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Fiat delivers the ‘world’s smallest supercar’

You’re shifting me: Potent Fiat 500-based weapon can be optioned with a gearbox that costs almost as much as a base 500.

Race-ready, road-legal Abarth 695 Biposto is the most extreme Fiat 500 yet released


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10 Mar 2015


FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia is looking to carve out a lucrative niche among enthusiast drivers with the latest addition to its Abarth roster – the 695 Biposto that is billed as the fastest example of the 500-based performance brand and the world’s smallest supercar.

Hot-rodded to within an inch of its life, the super-lightweight and powerful 695 Biposto is available on a per-order basis from Fiat dealers from $65,000 plus on-road costs – and comes with a range of options including a $15,000 dog-ring gearbox that is almost as expensive as a base-model 500.

The 695 has already been seen on Australian racetracks known as the 695 Assetto Corse, three track-specific versions of the cars were driven by a combination of Fiat Chrysler executives, professional racers and motoring journalists at the 2014 Bathurst 12-Hour in an invitational class.

Aside from a rollcage and a paddle-activated gearbox, the two cars are essentially identical.

The 695 joins the recently launched 595 Competizione and Turismo in the Abarth stable and has few rivals, although the bigger Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R comes close in terms of its uncompromising spec and pricing from $61,990 plus on-road costs.

The 695 has been lightened, given more power, has track-tuned suspension and brakes, and can even be optioned with polycarbonate front side windows, yet it remains completely road-legal.

An extensive bodykit that includes front and rear bumpers, side skirts, wheelarch flares and a rear spoiler are inset with carbon pieces, while the bespoke matt grey paint is textured to the touch.

Inside, the spartan cabin features a pair of Sabelt seats, an Alcantara-covered steering wheel, a titanium rear brace and cargo net. The rear seats have been removed, though the stock front seats can be tilted forward.

The front-wheel-drive 695 is fitted with Fiat’s 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged T-Jet engine, which has been retuned to produce 140kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm of torque at 3000rpm.

The higher output comes via a liberal use of aftermarket ancillaries, including a race-tuned, bimodal valve-equipped exhaust system with titanium outlet tips, a carbon-shrouded BMC air intake filter and a front-mount air-to-air turbo inlet charge intercooler.

It will dash from 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds and keep charging hard all the way to 230km/h. When not driven in anger, Abarth claims the 695 Biposto can return 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres and emit 155g of CO2 per kilometre.

A five-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard however, a Bacci Romano short-ratio five-speed manual can be optioned. Built without synchromesh between the straight-cut gears, the Romano ’box can be shifted without the use of the included copper-faced button clutch.

Its gearlever and shift gate are machined from aluminium and mounted prominently in the cabin. The kit, estimated to cost $15,000, also includes a lightened engine flywheel, the aforementioned clutch and alloy shift lever, as well as a carbon centre tunnel console and handbrake cover. The handbrake lever is also replaced with a titanium item.

The 695’s chassis has been equally tweaked, with a set of Extreme Shox dampers with external ride height, rebound and compression adjustment, and a set of matched, lowered springs. Brembo four-piston one-piece brake callipers clamp 305mm floating rotors up front, and 18-inch OZ Competizione racing alloys are shod with soft-compound 215/35 R18 tyres.

Electronic chassis controls are also fitted ABS, ESP and torque vectoring are included, while the ESP can be turned completely off. Two airbags are fitted as standard.

Weight savings have been achieved by deleting the stock car’s air-conditioning, radio, Xenon headlights, rear seats and foglights, contributing to a claimed kerb weight of 997kg with the standard front side windows fitted.

Further weight reduction can be realised by optioning the 695 with a so-called Special Kit 124, which replaces the bonnet with an alloy item that pays homage to the 124 Abarth, as well as replacing bonnet trim, doorhandles, hub centre caps, wheel bolts and all fluid caps with titanium items.

A Carbon Kit will add carbon posts and caps to the side mirrors, front door panels, dash fascia and rear view mirror. Nylon straps also replace the door pulls.

The Track Kit adds an AIM MLX data logger, carbon-shelled fixed-back racing seats and three-inch, four-point seat harnesses. Abarth will even throw in a race suit, gloves, shoes and a helmet.

“The 695 Biposto is a true race-car experience, but is just as at home on city streets as it is on a racetrack,” said FCA Australia president and CEO Pat Dougherty.

“There’s so many things that will excite fans of the brand it’s incredibly light, exhilaratingly fast and it’s the first road car available with a genuine racing gearbox.

“The 695 Biposto is the perfect addition to Australia’s growing Abarth range.”Check GoAuto.com.au on Wednesday March 18 for our first drive impressions of the Abarth 695 Biposto.

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