kit that adds a a data logger system, and Sabelt carbon-fibre racing seats with four-point racing harnesses also optional are front fixed windows made from polycarbonate, complete with sliding panels (add $7000).

At least the 18-inch alloy wheels (made by OZ and weighing just 7kg each) with 215/35 tyres are standard, as is adjustable suspension, a rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini (where the rear seat would normally reside), a race-bred intercooler, an active titanium exhaust from super bike exhaust specialist Akrapovic and Brembo cross-drilled four-wheel disc brakes with four-pot callipers on the front.

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