The first time I got my hands on the Fiat
Abarth 595 Competizione was on the Buddh International Circuit. The 595 was
really small in proportions and just simply had a very cute look about it. The
people from Fiat told me it had a 1.4 L Petrol motor and I wondered how it
would perform. As soon as I got into this car and stomped on the accelerator,
the logical functionality of my mind just seemed to have suffered a stroke. The
speedo just went bonkers as it kept climbing and all my brain could come up
with was "what form of devilry is this?"
1368cc, Turbo T Jet Engine, Petrol
5-Speed Automatic Sequential FWD
Front: Copaf Suspension
Rear: Koni Suspension
Front/ Rear: Ventilated Disc
Fuel Tank Capacity
Rs. 29.8 lakh (ex
This was an Abarth version of the Fiat 500
and I had completely neglected that fact. Abarth, the performance division of
Fiat has been symbolised for ages by the scorpion. Like a scorpion, the 595
Competizione is also small and very vicious. The motor may have a cubic capacity
of 1.4 litres but it is a turbo T-Jet, inline, four cylinder engine which puts
out a 160 horses at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 3000rpm when in sport mode. So
essentially the engine propels this car to a top speed of 209kmph and is capable
of reaching 100kmph from standstill in just 7.4 seconds.
But all of that is good for a race track,
the real question is how does it fare on Indian roads? Well to be honest it is
a perfect fit in many ways, for instance most Indian roads are too crowded and
space is not readily available. The length of the 595 stands at 3657mm making
it quite compact and easy to move around in. But we found that the car does not
have too great a turning radius, which stands at 5.4 meters. In terms of fuel
efficiency as well this car returns a decent 14.9km to the litre making it
reasonable to drive around in the city. But where the Abarth 595 Competizione
really excels is performance. If you are
looking for leisurely drive then this car may leave you disappointed. The Fiat
Abarth 595 Competizione has been tuned in a way to be extremely aggressive and
can really throw you back in your seat. The punchy 1.4 litre turbo charged
engine is ready from the word go and tear up the asphalt if you ask it to.
The engine has been mated to a 5-speed auto
box. The shifts aren't exactly butter smooth but get the job done fairly well.
One also has the option of throwing the car into Sport mode by the simple push
of a button. In sports mode the vehicle is even more aggressive and happily
revs up to the limiter. One can also shift gears using the paddle shifters
provided on the Abarth 595 Competizione. One can cruise around the city in this
car comfortable and the corsa fabric bucket seats from Sabelt will keep you
well ensconced but the auto box we felt was a bit slow, which was a small kill
joy. The 595 sits on Copaf front suspension and a Koni rear suspension. The
suspension set up comes with Frequency Selective Dampers which adapt to
frequency of movement and adjust the damping force levels accordingly.
When we were driving the 595 on the race
track the grip on tarmac was immense and we had good control over the car
despite being a speeds in excess of 170kmph. On road the vehicle behaves in the
same manner however one does need to be careful of potholes and bad roads as a
lot of these can seep into the cabin and get a tad bit disconcerting for the
occupants. The steering is well weighted and responsive, while braking is
facilitated by self ventilated perforated oversized discs in the front and rear.
The braking is quite progressive on the 595 and gives a good sense of
confidence to the driver even at higher speeds. The 595 sits on 205/ 40 R17
tyre which provide some exceptional grip no matter what the road conditions.
The 595 been built on the Fiat 500 platform
and has a distinct road presence. The front sports a short snout kind of look
with projector headlamps and fog lamps, the rear and sides all have the Abarth
branding and the curvy lines give this car an adorable outlook no matter which
angle you are gazing at it from. On the inside the seats are rather comfy and
give a lot of support but I wish the people at Fiat had give the 595 more
contemporary interiors. The touch and feel, quality, fit and finish all is
rather appealing but the interior design and features front is a letdown. The
Abarth 595 Competizione comes with manual climate control, electronically
adjustable but manually folding ORVMs, 7 inch TFT colour display instrument
panel, reverse parking sensors, bluetooth and USB integration and steering
mounted controls. The minimalistic infotainment system does feel out of place
in the 595.
The 595 brings a lot to the table, but how is
it in the context of being an Indian car? Well, to be honest this car does
check many boxes but on the practicality front a big question mark still
remained. The car has a rather low ground clearance of just 105mm meaning that
it could bottom out easily. The boot space on the 595 stands at 185 litres which
is not much but can fit in your getaway luggage. All of this comes on offer at
Rs. 29.85 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Worth it? Well considering the performance
on offer, the looks and just the feel good factor this car has makes it a must
have but a few more features would make this car a sure shot hit.
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