Report: Joshua David Luther; Photography: Mohd. Nasir
Have you ever imagined
yourself to be a race car driver? Have you wanted to feel the adrenaline rush
as you walk out of the paddock to the thunderous applause of a million fans?
Well I have, ever since I was a little kid all I dreamt of was going faster.
When I was called for a track review of the Abarth 595 Competizione you could
imagine how elated I would have been. To be honest I was more excited about
driving on the track, than to be driving the 595. My last stint at the Buddh
International Circuit was in a T1 Tata Prima race truck and to be driving the
595 was going to be an entirely different experience. As I walked out of the
paddock area and into the pit lane, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
This was where I always wanted to be, this was home for me.
When I first laid eyes on the
595 it reminded me of a British Bulldog, the typical shape of the snout
protruding from a rather flat facade. But don’t get me wrong, this does not
mean the 595 is boring to look at. The Abarth 595 Competizione is essentially a
Fiat 500 Cinquecento but with many improvisations and enhancement which come
with the Abarth badge. The 595 has very chic and urban looks, the front sports
dual Xenon Projector headlamps. The essential design of the Fiat 500 remains on
the 595 with the addition of sportier looking side skirts, front and rear
bumpers. The Abarth 595 Competizione still carries the distinct horizontal belt
line on the sides which run seamlessly from front to back. This car will
definitely turn heads and put a smile on your face where ever you go.
The big question in my mind
was would the 595 be able to do justice to the Abarth badge and be track
worthy? Powering this little pocket rocket is a 1.4L T-JET motor which produces
158.2bhp @ 5500rpm and churns out a satisfactory 230Nm of torque @ 3000rpm when
in sports mode. We got a go at the AMT version of the car and once we left the
pit lane I was pleasantly startled. This little car is a master of the track.
Not only did the 595 go fast but the grip on tarmac was incredible. I was a bit
cautious while leaving the pit lane and did not gun it immediately. But when I
eventually opened up the throttle this little British Bulldog turned into a
Rottweiler. The flow of power from the T-JET is smooth and the 5-speed AMT
version of the 595 comes with steering mounted paddle shifters which make
things much more enjoyable. While I did feel the AMT could have been more
responsive it is nothing worth complaining about.
4 Cylinder, In-line, Petrol
230Nm@3000rpm (Sports Mode)
Wheel & Tyres
205/ 40 R17 Tubeless
Top Speed (kmph)
Front: Cofap front suspensions with FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology
rear suspensions with FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) technology
Front: Self Ventilated and Perforated Oversized Disc
Rear: Self Ventilated and Perforated Oversized Disc
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
As we moved through the
corners and began testing the car I gained more confidence that this was no
ordinary machine. No matter how hard I pushed, the 595 just did not lose
traction. The 205/40 R17 tyres seemed glued to the track and would not let go.
As we entered the hot lap, I floored the pedal in a bid to overtake Car No. 2
and just before the rumble strips on the first hard right I got ahead from the
right and began breaking. I was easily over 140kmph when we entered the curb
but not once did the 595 sticks rear out and slide. The car has self ventilated
and perforated oversized discs on all four wheels and they were precise to my
inputs. The suspension on the 595 is a combination of a Cofap with Frequency
Selective Damping (FSD) technology in the front and Koni with FSD in the rear.
The suspension can adjust to the driving mode and road surface. While on the
track it was stiff and facilitated great control over the vehicle. The 595 will
go from 0-100kmph in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of 210kmph. By the end of
my track review I was more excited that I drove the 595 on the track rather
than just driving on the track.
The interiors of the Abarth
595 Competizione are just as sporty as the exterior. You get Abarth Corsa
fabric racing bucket seats from Sabelt, a 7 inch TFT colour display instrument
panel, manual climate control, leather wrapped steering with controls, a
Bluetooth handsfree audio system with USB integration, electric sunroof and
split rear seats with head restraints. The 595 also features rear parking
sensors and will be available in Iridato White, Scorpione Black, Cordolo Red
and Campovolo Grey colours. The Abarth 595 Competizione is available in 5
select Fiat dealerships across the country for a price of Rs. 29,85,000
(ex-showroom Delhi). Yes it is a bit steep but you are not just buying a car,
you are buying heritage which has evolved from 10 world records, 133
international records and more than 10,000 track victories left behind by Karl
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