Another reason to love 500 even more

Let me be brutally honest right up front. We own one (road) car and that's a Fiat 500 Twin Air Lounge — it’s our fourth 500 and follows the previous incarnation of Abarth 500C esseesse, we loved then all and we love our little Fred too. This one really tugged at our heartstrings too, so maybe expect this report to be a bit biased. But believe it!

Every time people see a 500 they say ooh and aah - see, we are not alone, it’s just such a lovable little thing and so much adds to the joy of owning - and loving one. And this little Abarth 595  takes all that even a few steps further – you know, like walking on the beach carrying a puppy…?

Quite plausibly the coolest little performance car on the market, the 132kW 230N 1368cc twin-cam turbo Scorpion is little changed from our old esseesse, bar all those midlife puppy dog tricks. It still wants a sixth gear, but 595’s Koni suspension, Brembo brakes and Sabelt seats in an alcantara and carbon garnished, alloy and pedal and gear knobbed cabin are as pedigreed as its parts.

Add every acronym from ABS to EBD, ESR and ASR and TPM; a limited-slip diff, beefier wheel and tyre and that Sport steering to bring the real Italian out. Like Fred in my garage, 595 packs aircon, power windows, central locking and that fully stacked 7” TFT interface beefed up by seven-speaker Beats audio, so you really want for nothing.

Poised, sporty and racy, the Abarth delivers and then some in every driving scenario – OK, like everything else here, it’s a bit harder than the general taste would want, but then it’s not a general piece of kit either. And don’t scoff at its performance – it’s still brilliant for just a 1400.

The biggest problem is the want bit - kinda made me lust for it and that’s just not fiar for old Fred, so it was better to see the back of Fast Fred in the end — I just hope they had good conversations in their week together on our garage. In Italian, of course ;-) 

ROAD TEST      Abarth 500 595
Engine:             1368cc turbo I4                 
Output:            132kW 230Nm      
Drive:               5-speed manual FWD  
0-100km/h:      7.33 sec                 
0-160km/h:      18.31 sec 
400m:              15.2sec @ 148km/h   
80-120km/h:     4.85 sec  
120-160km/h:   7.92 sec    
VMax:               225km/h                         
Fuel:                 6.0l/100km                       
CO2:                 139g/km     
Warranty/Service: 3y 100K/1y 15Kkm 
LIST PRICE:       R473K 
RATED:              88%