Abarth 695 Biposto Cuts Weight, Adds Power
If you like the scorpion-laden Fiat 500 Abarth, but find that it doesn't quite deliver the performance that its bat-out-of-hell exhaust noise suggests, you'll be happy to know that Abarth has answered your prayers. Enter the Abarth 695 Biposto, a stripped-down, powered-up pocket rocket that tops out at 143 mph. We haven't tasted scorpion like this before, but Abarth is serving it raw.
In the same vein as the Mini Cooper GP, the Abarth 695 Biposto ramps up the racing character and performance capabilities of the Fiat 500 Abarth. Power is up to 190 hp (from the 500 Abarth's 160 hp), thanks to a twin-turbocharged 1.4-liter T-Jet engine that boasts the best power-to-weight ratio in its class at 11.5 lbs/hp. Other racing-spec upgrades include a new front intercooler, a performance exhaust system, adjustable shocks, Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers, and lightweight 18-inch wheels.
Abarth's biggest achievement with the 695 Biposto, however, is its 2198-lb curb weight. The gung-ho Italians accomplish such a skimpy weigh-in with generous use of carbon fiber interior and exterior parts, coupled with an aluminum hood, a full body aerodynamic kit with carbon inserts, and a titanium rear roll cage in place of second-row seats. The MINI Cooper GP is a bit more powerful with 211 hp, but it is also 400 lbs chunkier at around 2600 lbs. Trimming pounds helps the Abarth scamper to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds.
No doubt the Abarth 695 looks the part, especially on the interior. Alcantara and leather line the carbon-shell Sabelt seats, which have four-point seat belts. Stock power windows are tossed out in favor of fixed windows with polycarbonate sliding panels. The transmission turret is made entirely of aluminum, and the tall, H-configuration gear selector with a self-locking differential adds a spicy racing flavor. There's even a carbon-fiber handbrake to yank when you want to hear the 215/35 R18 tires squeal around a hairpin turn.
While it will certainly function more as a weekend track plaything rather than a daily driver, the Abarth 695 will probably be well worth it for someone looking for a nimble hot hatch with a bad attitude and a growling grunt. The Abarth 695 Biposto is currently only offered in Europe, and there's no word yet on the cost of entry.