A new performance version of the Abarth 500 is appearing at Frankfurt, bearing the proud name of Abarth 695 ‘Tributo Ferrari’.
The limited-edition car is distinguished from the standard models with some stylistic changes, but more importantly with some pretty hefty technical upgrades. For starters, the punchy 1.4 Turbo T-Jet 16v engine is tuned to develop over 180HP and mated to an MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) electromechanical gearbox with paddleshift. Acceleration is given a further boost by performance tyres on 17in alloy wheels inspired by Ferrari designs.
The link between the Abarth and Ferrari brands is by no means new. Back in 1953, there was even the Ferrari 166/250 MM Abarth – a one-off car which raced in an assortment of international trophies, including the Mille Miglia. Then there are the Abarth-designed exhaust systems exclusively for Ferraris… not to mention certain echoes between the careers of Carlo Abarth and Enzo Ferrari. Both were first drivers, then tuners, and finally the heads of world-beating motor racing companies.
But these links have grown stronger in recent times. There was the agreement to supply a limited series of Abarth 500s to Ferrari's European dealers for use as customer courtesy cars; and now comes this pocket rocket, offering a small but exciting car for city driving. A sort of Aston Martin Cygnet for Ferrari owners.
The Tributo Ferrari’s suspension and brakes have also been modified, and the ‘Record Monza variable back-pressure dual mode exhaust’ promises to deliver an inspiring sound above 3000rpm.
The car is finished in Scuderia Red, with carbonfibre door mirrors and details such as the wheels and rear air intakes in Racing Grey. The interiors are also personalised. The seats are Abarth Corsa by Sabelt, finished in black leather, while the black leather steering wheel has red leather inserts and a tricolour hub. The instrument panel is a highlight: made by Jaeger and inspired by typical Ferrari instrumentation. The footwells are covered entirely in non-slip aluminium and the racing pedals are emblazoned with the Scorpion logo.
The size of the production run has yet to be announced; as does the price.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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