If you thought the all-new, all-electric Fiat 500 spelled the end of boisterous Abarth hot hatches, you’d better think again. This is the new Abarth 695 Esseesse and it’s the quickest one yet.
That’s thanks to its most notable new feature, that very perky looking rear spoiler. Because Italians name things with more emotion than anyone else, it’s actually a ‘Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile’. Go on, say it a few times. Don’t you feel cooler and more attractive than usual?
Language fans might have roughly (and correctly) translated that as ‘adjustable’. Get your spanners out and it adjusts anywhere between zero and 60 degrees, the latter how you see it here. Yes, it’s very pleased to see you.
You’ll want it in the zero-degree position for best performance, its 178bhp 1.4-litre turbo good for 225kph and 0-100kph in 6.7secs. There are Koni shocks all round while a new aluminium bonnet and Akrapovic exhaust cut ten kilos from the Abarth 595 Competizione it sits atop in a mildly bewildering range of very similar looking hot hatches.
Beyond that it’s the usual Abarth special edition story – much decals and many Alcantara. There’s a splash of carbon trim inside, too, as well as a pair of hugging Sabelt seats with ‘one of 695’ etched into the headrest.
That’s because Abarth’s making 1,390 of these. Don’t worry, we’ve not forgotten the simple rule of maths. Those are split neatly in two between black and grey examples, of which there’ll be 695 apiece.
No word on prices yet, but something around £30,000 (RM170k) is a safe bet.