2016 Abarth 595 on sale in Australia, new entry level hot hatch

Looking to buy an exciting compact hot hatch? A new Fiat 500 performance model has been announced for Australia, called the Abarth 595, coming in as the most affordable Abarth yet.

2016 Abarth 595-hatch

The new 595 is based on the latest Fiat 500. Fiat Chrysler Australia says it helps to bridge the gap between the regular 500 and the higher-spec Abarth models, some of which have been priced rather steeply in the local market.

Abarth has stuffed a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the bonnet of the latest model, like in the previous Abarth 595, however, output is capped at 103kW and 206Nm.

Out on the tarmac this translates to a 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds. The impressive acceleration is helped by a five-speed manual transmission, and an Abarth-tuned Torque Transfer Control front-wheel drive system incorporating a locking differential.

Like other Abarth models, the new 595 comes with various performance highlights, including a sports exhaust, dual driving modes, lowered sports suspension with “adaptive frequency damping” at the front, big brakes, and some 16-inch alloy wheels.

2016 Abarth 595-interior

Inside, the updated dash recently introduced with the Fiat 500 gets a 7.0-litre touch-screen interface. It replaces the very clunky unit previously used, presenting passengers with a range of embedded apps to play with.

Customers have the choice of a regular hatch or a funky drop-top convertible. Prices start from the following (excluding on-roads):

2016 Abarth 595 hatch (manual) – $27,500
2016 Abarth 595 convertible (manual) – $31,500