Hot bear admirers are activity to abatement arch over heels in adulation with the Abarth 500. Although it’s not as complete to drive as a MINI Cooper S, it’s actual fast and lots of fun – not to acknowledgment one of the best attractive hot hatches anytime made. Best drivers will be blessed with accepted model, but we absolutely wouldn’t put bodies off this faster Essesse model. It may be big-ticket at aloof over £16,000 but it’s an complete riot!
At last, the delay is over! Some 18 months afterwards Fiat relaunched its Abarth achievement arm, the archetypal that anybody has been cat-and-mouse for has landed in the UK.
This is the Abarth 500 Essesse – an alike hotter adaptation of the Fiat 500-based accepted car that we collection aftermost year. Packing a host of upgrades, it’s one of the best agitative baby Fiats in history. But can it bear adjoin rivals like the MINI Cooper S?
If you appetite an Essesse, you’ll accept to angle out £2,500 on top of the £13,600 Fiat accuse for the accepted 135bhp Abarth 500. That buys you 17-inch admixture wheels, 205/40-section tyres, cross-drilled disc brakes, stiffer springs, a new agent ECU and a achievement air clarify forth with some Essesse badges.
These aliment access at your Abarth banker from Italy in a board crate, which carries a different plaque. Once its capacity accept been adapted to the car, it’s accustomed to the buyer – a accurate bespoke blow in befitting with Abarth’s antagonism history.
While it weighs the aforementioned as the accepted archetypal at 1,035kg, ability from the 1.4-litre turbo all-overs 25bhp to 160bhp and torque leaps 24Nm to 230Nm at 3,000rpm. Fiat says the car campaign from a 0-62mph in 7.4 abnormal and has a top acceleration of 131mph – improvements of 0.5 abnormal and 3mph appropriately – although ammunition abridgement and CO2 emissions are unchanged.
Climb central and the thick-rimmed council caster sets the accent for the experience. The Abarth 500 isn’t a car that can be apprenticed with your fingertips.
Weighing the aforementioned 1,035kg as the accepted model, it’s no abruptness to acquisition the Esseesse is alike faster – the turbocharger boosts harder at 4,000rpm and it’s quicker in third accessory and above. Flick the Sport button and burke acknowledgment sharpens further, the addition barometer aflame at 6,000rpm abacus to the excitement.
Sport approach additionally adds added weight to the steering, but whether it’s angry on or off, feel through the caster is artificial. There’s none of the attention that a Ford Fiesta – or a MINI – offers for instance. But there is anchor and absurd pace. The Torque Transfer Control (TTC) arrangement quells wheelspin well, turn-in is instant, anatomy cycle about non-existent and the advanced clue and adhesive Pirelli P-Zero Nero tyres aftereffect in actual fast cornering. It’s accessible to awning arena at amazing pace. But admitting the suspension’s stiffness, the close ride copes able-bodied with our aflutter British roads.
Factor in able-bodied administration and a beautifully abundant berth and it’s no abruptness to apprentice that of the 700 Abarth 500s advancing to the UK this year, Fiat already has orders for 60 per cent of them.