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Fiat puts brakes on price of its latest Abarth 500

Italian dish: Fiat’s Abarth 595 50th Anniversary is a tribute to the first bambino 595 launched in Turin in 1963.

Abarth’s commemorative 595 50th Anniversary bambino zips into Australia at $45,000

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29 May 2014

FIAT Chrysler Group has pre-shrunk the price of its latest hot Abarth 500 bambino special edition, the 595 50th Anniversary, which arrived in Australia this week.

At $45,000 plus on-road costs, the limited-edition hatch is $15,000 cheaper than last year’s effort, the $60,000 Abarth 695 Edizione Maserati, and a whopping $25,000 more affordable than 2012’s Abarth Tributo Ferrari that went for an eye-watering $69,990.

Fiat Chrysler Australia corporate communications director Karla Leach said the pricing reflected the level of equipment on the new model which was more focussed on sports performance rather than luxury.

She said that while the 595 50th Anniversary has a red and white leather interior, the Edizione Maserati had extra-special hand-crafted leather and wood interior.

The latest model pays tribute to the first Abarth 595 in the original bambino range unveiled at the Turin motor show in 1963. The 595 refers to the 595cc engine capacity.

This version was revealed at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, but has taken until now to reach our shores. Australia gets 50 of the global production run of 299 units, representing about 17 per cent of the stock.

While Fiat Chrysler says the 595 50th Anniversary boasts the most powerful engine of any 595 model, it is the same 132kw/250Nm 1.4-litre T-Jet turbo four-cylinder employed in previous Abarth limited editions.

This is 12kW and 20Nm more than the standard 118kW/230Nm Abarth 500 Esse Esse hatch, which retails for $34,990 plus on-road costs.

The extra power is generated at call by pressing an overboost button that lifts turbo boost pressure, while a variable back-pressure exhaust system helps both engine performance and aural pleasure above 3000rpm.

The 50th Anniversary uses an Abarth Competizione five-speed electro-mechanical gearbox to put the power to the front wheels, pushing the little hatch from zero to 100km/h in less than seven seconds and on to a top speed of 225km/h.

Gear changes can be made with steering wheel-mounted paddles, while torque steer is tamed by torque transfer control. Steering is electric assisted.

Mimicking the original 595, the 50th Anniversary has three-layer white paintwork plus red scorpion graphics. The 17-inch alloy wheels have matching red highlights.

Inside, the red leather seats have white side inserts and headrests, with red stitching. The red trim extends to the dashboard and armrests.

The black leather steering wheel also gets red stitching and red inserts, along with a historical logo that is repeated on the door kick plates.

Like the original 595, the 50th Anniversary gets a sunroof. Other standard equipment includes Xenon headlights, auto climate control with pollen filter, fog lights, rear parking sensors, Interscope Hi-Fi system with CD and MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity.

Buyers even get a 595 50th Anniversary car cover, sunglasses and dedicated Tramontaro luggage thrown in.

Fiat Chrysler Australia president and CEO Veronica Johns described the 50th Anniversary as “an inspirational car for enthusiasts”.

“We’re delighted to have secured 56 50th Anniversary models for Australian customers,” she said. “We’re sure some will be snapped-up by collectors but equally, those with a passion for iconic high-performance Italian cars will find the Abarth 595 50th Anniversary comprehensively equipped and a delight to drive every day.”Fiat Abarth 500 595 50th Anniversary pricing:

595 50th Anniversary (a): $45,000

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