Present at the Abarth stand at the Geneva Motor Show was the Abarth 695 biposto, the product of the Fiat tuner taking the already potent Abarth 500 up several notches on the Scoville scale.
Not that you would sense much is different from the outside. Sure, it looks significantly more aggressive than the Abarth 500 – you get new bumpers with carbon fibre inserts, a new aluminium bonnet, wider wheel arches and side skirts and a larger rear spoiler. But there have been much wilder efforts by other tuners – only the fixed side windows with polycarbonate sliding panels give some indication of this car’s purpose.
You see, the biposto is the most hardcore road car Abarth has ever made by a long shot. Its 1.4 litre T-Jet turbocharged four now kicks out 190 hp – 30 hp more than the Abarth 595 – and is mated to a race-style Bacci Romano dog engagement five-speed manual, allowing clutchless upshifts. The 0-100 km/h sprint is now done in 5.9 seconds and it now reaches a top speed of 230 km/h.
To save weight, the rear seats have been ditched, replaced by a titanium rear roll bar onto which the four-point harnesses on the carbon fibre Sabelt seats are tethered to. Titanium is also used for the hub caps, wheel bolts, water, oil and fuel caps as well as the Akrapovic dual-stage exhaust system.
Meanwhile the door cards are now made from carbon fibre and the central tunnel has been removed, exposing the gear linkages. Weight is down to 997 kg.
The chassis has also been upgraded – there’s now a mechanical locking differential, new Extreme Shox dampers and drilled Brembo disc brakes behind 18-inch OZ Ultraleggera wheels. There’s even an MXL digital data logger on the centre console if you really want to live your racing driver fantasies to the limit.
Live pix by Stefan Baldauf / Robert Kah