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2019 Abarth 595 Esseesse

2019 Abarth 595 Esseesse

Fiat revives the Esseesse nameplate for its 500

Fiat will launch a new performance flagship model for the 500 range in the form of the new, 2019 Abarth 595 esseesse that’s set to debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show. The Italian brand is also not only celebrating its 120th anniversary this year but the 70th anniversary of Abarth too, hence why it’s bringing this 500 and a limited series version of the Abarth 124 roadster to the auto show.

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2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute

2019 Abarth 124 Rally Tribute

This is a slick special edition that’s worthy of the title-winning rally car

Abarth is headed to 2019 Geneva Motor Show with a spicy special edition sports car that pays tribute to the Abarth 124 Rally racer that triumphed in the 2018 FIA R-GT Cup. The special edition 124 Spider is appropriately called the Rally Tribute Special Edition, and it packs a collection of exclusive features that celebrates its status as a tribute car to the rally racer that, in addition to winning the R-GT Cup, also collected 40 class victories in the 12 national championships in which it competed. Only 124 units of the Abarth 124 Rally Tribute will be made. Pricing and allocation details haven’t been announced, but expect the special edition 124 to fetch north of $30,000 on account of the base Abarth 124 that starts at $28,295.

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2017 Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition

2017 Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition

The Fiat 500 gets a little inspiration from Grand Prix motorcycle racing

Without a doubt, the Fiat 500 is one of the Italian brand’s most important and historically relevant models ever produced. It’s been around off and on in one form or another since the ‘30s, and in 2007, Fiat introduced its latest iteration. Currently taking the form of either a three-door hatchback or a two-door cabriolet, the modern 500 is a cute, zippy city car with loads of personality and style. The help emphasize those characteristics, a variety of special editions have been offered over the years, with the latest being the Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha. Taking cues from the world of Grand Prix motorcycle racing, this agile little Italian speed bubble hopes to bring the thrills of two-wheel motorsport to a four-wheel platform, adding unique styling options, composite material flair, and even a considerable amount of performance for both straight-line fun and apex hunting.

In case you were unaware, Abarth is Fiat’s performance and tuning division, which identifies its creations with a yellow and red scorpion badge. This year, the FCA subsidiary is once again aligning itself with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team as the Official Sponsor and Official Car Supplier for the MotoGP World Championship season, and as such, the two makes are collaborating to bring the product of that happy marriage to enthusiasts.

The Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition follows in the footsteps of the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing and 696 Biposto Yamaha Factory Racing Edition that came before, both of which offered tricked-out limited runs of Fiat’s famous 500 in sportier, more aggressive trim. This time around, Yamaha is also getting in the action with the Yamaha XSR900 Abarth, the first motorcycle to be offered as a collaborative effort between the Japanese and Italian brands.

Both machines are decked out in a grey and red exterior color scheme, while also sharing a few surprising features. However, while the bike is obviously a bit more exposed, the 500 will be offered in both a hardtop and droptop iteration, with 695 units per body style, or 1,390 units total.

Order books open up in April. So far, there’s no word on U.S. availability, but don’t bet on it.

Look to the Geneva International Motor Show next week for the 695’s world debut, but in the meantime, read on for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 695 XSR Yamaha Limited Edition.

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2017 Abarth 595 Pista

2017 Abarth 595 Pista

Race-ready Fiat 500 gets new telemetry system

Revived in 2007 after a 32-year hiatus, the modern Fiat 500 soldiered on almost unchanged up until now. A facelift operated in 2016 added a new grille, reshaped headlamps, and LED technology, but it’s far from being a full-fledged redesign. The performance-oriented Abarth model also received a similar update and as a result Fiat returned to producing special-edition models for the auto shows around the world. One of them is the 595 Pista and was unveiled ahead of the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Named Pista, which is Italian for race track, the special edition makes clear reference to the racing vocation of the Abarth 500 and stands out by means of bespoke features inside and out, as well as the one-of-a-kind Abarth Telemetry system. The Pista version completes the new 595 Abarth line-up, which includes two body styles (hatchback and convertible), three trim levels (595, 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione), and as many drivetrain output and tuning levels.

Pricing and availability information is not yet known, but the 595 Pista will likely go on sale in most European markets. It might not come to the U.S. though, but Fiat will launch other special-edition models here.

Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 595 Pista.

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2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The performance-oriented Miata you’ve been asking for; with an Abarth badge

Rumors that Fiat might revive the 124 Spider, a stylish roadster from the 1960s, surfaced in 2014 and were confirmed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, when Fiat came clean and revealed that there was a new roadster underway with Mazda MX-5 underpinnings. Various reports then claimed that Fiat 124 Spider will also be followed by a performance-oriented Abarth version with a more powerful engine and all the goodies that come with the scorpion badge. With the standard roadster unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Show, Fiat took the wraps off the performance-oriented version at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Not surprisingly, the 124 Abarth was conceived using the same recipe applied to the 500 Abarth. It features a sportier body kit, a mildly revised interior with Abarth trim, and a more powerful version of the engine used in the standard model. On top of that, Fiat sprinkled a bit of its classic Abarth heritage in order to link the modern roadster to the original 124 Rally, a limited-edition homologation special.

Set to arrive in European showrooms for the 2017 model year, the 124 Spider Abarth is an extremely important car for this tight niche. The main reason for that is because Mazda said it won’t develop a high-performance version of the new Miata. So Abarth will exploit the potential of Mazda’s new chassis and give Miata lovers the power that the Japanese roadster has failed to deliver.

While Fiat has yet to confirm or release data about the U.S.-spec version, a similar model is very likely to cross the pond to North America and join the standard model. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the European version.

Updated 04/29/2016: FCA dropped prices on the 2018 Spider Abarth. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.

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2016 Abarth 124 Rally

2016 Abarth 124 Rally

Abarth returns to rallying with a 300-horsepower 124 Coupe

As soon as the Miata-based Fiat 124 Spider was unveiled in 2015, rumors that the Italians are also planning to develop a rally-spec model surfaced the Interwebz. Although Fiat declined to confirm that such a model is in the works, the race-prepped car made a surprise debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, alongside the beefed-up 124 Abarth. It’s called the Abarth 124 Rally, and much like the standard 124 Spider, it’s a modern iteration of the Fiat’s original roadster.

Only a prototype for now, the 124 Rally will be finalized in time for the 2017 season. Fiat confirmed that the coupe will be homologated for the FIA R-GT, a category created specifically for GT cars. In 2015, the R-GT Cup was contested by only four drivers, all using 996- and 997-generation Porsche 911 GT3s. There’s no word if other makers plan to join the sport, but the 124 Rally should make things significantly more interesting.

A final version will be unveiled by the end of the year with official testing to commence in the coming months. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the prototype that revives the 124 Rally after exactly four decades since its last official race.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2016 Abarth 124 Rally.

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2016 Abarth 695 Biposto Record

2016 Abarth 695 Biposto Record

Back in October 1965, Abarth founder Carlo Abarth set a world speed record for acceleration for a class G car at the Monza race track. Abarth was 57 years old when he drove the 105-horsepower Abarth 1000 Monoposto Record, a streamlined one-seater that was built specifically for the purpose of setting international and world speed records. He even had to shed 66 pounds just to fit inside the tight cockpit. That’s no small feat for anybody, let alone someone who was nearing his 60th birthday. Yet Abarth managed to do that on his way to setting a record that still resonates to this day. Now, 50 years after that record-setting achievement, the Italian automaker is paying tribute to that feat with the launch of the Abarth 695 Biposto Record.

The car is based on the 2014 Fiat Abarth 695 Biposto and it comes with cosmetic and mechanical upgrades on the exterior and interior. Only 133 units will be made of the limited-edition hot-hatch, with each model getting a special ‘695 Record’ badge to denote its association with Abarth’s incredible record-setting achievement.

Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 695 Biposto Record.

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2016 Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition

2016 Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition

Fiat and Yamaha normally have little common other than the fact that they’re considered giants in their respective fields. One is an Italian automaker that owns Ferrari while the other is a Japanese motorcycle company that’s considered one of the best in the world. But the two companies actually have a long history of working together, especially when it comes to MotoGP. In fact, Fiat-owned Abarth and Yamaha have a current two-year deal in place that makes Abarth an official sponsor of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, as well as its official car supplier for the 2015 and 2016 MotoGP seasons. Thanks to the partnership between these two brands, special edition models like the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition can find a spot at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition is the latest in a series of special edition Abarths that have been made for Yamaha. On September 11, 2015, Movistar Yamaha was given three Abarth 695 biposto Yamaha Factory Racing Edition vehicles during a ceremony at Abarth’s headquarters in Turin, Italy. The 695 isn’t expected to go on sale to the public, but the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition is expected to hit dealerships in small quantities.

l hope that Abarth sends the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition to dealerships sooner than later. For now, though, the special edition 595 is at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show as a visual reminder that Abarth and Yamaha have a solid relationship that’s built on the pursuit of motor racing success.

Continue reading to learn more about the Abarth 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition.

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