Special edition Abarth 695 joins the 695 Rivale 175 Anniversary in honoring yacht-maker’s long and storied history

The Abarth 500 has been on the receiving end of some interesting special edition models in the past. We’ve seen the Abarth 695 Biposto Record, the 595 Yamaha Factory Racing Edition, and the 500 Track Experience, among others. None of them, though, can lay claim to the title of being the “most sophisticated Abarth ever.” That distinction, according to Abarth itself, now rests on the shoulders of the 695 Rivale Special Edition.

Developed specifically to celebrate the company’s close ties to yacht maker Riva, the 695 Rivale is the physical embodiment of the premium luxury that goes into the craft of building those sea vessels. Safe to say, that “most sophisticated Abarth ever” title fits the 695 Rivale. It’s inundated with aesthetic features that shine a big spotlight on the nautical theme of the compact car. Inside and out, the 695 Rivale is decked to the brim with luxury, the kind you expect from any one of the yachts that Riva has built in its 175-year history. The special edition Abarth 695 doesn’t pack any power or performance upgrades, but that’s an inconsequential omission when you compare it to the quantity and quality of cosmetic additions given to the hot hatch. There’s no word yet on how many models Abarth plans to build of the 695 Rivale, but another special edition model, the Abarth 695 Rivale 175th Anniversary, is limited to just 350 units, divided into 175 units for the coupe model and another 175 for the cabriolet version.

Update 02/21/2018: Our friend Cyril stopped by a showroom in Paris and snapped a few shots of the Abarth 695 Rivale. Check them out in the gallery below!

Gallery: Abarth 695 Rivale in Paris

What makes the Abarth 695 Rivale and the Abarth 695 Rivale 175th Anniversary so special?

What makes the Abarth 695 Rivale so special is on full display, specifically the two-tone Riva Sera Blue and Shark Grey paint finish.

Even from afar, what makes the Abarth 695 Rivale so special is on full display, specifically the two-tone Riva Sera Blue and Shark Grey paint finish. Judging by the names these two colors go by, you can immediately point to the connection it has to the nautical world. The so-called aquamarine double stripe running the length of the car at waistline height is another nod to the overarching theme of the special edition car. The door handles received a satin chrome finish, as did the tailgate with moldings finished in the same premium material. Specific “695 Rivale” badging can also be found on the tailgate and rear bumper of the car with the Riva-inspired side grilles and the new set of 17-inch Supersport alloy wheels finishing off the exterior look of the 695 Rivale.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Exterior
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That’s the extent of all the upgrades in the exterior of the Abarth 695 Rivale. It’s not much in terms of quantity, but the totality of it is much better to look at compared to when you look at them independent of the others. All told, the inspiration behind the special edition Abarth 695 is unmistakable. It really is a compact car for the open seas.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Interior
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Inside, the whole ambiance of the interior opens up to the theme of the whole car even more.

Step inside the cabin and you get the same feeling as the whole ambiance of the interior opens up to the theme of the whole car even more. The dashboard, for example, can be finished in either carbon fiber or mahogany accents. The latter, in particular, is an added option so the choice of getting it is right there provided a customer is willing to pay a little extra for it. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to do the same for the blue leather upholstery, which not only comes as standard to the 695 Rivale, but is also prominent enough to also be found on the door panels. The use of carbon fiber on the interior also extends to the kick plates, further enhancing the car’s sports car identity, something that most people don’t realize the Abarth 695 really is.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Drivetrain
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For those who need a little refresher, the Abarth 695 is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder tending that makes 180 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It’s not a big number by any means, but when you consider the size of the car, the power is enough to accelerate the hatchback to 62 mph in 6.7 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 140 mph.

The availability of the special edition Abarth 695 is certain. What’s not is the number of models that Abarth plans to release. The company didn’t specify how many 695 Rivale models it plans to release, opting only to say that the model will be available “in a limited series of sedan and cabriolet versions.” The Abarth 695 isn’t available in the U.S., but it retails for £33,055, which converts to a little over $41,000. For obvious reasons, the Abarth 695 Rivale is expected to cost more. Don’t be surprised if the price approaches £40,000, or just above $50,000 based on current exchange rates.

The Abarth 695 175 Anniversary Special Edition

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Exterior
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The other model is the Abarth 695 Rivale 175 Anniversary, which basically adds more special features to what the 695 Rivale already has.

The Abarth 695 Rivale may be getting all the attention and there’s a good reason for that. But before we start to focus on just one special edition version of the Abarth 695, it’s important to remember that the Italian automaker actually released two special edition models based on the performance hatch. The other model is the Abarth 695 Rivale 175 Anniversary, which basically adds more special features to what the 695 Rivale already has. There’s the celebratory “175 Anniversary” badge on the outside of the pillar that indicates its special edition status. There’s also the blue and black hand-stitched leather seats, which comes with a celebratory logo stitched onto the headrest, and the carbon dashboard silk screen that comes with a printed version of the car’s logo.

The car’s power and performance numbers are similar to the Abarth 695 Rivale, but we do know that the Italian automaker is only planning to release 350 total units of the special edition model. Of these 350 units, half of them (175 units) will come in a hardtop version and the other half (175 units) will come in a cabriolet type.

Once more, prices are not yet available, but expect it to cost a little more than the standard Abarth 695.

Other special edition Abarth 695 models we’ve seen in the past

2010 Fiat Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari
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Note: Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari pictured here
It’s no secret that the Abarth 695 is widely used as the foundation for special edition models. We’ve seen a handful of them in the past, including models like the 695 Tributo Ferrari, the 695 biposto, and the 695 Assetto Corse.

The 695 Tributo Ferrari distinguished itself by offering either a Scuderia Red or Modena Yellow color finish. The two shades are arguably the two most popular colors used by the Prancing Horse so the fact they were offered on the Abarth 695 speaks to the legitimacy of the 695 Tributo Ferrari’s special edition status.

2014 Fiat Abarth 695 biposto
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Note: Abarth 695 biposto pictured here

Meanwhile, the 695 biposto and 695 Assetto Corse distinguished themselves from all other Abarth 605 models with the power upgrades that both models received. The biposto SE, for example, was given an engine whose output was increased to 190 horsepower 184 pound-feet of torque. That was back in the time when the standard Abarth 695 only packed 160 ponies at its disposal. The 695 Assetto Corse is a little different in that regard because it benefited from getting a tweaked version of the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that packs 205 horsepower.

From the combination of two Italian greats in the fields of technology, innovation, care over detail and the quest for performance, the Abarth 695 Rivale is born, the special series conceived in partnership with Riva. This historical brand of the nautical world, which has always been synonymous with Italian elegance and style, contributed to creating the most sophisticated Abarth ever.

  • The new special series is the meeting of two brands that are able to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary and exceed the limits of performance and uniqueness.
  • Available in a limited series, sedan and cabriolet, the car stands out for its unique appearance and nautically-inspired premium materials by Riva.
  • Abarth 695 Rivale is elegant and unique like a Riva motorboat, and guarantees exceptional performance like every Abarth special series.
  • To celebrate Riva’s 175 years, there is also an ultra-limited production of the new 695 Rivale 175 Anniversary, which features further stylish details.
2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Exterior
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Available in a limited series of sedan and cabriolet versions, the Abarth 695 Rivale can be recognised by its exclusive livery: two-tone Riva Sera Blue and Shark Grey paintwork, embellished with an aquamarine double stripe that runs at waistline height, resembling the "beauty line" on yachts.

The satin chrome finish on the door handles, the "695 Rivale" name on the tailgate and rear bumpers, the satin chrome moulding on the tailgate, which evokes the sophisticated shapes of a yacht, making this model even more unmistakable thanks to its aesthetic affinity with the side grilles on the new Riva yachts.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Exterior
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So much charm comes from the usual quest for better performance through the constant technical upgrading that characterises every Abarth car: in fact, under the bonnet of the 695 Rivale, hides a 1368 cm3 engine, which guarantees a maximum power of 180 HP and a torque of 250 Nm. The power-to-weight ratio of the 695 Rivale is that of a real supercar (5.8 kg/HP with a mass of 1045 kg) and its performance is extraordinary: a maximum speed of 225 km/h and 6.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. It is, therefore, a car that can satisfy sophisticated customers looking for elegance, sophistication and performance.

Together with the Abarth 695 Rivale, the 695 Rivale 175 Anniversary is also unveiled to celebrate 175 years of the Riva brand, which was founded in 1842. This "ultra-limited edition" accentuates the handcrafted finishes by adding customised elements, special wheel rims, celebratory logos and hand-finished blue and black leather front seats. 175 sedan and 175 cabriolet versions are available.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Exterior
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A car for hot asphalt that comes from the water

The aim of the 695 Rivale is to exceed Abarth’s traditional values and embrace Riva’s unmistakable charm to satisfy the need for exciting performance combined with a higher level of sophistication and elegance.

Its style is inspired by the very new open Riva "56 Rivale", one of the most agile and efficient yachts ever built by the boatyard in Sarnico. Traits that it has in common with the 695 Rivale, which also borrows some of Riva’s typical stylistic aspects to highlight the concept of elegance and character that sets it apart. In fact, the yacht and the car share some aesthetic elements, like Riva’s characteristic grey livery and the satin chrome mouldings.

Inside, the carbon fibre kick plates, blue leather seats and interior door panels, black mats with blue inserts and the carbon fibre or mahogany dashboard are variants available on request to give the car even more nautical look. Wood - the most natural of materials - is combined with most advanced technological solutions for a result of absolute excellence, just like on Riva yachts: the perfect combination of ultimate technology and expert craftsmanship. The mahogany variant allows you to embrace the Riva philosophy in greater depth: in addition to the dashboard strip, the special steering wheel is covered in blue and black leather with a mahogany badge, blue leather instrument panel cover and mahogany gear lever knob and kick plate.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Exterior
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The technological content is also excellent: as standard there is UconnectTM infotainment with a 7" HD touch screen, ready for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a hand-written numbered plate, which can be customised with the mane of your yacht on request: an original way of making the new Abarth 695 Rivale into a high performance land tender. Finally, the Abarth character is clearly visible in the Akrapović exhaust system with carbon tail pipes, in the Brembo brakes with black, 4-piston fixed callipers at the front, in the 17" Supersport alloy rims with special gloss grey finish and in the Abarth by Koni suspension with FSD (Frequency-Selective Damping) technology.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Interior
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Thanks to its unique features, the Abarth 695 Rivale is an Instant Classic, with everything needed to become part of the tight circle of the Abarth Register, which only includes the most exclusive cars with the technical or historical requirements to make them "collector’s pieces".

A tribute to Riva’s 175 years

Abarth and Riva share a rich history, and consistently work on their heritage to shape their future. The stories of Carlo Abarth and Carlo Riva are two great Italian stories, of two men who had a dream, and who made it into a legend. Both of them had the courage to push their thoughts beyond the usual mould, thereby giving the world cars and boats of absolute excellence that over time have become global icons.

2017 Abarth 695 Rivale Interior
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In 2017 Riva celebrates 175 years, a threshold that very few companies in the world can boast. To celebrate this special birthday, Abarth has come up with an ultra-limited production of the 695 Rivale, the 175 Anniversary: 175 sedans and 175 cabriolets. It is an edition to celebrate Italian know-how, with hand crafted details like the two-colour blue and black hand-stitched leather seats with a celebratory logo stitched onto the headrest, the carbon dashboard silk screen printed with the special logo, the special numbered plate inside and the celebratory badge on the outside of the pillar. The design of the 17" alloy rims is also special.

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