The 595 is about to be better than ever

It’s only been a few short months since Abarth released the Abarth 124 Spider, and now Abarth is releasing its next, entry-level model – the 595. Much like how the 124 Spider is essentially a cooler Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 595 is basically a Fiat 500 on steroids. As Abarth put it, the new Abarth 595 is the “natural heir of the model launched in 2008 and present worldwide.” It is available as a hatchback or convertible and will be available in three different trim levels. The entry level model is, of course, the base 595, which is followed by the 595 Turismo, and the range-topping 595 Competizione. Each trim level has its own power specification, and is influenced by the knowledge Abarth gained with the development of the 695 Biposto, AKA “The Smallest Supercar.”

Abarth models typically take a little bit of criticism – I don’t know how many times I saw people talk bad about the 124 spider because it’s so similar to the MX-5 Miata – but Abarth models are typically more than badge-engineered replicas. So, as you read the review that follows, keep that in mind, because there is a real difference. So, let’s take a look at the 595 and what each trim level brings to the table. It’s not a model you want to pass up if you’re looking for a small car with some performance DNA.

Exterior

2017 Abarth 595
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2017 Abarth 595
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Abarth is a performance-based brand, so it’s only natural that the body got some significant aerodynamic and performance-oriented upgrades. Up front, the air intake has been redesigned and is larger to improve cooling in the engine compartment. According to Abarth, the cooling capacity of the engine bay has increased by 18 percent, which increases performance and regularity of the engine – even when tuned to extreme levels by the best in the business. Furthermore, the front end has new headlight clusters that support polyelliptical headlights and LED running lights, which are standard equipment across the 595 range.

The 595 Competizione also comes standard with side stripes that are now wider and longer compared to previous models.

Moving over to the sides, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about, but the base model comes equipped with 17-inch Granturismo wheels that offer better ventilation and are seven percent lighter. The 595 and 595 Turismo trim levels get satin chrome trim. The 595 gets body-colored mirror caps, while the 595 Turismo gets satin chrome mirror caps and the 595 Competizione gets tar cold grey mirror caps. The 595 Competizione also comes standard with side stripes that are now wider and longer compared to previous models.

Around back, the big news is the new, more pronounced diffuser that gives the rear end even more character than before. There is a small mesh insert in the middle, with a large opening on each side. The twin, dual exhaust exits sit flush in each corner of the diffuser, creating a sporty look. Bumper inserts on the base-model are matte black, body colored on the 595 Turismo, and tar cold grey on the 595 Competizione.

Aside from the goodies we’ve spoken of so far, the 595 also comes with a rather extended color pallet that includes 15 different colors. The standard color is Pista Grey or the exclusive Modena Yellow (pictured above.) Two colors that were originally only available on the 695 Biposto Record, Abarth Red Pastel and Iridato White, are now available on the 595. Furthermore, three new two-color combos are available: Scorpione Black and Podio Blue, Scorpione Black and Record Grey, and Pista Grey and Abarth Red. There are also side stickers available in white, black, or red that can be applied to the mirror caps and bumper inserts. It’s a lot better than the Fiat 500, don’t you think?

Interior

On the inside, the 595 is characterized by a given trim level. For instance, the base model gets Abarth fabric seats, while the 595 Turismo comes with leather seats that are black, tan, or red. The 595 Competizione comes complete with Corsa by Sabelt seats, which Abarth claims are among the “best-supporting seats on the market.” Furthermore, there are healthy doses of carbon fiber and Alcantara, as well as a new, flat-bottom steering wheel. On the Competizione, the steering wheel is composed of carbon fiber and Alcantara.

A carbon dashboard – similar to that in the 695 Biposto – is an available option on the Competizione trim

The dashboard is also trim-level specific. On the 595, the dashboard is finished in the same color as the body. On the 595 Turismo it comes in matte grey, and on the 595 Competizione, it comes in tar cold grey. In addition, a carbon dashboard – similar to that in the 695 Biposto – is an available option on the Competizione trim. The instrument cluster is also new, feature new graphics that are used in “Sport” mode. Light is also white to help make viewing the cluster much easier.

On the entertainment front, all three trim levels come standard with a Uconnect five-inch system with a touchscreen display and Uconnect Live services. An optional seven-inch Uconnect system is available as an option and includes a high-definition touchscreen display, navigation system, and DAB digital radio. Furthermore, it has Abarth’s Telemeyryun for gauging driving performance on preloaded racing circuits. The Uconnect seven-inch system can also be requested with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A third infotainment option is the BeatsAudio system that has an output of 480 Watts along with a digital eight-channel amplifier. The system was developed in collaboration with Beats by Dr. Dre and offers two dome tweeters in the front pillars, two 165 mm midwoofers in the front doors, two full-range speakers in the rear side panels, and a 200 mm subwoofer in the spare wheel compartment.

Drivetrain

2017 Abarth 595
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The 595 Competizione can hit the 62 mph benchmark 6.7 seconds.

The 595 comes equipped with a 1.4-liter T-jet engine that has varied output depending on the trim level in question. The base 595 puts out 145 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The 595 Turismo comes with 165 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The range-topping Competizione delivers 180 horsepower from the highly-tuned 1.4-liter. All three trim levels come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but they can all be fitted with an Abarth robotized sequential transmission with shift paddles. Abarth has yet to release full performance specs for any of the models, but the 595 Competizione can hit the 62 mph benchmark 6.7 seconds.

As part of an optional Performance Pack, the 595 Competizione can be equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential (known as Abarth D.A.M.) when it is equipped with a manual transmission. The differential allows for adequate torque distribution between the front wheels when either has less grip, effectively eliminating understeer. That option package also includes 17-inch Supersport rims, as well as Sabelt leather and Alcantara seats, and a carved aluminum 595 badge.

Prices

Abarth has yet to announce prices for the 595, but all three trim levels are slated to go on sale across the EMEA region in June, at which point pricing information should become available. We do know that the current 595 starts out at €18,850 or $21,537 at current conversion rates, with the 595 Turismo coming in at €22,850 and the Competizione commanding €25,350. Expect pricing to increase by maybe $500 or $1,000 at most.

Competition

Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop

2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop Exterior
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The Mini JCW Hardtop is here with a redesigned body, roomier cabin and a ton more power. Check it out at TopSpeed.com.

If there is any competitor out there for the 595 Abarth Competizione, we can look to the Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop. Based on the Mini Cooper, the car has been redefined – just like the Abarth 595 – with large air intakes up front and a reasonably aggressive rear end. When it comes to power, however, the Mini JCW Hardtop takes the cake. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivers 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. With that kind of power, it can hit the 60-mph sprint in 5.9 seconds – a second faster than the 595 Competizione. Top speed sits at 153 mph. At the time of this writing, the Mini JCW Hardtop will set you back a bit more than the 595 Competizione with an invoice of $30,600. Unlike the 595, however, the JCW hardtop is available in the U.S.

Read our full review on the Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop here.

Mini Cooper

2014 Mini Cooper High Resolution Exterior
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When looking at competitors for the base-model 595, it’s best to take a look at the base model Mini Cooper. It shares its look with all of the other Mini models and comes equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 136 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. For the 595 Turismo, the best option is the Mini Cooper S, which is equipped with a 2.0-liter that delivers 192 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. The entry-level Mini Cooper can hit 60 mph in 7.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 130 mph. In S form, the Cooper makes the same sprint in 6.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 146 mph. At the time of this writing, the Mini Cooper retails for $19,950 while the Cooper S goes for $24,100.

Read our full review on the Mini Cooper here.

Conclusion

2017 Abarth 595
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Normally I hate badge engineered cars, but the Abarth 595 is more than a Fiat 500 with a Scorpion badge on it. The exterior and interior are way nicer that what the 500 has to offer, and for a little car, it’s pretty quick too. It does seem like Abarth gets off a little cheap with the infotainment system, though. For the price of the 595, it should probably come standard with the seven-inch Uconnect system as opposed to the basic five-inch system. Even if it offered the navigation and phone connectivity as standard on the five-inch system, I would be a little more impressed, but those are just more items on a long list of options. Either way, the Abarth 595 isn’t coming to the U.S., so I’ll leave it to our European counterparts to complain more about that.

  • Leave it
    • Could have a better infotainment system as standard
    • The Competizione could benefit from more power
    • Not coming to the U.S.

Press Release

It has been just over two months since the launch of Abarth 124 spider and now the brand with the Scorpion trademark is generating buzz again. The New Abarth 595 is the development of the iconic model: more powerful engines, even richer standard equipment and plenty of product innovations, some of which are usually reserved for higher segment cars.
With sales kicking off in June across the EMEA region, the new Abarth model is reasserting its reputation as a compact, lightweight and agile car and as a unique model in terms of configuration and tuning. In brief, the New Abarth 595 is the natural heir of the model launched in 2008 and present worldwide. Performance, technology and iconic Italian style are the key factors of a very successful strategy.
Available as a hatchback or convertible, the New Abarth 595 is offered with three trim levels (595, 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione) and three power levels to satisfy the requirements of increasingly demanding and competent customers. Many of the upgrades introduced are the result of experience gained with the development of the 695 Biposto, dubbed the "smallest supercar", which implements real racing thrills and technology on a street-legal car.
The distinctive yet affordable 595 version is the Abarth entry level model and offers all the standard equipment needed to ensure typical Scorpion enjoyment and driving pleasure. What is more, 595 is the ideal base for drivers who want to tune their car over time and make it unique.
The 595 Competizione and 595 Turismo versions express other two distinctive souls of Abarth. The first, more "purist", is designed for those who love performance and no-compromise sportiness. The second, on the other hand, makes reference to the typical values of the Italian GTs in a compact size perfect for use in cities.

Engine and gearbox

One of the biggest innovations is the increased power of the 1.4 T-jet engine installed on the 595 and 595 Turismo versions. The first delivers 145 HP and 206 Nm of peak torque, while the second reaches 165 HP and 230 Nm. What is more, the latter is fitted with a Garrett turbine. On the other hand, 595 Competizione with its 180 HP is the car for drivers who crave racing adrenaline in terms of both performance and technical features. Accelerating from 0-100 in 6.7" and then braking safely with the oversize Brembo braking system with four-piston fixed aluminium callipers will be a pleasure in the anatomical "Abarth Corsa by Sabelt" shell seats. Moreover, the engine also achieves a specific power of 132 HP/litre as a result of the high-performance Record Monza exhaust with dual mode system. This exclusive feature is available, on request, on the rest of the range, together with the Record Modena exhaust that ensures identical performance combined with a less aggressive looking tailpipe.
As standard, all variants of the 1.4 T-jet engine are paired with a mechanical five-speed gearbox but they can be fitted with an Abarth robotised sequential gearbox with shift paddles.

Abarth D.A.M.

The New Abarth 595 is the only car in its segment to fit a truly exclusive mechanical limited-slip differential (Abarth D.A.M.), for superlative performance.
Available on demand, the Abarth mechanical limited-slip differential is available on the 595 Competizione with manual transmission and derives directly from the experience acquired on the 695 Biposto.
The Abarth mechanical limited-slip differential exploits the full potential of the 595 Competizione to the utmost and improves traction in extreme conditions. The mechanical limited-slip differential ensures adequate torque transfer between the front wheels when either has less grip (a typical example is the different speed coming out of curves taken with high lateral load). This equipment allows the driver to close the line and eliminates understeer.
Abarth D.A.M. is contained in the new Performance Pack - available on the New Abarth 595 Competizione with manual gearbox only - which includes 17" Supersport rims and Sabelt leather/Alcantara® seats with carbon shell, carved aluminium 595 badge and the red, white or glossy black customisation pack to personalise the look of the car.

Brakes, suspension and Sport button

Standard on 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione are the Koni FSD (Frequency Selective Damping) rear shock absorbers that optimise the driving experience and safety by improving road-hold, handling and stability. And now, the same shocks are fitted as standard on 595 Competizione on the front suspension, with a considerable increase in dynamic performance. Also on the top-of-the-range version is the Brembo braking system with four-piston aluminium monoblock fixed callipers - standard red or optionally grey, black or yellow - combined with 305 mm ventilated and perforated discs. The standard callipers are instead black on the 595 Turismo, with red or yellow offered as alternatives.
Finally, the New Abarth 595 also fits a Sport button to change different parameters of the car: from maximum torque output to power steering calibration to get a more direct and less invasive feel. Furthermore, the system adjusts the accelerator pedal calibration to guarantee prompter response and the TFT instrument panel switches to racing configuration, in perfect Abarth style.

Exteriors

On the outside, the New Abarth 595 has plenty of new features which improve performance. The front end, for example, was redesigned and now has an oversized air intake: this improves heat management in the engine compartment and increases cooling capacity by 18%. So, performance and regularity of engine delivery are increased, even in the case of more extreme racing tuning.
Abarth engineers also worked on the rear bumper creating a more pronounced diffuser. Specific bumper inserts have also been created for each trim level. They are matte black for the 595, in matching body colour on the 595 Turismo and with the tar cold grey finish on the 595 Competizione.
The front and rear headlight clusters are also new, with polyelliptical headlights and LED daytime running lights on the entire range as standard equipment. Xenon headlights are optionally available. They ensure better emitted light quality and excellent efficiency in all weather conditions because they are nearly three times brighter and longer lasting than normal halogen headlights.
The new 17’’ Granturismo rims (standard on 595 Turismo) are 7% lighter and have over 50% more ventilating surface to the benefit of heat dissipation, and enhanced and more consistent braking system performance as a consequence. The distinctive features of the new Abarth 595 include new satin chrome trim on the 595 and Turismo versions, new mirror caps (satin chrome on 595 Turismo, matching body colour on 595 and tar cold grey on 595 Competizione) and the side stripes (standard on 595 Competizione), now wider and longer to give greater emphasis to the Abarth brand.
Available in 15 body colours - including pastel, metallic and three-layer paints and five two-tone liveries - the exciting colour palette of the New Abarth 595 includes besides standard Pista Grey the exclusive Modena Yellow, until now only available on the 695 Biposto Record, the sporty and bright new Abarth Red pastel and the new three-layer Iridato White. Making their début are the three new two-colour combos: Scorpione Black/Podio Blue and Scorpione Black/Record Grey and Pista Grey/Abarth Red.
Finally, three packs for customising the appearance of the car are available on demand with Abarth side sticker, mirror caps and front and rear bumper inserts in three colours: white, black or red.

Interiors

The New Abarth 595 is completely new on the inside, too. New technical materials, like Alcantara® and carbon fibre cleverly reassert the sporty character of the model. Furthermore, new upholstery is available on the entire range.
In particular, the 595 version offers specific Abarth fabric seats characterised by extraordinary lateral support. The 595 Turismo version comes with black, tan or red leather seats, while standard on the 595 Competizione are the Corsa by Sabelt seats, amongst the best supporting seats on the market today. They provide extraordinary lateral support and are perfect for sporty driving due to their ability to accurately transmit every minimum load shift to the driver. The seats have fabric upholstery with new graphics and materials for maximising grip. Leather and Alcantara® alternatives in the shades of black or tan are optionally available.
Furthermore, the new flat bottom steering wheel with viewfinder was designed to ensure effective sporty driving. In more detail, the standard steering wheel for the Competizione version is made of technical materials, such as carbon fibre and Alcantara®. The dashboard fascia, which has always been one of the most iconic features of the 595, is specifically characterised for each version: matching body colour on 595, matte grey on 595 Turismo and tar cold grey on 595 Competizione.
The carbon dashboard fascia derived from the 695 Biposto is now available as optional equipment and may be ordered to complement the passenger compartment of the 595 Competizione even further.
The innovations continue with a brand new sports instrument panel, which improves readability, especially with the new graphics that characterise the Sport mode. Moreover, the manometer lighting is white so as to make reading easier and more immediate.

Infotainment

All versions are equipped with UconnectTM 5" Radio with touchscreen and Uconnect Live services as standard equipment (also with built-in navigator and DAB on request). UconnectTM 7" HD, a fast platform complete with high-def screen, navigation and DAB digital radio, is also appearing for the first time on the range. The Uconnect 7" HD system comes with high-def screen and Abarth Telemetryun for gauging driving performance on preloaded circuits to study driving style and improve it. It is also customisable, offering the possibility to record new tracks and store them for later retrieval to compare performance. With the preloaded points of interest (Officine Abarth and other significant places for the brand) each owner can now "collect" special badges. Results and progress can naturally be shared on the social pages.
Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto - considered the best smartphone mirroring solutions for Apple iOS and Android - will become available upon request on Uconnect 7". This will allow quick and easy access to all the functions and contents of the smartphone on the touchscreen of the New Abarth 595s.
Finally, the refined and powerful BeatsAudioTM system with seven speakers is making its appearance on the New Abarth 595. It will certainly win over even the most demanding music lovers.
Developed in collaboration with Beats by Dr. Dre, the BeatsAudioTM system boasts an impressive total output of 480 watts and features a digital eight-channel amplifier integrating an advanced equalisation algorithm capable of recreating the entire sound spectrum that an artist experiences during studio recording.
The Beats AudioTM sound system has two dome tweeters installed in the front pillars, two 165 mm midwoofers in the front doors, two full-range 165 mm speakers in the rear side panels and one 200 mm subwoofer in the middle of the boot in the spare wheel compartment.

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