The Abarth 695 biposto is the most mental Fiat 500 you’re likely to see today.
The Fiat 500 Abarth is one hellishly fun car to drive, but perhaps not what you would call mental. No, that hyperbolic description is much better suited to the Abarth 695 biposto, which was on show in Geneva and coming to a fiat showroom near you.
Italian speakers will have a clue as to what this Abarth is about. Biposto means two-seater, which goes some way to explaining how the 695 biposto weighs just 997kg. The rear seats have been stripped out in pursuit of removing unnecessary weight. ‘695’, in case you were wondering, refers to an old 1964 Fiat Abarth.
The climate control, electric windows and fogs have been removed, as well. In their place we find 18-inch Oz alloy wheels, carbon fibre seats, fixed front windows, a rear titanium roll bar and carbon fibre on the bumpers, wheel arches, spoilers and sills.
Continuing the race theme are adjustable shocks, a self-locking differential, four-point safety belts, brand new exhaust, digital data logger and a dog-ring transmission for super speedy gear changes.
Factor in a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine tuned to develop 187bhp, giving the Abarth 695 biposto a power to weight ratio of 5.2kg to every horsepower, and you can see why the much heavier standard Abarth and its 157bhp now looks like a bit of a damp squib.
We actually thought biposto perhaps meant bi-polar, referring to its cute, city dwelling looks and fire-breathing innards. Either way, the biposto is, in short, a pint-sized racing machine we would happily own.
The Abarth 695 is obviously not a car for anyone who has to do the school run. But it is undoubtedly going to raise a big smile, which is reassuring because it will cost more than £30,000 when it goes on sale later in 2014.
Of course, if you want rear seats there’s always the option of the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition for a cool £32,000.