Abarth has given the Fiat 500-based 595 an update for the 2021 model year, with four trim levels of the hot hatch being offered to customers. These include a base option that starts from 17,760 euros (RM87,471), while others include the Turismo, Competizione and range-topping Esseesse.

All variants are available in hatchback and convertible versions, and feature a 1.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine from Fiat’s FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotised Engine) family. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for all variants, but everything above the base trim can also be had with a six-speed semi-automatic transmission.

In terms of revisions, the 595’s previous “Sport” mode has been renamed “Scorpion” made across the entire range to better match the company’s logo. Activating it alters peak torque delivery, power steering calibration and engine response to the accelerator pedal, “making them sharper and increasing driver engagement.” Other changes include an updated instrument panel and the boost pressure gauge is now lit in white for better legibility.

On the base variant, the T-Jet engine makes 145 PS (143 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 206 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm, while standard equipment includes a flat-bottomed steering wheel, polyelliptical headlights (xenons are optional), LED daytime running lights and a seven-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system. As an option, a seven-speaker BeatsAudio sound system can be specified with a total output of 480 watts and an eight-channel digital amplifier.

With the 595 Turismo that starts from 20,960 euros (RM103,226), outputs are bumped to 165 PS (163 hp) and 230 Nm, but the brake discs remain the same as the base trim, measuring in at 284 mm at the front and 240 mm at the rear. Buyers opting for this will get have access to diamond-embossed leather seats in a number of colour options, including a new heritage brown.

The next step up is the 595 Competizione, which comes with more power at 180 PS (178 hp) and 250 Nm, along with Brembo brakes that feature larger 305-mm discs at the front. It also gets some unique styling cues that look towards Abarth’s racing heritage. These include a new rally blue hue inspired by the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally as well as 17-inch alloy wheels that are a nod to those on the Lancia Delta Rally Integrale.

This particular trim also gets a body colour body kit that adds flared fenders and quad exhaust tips, which complement its sporty interior that features an Alcantara dashboard, along with leather seats and gear lever in carbon-fibre. The 595 Competizione is priced from 23,060 euros (RM113,581).

At the very top of the range is the 595 Esseesse, which starts from 26,560 euros (RM130,811), and gains a mechanical self-locking differential (optional with the 595 Competizione), Koni FSD shock absorbers, the aforementioned Brembo brakes and new titanium tailpipes for the Akrapovic exhaust system.

It should be noted that the Abarth 595 is still based on the second-generation Fiat 500, which is being offered alongside the newer, third-gen model (known as the Fiat New 500) that is available only with a fully electric powertrain.