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New models - Abarth - 595

Fiat drops entry point to Abarth range

Bouncing baby: The latest addition to the Abarth range may cost nearly $10,000 more than the base Fiat 500, but it is only $4510 more than the original entry-level 500 when it was introduced in 2008.

Australia's cheapest Abarth to date adds fourth variant for $27,500 BOCs

Abarth logo4 Apr 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has narrowed the gap between its Fiat 500 micro hatchback and its performance-focused Abarth range, with a new 104kW 595 that provides a more affordable way into the scorpion-badged family.

The existing Abarth range kicks off with the 118kW 595 Turismo priced from $34,000 before on-road costs, but the new 595 drops the suffix, 14kW and $6500 from the asking price, for a new entry point of $27,500. A convertible version takes the 595 price to $31,500.

With the fourth variant now added to the Abarth line-up the new 595 is the most affordable Abarth yet offered in Australia, and joins the 595 Turismo, 595 Competizione and 695 Biposto flagship.

However, that line-up will undergo rationalisation later this year when the Competizione gets a power boost to 140kW to offer an Abarth option with the poke of the mad Biposto flagship, remit of its racecar equipment.

Biposto versions include serious high-performance equipment which blows the price out to $65,000 and are available on a strictly order-only basis, but the new enhanced Competizione is not expected to be as exclusive or expensive.

The Turismo will retain its 118kW for an even spread of power choices across the Abarth range and a pricing adjustment is expected in accordance with the new structure.

Standard fare for the new 595 includes a detuned version of the existing Abarth 1.4-litre T-Jet turbo four-cylinder, which sends power to the front end via a five-speed manual gearbox. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels house ventilated disc brakes with red callipers, while foglights and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with the Uconnect connectivity system are also included.

With the introduction of the new variant, the leap from range-topping Fiat 500 territory to the Abarth range is reduced to $6500, which is likely to encourage more customers to go the extra mile from a 500 Lounge to the new Abarth 595.

Pricing for the automatic is yet to be announced but it is likely to align with the current range, which requires $1500 to upgrade to the five-speed Dualogic transmission from the standard manual.

Performance figures are also yet to be released but the new Abarth will sit in beneath the 118kW 595 Turismo, which manages the zero to 100km/h dash in 7.4 seconds, but above the 1.4-litre Fiat 500 Lounge, which has 74kW at its disposal.

Fiat 500 fans with a more limited budget can get into the cheeky Italian hatch range via the base 1.2-litre Pop, which costs $18,000 plus on-roads.

The Australian Abarth range can trace its bloodline, at least in a modern context, back to the 695 Tributo Ferrari, which arrived in Australia in 2011 with 132kW and a hearty $70,000 price tag.

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