The Fiat 500 has tons of history, as does the Abarth line. One of the most famous of the Abarths debut at the Geneva Auto Show all the way back in 1964. This 695 had a 699.5 cc engine with a "whopping" 30 horsepower and could hit a top speed of 130 km/h (36 mph). Well, now 50 years later, Fiat is revealing a new Abarth 695, which it dubbed the biposto, with just a tad more power and a much higher top speed.
The 695 biposto checks in with a healthy 30-horsepower bump over the standard Fiat 500 Abarth and uses the same 1.4-liter engine. It also features an insane dog box transmission that is rarely seen in anything other than race cars, and even those are hard to come by.
On top of the racing transmission, the Abarth 695 drops loads of weight, gets a stripped-down interior and a half roll cage.
On the surface, the 695 biposto look like a massive heap of awesomeness on the surface, but is it still as awesome when I drill down into all of the details?
Click past the jump to read more and find out.
This Fiat 500 may look like the typical 500 from afar, but up close you will realize that it is anything but typical. Giving the Abarth 695
All of this weight loss helps drop the Abarth's curb weight to just 997 kg (2,198 pounds).
biposto a lower and wider appearance is a body kit that includes new bumpers, side skirts, wheel arches, a spoiler, and a double-bump hood made of aluminum that draws inspiration from the 124 Abarth. This kit takes the Typical Abarth and really kicks it up that extra notch to match the insane performance numbers of this new model.
Rounding out the aesthetic enhancements that make the Abarth 695 so bad-ass is the textured Performance Grey paint draped over the body work, and the titanium-finished hood trim, door handles, tailgate handle, wheel bolts, hub caps, coolant cap, oil cap and fuel cap.
Abarth didn’t stop with just throwing the 500 in a new suit. Oh no, there are some serious weight-saving changes at work here too. Starting things off are carbon-fiber mirror and post covers, which save a little weight and add a sportier look. The front windows are fixed and made of polycarbonate sliding panels to help shave the weight of power windows and glass.
Finally, a set of lightweight, 18-inch OZ rims help keep the curb weight and unsprung weight to a minimum.
All of this weight loss helps drop the Abarth’s curb weight to just 997 kg (2,198 pounds). That’s a huge diet when compared to the 500 Abarth’s 2,512-pound curb weight.
Original Abarth 695
Rear seats, what rear seats? The Abarth 695 biposto has no need for back seats, so in went a partial roll cage
Now if you thought the exterior of the Abarth 695 biposto looked race-ready, prepare to be blown away by the interior.
Rear seats, what rear seats? The Abarth 695 biposto has no need for back seats, so in went a partial roll cage and an anti-intrusion net to prevent stuff from flying everywhere in case of an accident. The remaining seats have a carbon-fiber shell, and are wrapped up in Alcantara and titanium-colored leather. The steering wheel gets the same treatment as the seats.
In terms of features inside the cabin, forget about it. Gone are all of the basic creature comforts, like climate control, an audio system and power windows.
Under the hood is where most of the improvements over the base Abarth take place, as Fiat pushed the Abarth 695 biposto’s 1.4-liter
This petite powerhouse hooks up to a five-speed manual gearbox that includes dog rings for faster shifts without risking damage to the synchros of a traditional manual.
T-Jet engine to a bonkers 190 horsepower — a 30-horsepower jump over the base Abarth — and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) of torque. Some of the changes to achieve this power include a new intercooler with race-inspired plumbing, a dynamic air intake with carbon-fiber case, revised air filters and an Akrapovic dual-stage exhaust system, which opens wide by pressing the "Sport" button on the dashboard.
This petite powerhouse hooks up to a five-speed manual gearbox that includes dog rings for faster shifts without risking damage to the synchros of a traditional manual. With this "Dog Box" transmission, you will run into a few issues, including lots and lots of noise and neck-breaking shifts if you are not perfect on the switch.
And what does this all mean to you? Well, a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of just 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).
|Horsepower||190 @ TBA|
|Acceleration (0-62 MPH)||5.9 SEc|
|Top Speed||143 MPH|
On the corners of the Fiat 695 biposto are 215/35R18 tires wrapped around those lightweight OZ. Sitting behind the wheels and tires are race-inspired Brembo brakes with vented and perforated discs measuring 305-by-28 mm with four-piston calipers.
The suspension system consists of height-adjustable shock absorbers from Extreme Shox, who provides the shocks for F1, Le Mans and WTCC.
The Astra OPC Extreme may not have any production future, but it is under consideration at this time. With 300 horsepower under its hood. Yeah, it is more powerful than the Fiat, but it is also heavier and likely sprints to 60 mph in around the same range as the Fiat.
Gallery Opel Astra OPC EXTREME
On a whole, the Abarth 695 is bad-ass, but the thing is that it will never make its way to the U.S. It’ll also be really, really expensive and not at all sensible for anyone with a family or with plans to haul any luggage.
- Nice bump in power
- Dog box transmission is fantastic
- Very, very lightweight
- Not for U.S. consumption
- That transmission will likely make tons of noise
- A very niche market
Gallery Fiat Abarth 695 biposto
The Fiat Abarth 695 was presented for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in 1964. With 699.5 cc displacement and maximum power of 30 HP, the car reached a top speed of 130 km/h and was appreciated for its agility and versatility, both in town and on mixed routes. The most evident characteristic of the Abarth 695 was the improvement in acceleration: from 60 to 80 km/h in 5.2 seconds.
Fifty years later, Abarth once more chooses Geneva as the stage for the début of the new Abarth 695: 190 HP and 997 kg guarantee that the ’695 biposto’ can offer the best weight-to-power ratio (5.2 kg/HP) and the best acceleration (0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds) in the category. The result is the fastest street legal Abarth ever built.
"Sunday on the track and Monday in the office." This is the slogan that summarises the philosophy of Carlo Abarth: offering everybody the chance to live out their passion every day, making ordinary products extraordinary and making normal people feel like racing drivers every day. And today the new Abarth ’695 biposto’ represents the ideal fusion of road-going and race cars, the tradition of racing on a car made for everyday life. From the track to the office. And vice versa.
From its founding to the present day, Abarth has never shrunk from challenges that at times seem impossible: the fastest, high-performance street legal Abarth ever produced is its latest victory. A car bursting with energy, with components typical of race cars adapted for the road.
Every car has always represented a challenge, an opportunity for improvement: Abarth created, starting from the most common mini cars of the era, cars with striking performance, intended "for speedy tourism and sport competitions".
Cars developed following the original Abarth ’formula’ which, taking the right dose of well-defined elements, makes the brand unique and recognisable: rarity and accessibility, tradition, performance tuning, Italian style and passion for racing.
The models derived from the Fiat 600 are examples of how a ’visionary’ such as Carlo Abarth could make dreams reality: a genuine factory of speed, Abarth successfully achieved a high level of both refinement in terms of style and performance. A story of products marked by great craftsmanship, with the Fiat Abarth 1000 Berlina gruppo 2 1970 being the most advanced and incredible interpretation of the Fiat 600: 100 HP and top speed of 190 km/h.
’695 biposto’: the most Abarth of all Abarths
The Abarth 695 biposto is not a Limited Edition, but it is certainly a car for ’special’ drivers. For those who can show that they know how to drive it.
The essence of Abarth distilled in a single car that aims straight for the heart, for the very core, of Abarth: the "size", a defining characteristic of Abarth, an Italian "small supercar", and "racing", passion for speed and the challenges that every day brings.
The search for the best materials and technologies, the know-how of Abarth engineers and a ’drop of madness’ have always characterised Abarth cars and are the elements that went into the creation of this car: two seats and racing-inspired components for a high-performance car with a natural calling for the track.
The ’695 biposto’ was conceived as deliberately essential: a car unafraid of shedding the compromises typical of road-going cars to increase performance.
The ’drop of madness’ that has allowed Abarth to create a history of successes is clear to see in some elements of the new car, such as the gearbox with dog rings - for the first time on a road-going car, currently in its category - and the fixed front windows with polycarbonate sliding panels (a high-performance technical material used for sports equipment and aeroplane windows due to its flexibility and resistance, supplied by Isoclima, a company with 20 years of experience with the most prestigious partners in the world of racing).
The choice to use racing-inspired parts for a road-going car represents a new victory: the Abarth ’695 biposto’ is the most extreme 500 ever built. This is demonstrated by the front intercooler, Akrapovic exhaust system, Extreme Shox adjustable shock absorbers, MXL digital data logger, Abarth Corsa by Sabelt seats with 4-point seat belts, Brembo braking system, lightened 18-inch OZ rims and rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini.
As in racing cars however, performance come only through selection: sacrificing the superfluous, like rear seats, xenon headlights, fog lights, climate control, electric windows and radio system, to ensure the best possible performance.
An ’adrenaline-charged’ car that brings together racing performance and the versatility of a road-going car. And in fact, it’s the road-going reinterpretation of the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse, competitor on racetracks throughout Europe and made in the Officine Abarth Mirafiori in Turin: craftsmanship and attention to detail, typical of Abarth’s most exclusive cars, meet the best of race car technology.
Exhilarating performance of a true supercar
A perfect fusion that shows what it’s made of starting with the exhilarating performance: with a weight of just 997 kg and the 1.4 T-Jet engine, brought to 190 HP for the first time on a road-going car, the Abarth ’695 biposto’ is the car with the best weight-to-power ratio (5.2 kg/HP) and the best acceleration (0-100 km/h in 5.9") in the category, reaching a top speed of 230 km/h.
It’s the very first time that a ’street legal’ car, currently in its category, is offered with a gearbox featuring dog rings with controls and disc and clutch self-locking differential derived from racing, making upwards gear changes so rapid that expert drivers don’t need to use the clutch. The driver interface is a genuine work of art: an all-aluminium turret with H-configuration gear selection, worthy of a true supercar. This is unique, exclusive content, created from the racing car transmission expertise of Bacci Romano, suited to expert drivers and offered as an alternative to the 5-speed manual gearbox, teamed with 190 HP for the first time.
Abarth’s challenge was to find the perfect balance in the formula required to bring a car that guarantees the performance and feel of the track to the road, in accordance with its rules: ’distilling’ the essence of Abarth through careful selection of high-performance materials, advanced technology and superior partners.
Everything about the Abarth ’695 biposto’ talks racing. Starting with the intercooler, positioned at the front with specific pipes inspired by race cars, moving on to the dynamic aspiration filter casing with carbon finish by BMC, world leader in the sector of filters and air intake devices intended for racing, and arriving at the dual-stage exhaust system with titanium tail pipes by Akrapovic, a company which produces competition exhaust systems for Moto GP, Superbike, Supersport, Supermotard, Motocross, Enduro and rally raid.
Pressing the SPORT button on the dashboard completely opens the exhaust valve, contributing to improved performance and enhancing the car with a powerful, unmistakable sound.
Supercar performance matched by just as much reliability and safety: ABS, ESP and TTC, disc and clutch self-locking differential and the racing-derived Brembo braking system with front floating, ventilated and perforated discs (305×28 mm) and four-piston one-piece calipers (4×38 mm). The car is also equipped with shock absorbers with hydraulic and height adjustment by Extreme Shox, leading European provider of dynamic solutions for vehicles used from F1 to Rally, as well as ’Le Mans series’ and the WTCC.
Its racing impulse is completed by the front fixed windows with polycarbonate sliding panels and, together with 215/35 R18 tyres, lightened 18-inch rims by OZ. This company symbolises Italian manufacturing quality through the creation of excellent products for customising cars and bikes and can boast numerous international successes in F1, Rally, DTM and Indy car. It shares with Abarth Italian taste, racing tradition and certified quality.
For real racing maniacs, who always want their performance under control, there’s the MLX data logger by AIM Sport, world leader in data acquisition and display technology for motorsport and racing.
All the unique characteristics help to make the 695 biposto the ’most Abarth of all Abarths’.
Style: prestigious materials and technical decisions derived from racing
For a balanced ’formula’, the aesthetics can’t be neglected. This is demonstrated by certain exterior elements - such as the front and rear bumpers, side skirts, wheel arches and spoiler - which are more pronounced, ’muscular’ and enhanced by carbon inserts. Made by Zender, a company known for creating high-quality aesthetic design components, according to the instructions of the Abarth Style Centre, these particular aesthetic solutions make the ’695 biposto’ stand out at first glance.
The bodywork is characterised by a brand-new textured-effect Performance Grey colour, as if the car were created straight from the road, and further enhanced by titanium finishes for the front bonnet trim, door handles and tailgate and rear handle. The metal, known for its resistance, also characterises the hub caps, wheel bolts and water, oil and fuel caps.
The bonnet has a specific design with two bumps, inspired by the classic 124 Abarth, and is made of aluminium, in homage to the cars of the past and as a technical solution to reduce the weight of the car.
The mirror and post covers are made of carbon, as on the most prestigious supercars: this is a particular feature created in collaboration with the historic partner Adler, world leader in the sector of design, processing, production and commercialisation for high-quality plastic materials intended primarily for the automotive sector.
Carbon provides an aesthetic link between exterior and interior, characterised by dashboard fascia inserts, front and rear panels, flat as in race cars, central tunnel cover and handbrake made with this prestigious material.
The choice of prestigious materials and racing-derived technical decisions includes the front trim, where the mat, typical of road-going cars, makes way for an aluminium lining that associates the ’695 biposto’ both with race cars and the most extreme supercars. The same metal characterises the brake, clutch and accelerator pedals and the driver and passenger side footrests.
The racing spirit of the ’695 biposto’ is embodied in the rear titanium roll bar by Poggipolini, a company renowned for extremely high-precision machining and for structural and weight-reduction solutions, through the use of special alloys, to the extent of being a point of reference in the Automotive, F1 and Aerospace sectors.
The rear compartment - with no seats - is characterised by a lining in a technical material which, as with the bodywork, recalls the colour and texture of asphalt. An ’anti intrusion’ net for securing luggage and the four-point seat belts are also attached to the roll bar, in both cases with a racing flavour and made by Sabelt, major producer of seat belts and seats for race cars in Italy and reference brand for technical clothing and racing sportswear.
The mark of Sabelt is also to be found on the standard seats: they’re ’Abarth Corsa by Sabelt’ with carbon shell, with upholstery comprising electro-welded Alcantara and titanium-coloured leather with brand-new colours and finishes for an Abarth. The steering wheel is marked by the same colours. Finally, the door handle and oddment net enhance the front door panel and lend the final, emphatic touch to the racing feel of the interior.
Abarth has created a car that seemed impossible. By striving for the essential, it found superlative performance and style. As in 1964, when Abarth put a series of accessories intended to enhance aesthetic and dynamic characteristics as well as safety on the price list at launch for the 695, today Abarth breaks down the offer into three customisation kits.
The ’124 Speciale Kit’ brings together all the ’resistant and light’ materials that characterise the car’s exterior: aluminium bonnet with specific design, hub caps and wheel bolts and water, oil and fuel caps in titanium.
With the ’Carbon Kit’, you can give the ’695 biposto’ the look of a supercar in a higher category: carbon is added to the mirror and post covers on the outside, and to the dashboard fascia, front door panel and rear-view mirror on the inside.
For those with racing in their blood, Abarth has designed a ’Pista Kit’ with accessories that derive directly from the world of racing, like the digital data logger and the four-point seat belt attached to the seats with carbon shell. The dream of feeling like a racing driver every day, also courtesy of the technical equipment provided: suit, shoes, gloves and helmet of a real Abarth driver, with the chance to personalise them with your initials.
All information on the ’695 biposto’ will become available in a dedicated section on the official www.abarth.com site starting from the day of the world premiere in Geneva.
This is just the prelude of a marketing communication campaign marked by both a highly digital component and an actual "Shakedown" experience tied to Abarth’s racing platform and the most important events for supercar fans.
As always, the Abarth Driving Academy will be at the heart of Abarth’s strategy with expanded activities and development of specific Courses.
The constantly evolving website will always be updated with all the news on the car and the scheduled events.