Abarth has been making Hi-Po parts and Fiats since the 50’s so I was a little excited to be given the keys to the which is little bit more special then your run of mill Abarth.
The Abarth 695 Edizione Maserati or Mazerati Edition is a special edition model of which 499 are being built Fiat Australia managed to get 40 cars for this country so there was going to be more chance of me seeing a Mazerati then another 695 during the week I had the car.
First thing you notice is the beautiful paint finish the “Pontevecchio Bordeaux” colour is from the Maserati Colour chart and really looks nice specially in the sun, the Maserati inspired 17 in alloys really complete the look to make sure the 695 stands out from other cars on the road, and I certainly did get lots of looks during and even big thumbs up from a Ferrari and a Maserati driver during a nice sunday drive.
Step inside and you are greated by touch of luxury the sand beige leather seats are comfortable although there is limited adjustment available and have a 695 logo on the headrest. The trim on the dash and around the gear shift is a matte carbon finish and really add to the look on the inside at the bottom of the console is Abarth build plate with the build number of the car.
The steering wheel is trimmed in black leather and has beige inserts, at the top of the wheel is red, green and white stripe. The retro looking gauges are made by Jaeger brand and look absolutely great, the aluminium pedals have a scorpion on them and the aluminium sill plates, featuring carbon fibre inserts with Abarth 695 Edizione Maserati.
The audio system by JBL is an absolute cracker with 9 speakers and an 8 channel amp pumping out 400W of power meant every tune I played on it from Slipknot to Wagner sounded great.
Under the bonnet the 1.4L turbo 4 cyl has been ungraded and pumps out a healthy 132 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque, the Abarth has a sport function and with that pressed not only does the responsiveness increase but the torque rises to 250 nM.
The 1.4 turbo is a little laggy down low but once the rev’s reach 2000 rpm you can feel the car surge forward towards redline before you quickly have to grab the next gear. I’m a fan of Fiat engines and this one is no exception it’s tractable to drive around normally in traffic with enough urge to put a smile on your face but press the sport button and the engine goes to the next level.
Backing the wonderful engine is Abarths electrically operated manual Abarth Competizione gearbox. One thing you notice when you first get in is there’s no gear shift it is replaced by four buttons an A/M which toggles the gear boxes auto and manual modes, 1 for 1st, N for Neutral and R for reverse. You put the car in 1st and if in manual mode use the steering wheel mounted paddles to change gears.
In auto mode like shifts aren’t as resonsive but tell you the truth I spent most of the week in manual mode and the gear shifts quick, like the Fiat 500 Gucci I reviewed the week before I found the shift was smoother if I lifted off the pedal when changing gears.
To say the exhaust note from this car was great would be a massive understatement, the car is fitted with a variable back pressure dual mode which not only helps with performance but delivers an awesome sound track specially above 3000 rpm. I spent quite a few hours punting it around some twisty roads and the exhaust note was down right intoxicating.
On the road the Abarth 695 rides a touch firm thanks partly to the lowered stance the Koni shocks give, the low profile 17 inch tyres that surround the Nepture alloy rims and the short wheel base. You do feel the bumps specially on the ordanary roads around Sydney, take this car on a smooth piece of orad and it really comes into it’s own and is really fun to drive. The firmness might be a touch off putting to some people but the adding handling of the firm suspension is what gave this car more fun factor to me.
The electro power steering offers decent feel and has a decent weight to it, it’s not the sharpest steering I’ve felt but it’s not bad at all and another thing that adds to the fun factor.
To go with the extra mumbo under the bonnet the 695 Maserati gets big Brembo disc brakes, 305mm disks on the front and 240mm discs on the back which means the the car stops quickly everytime even after a few hours of tight and twisty roads that really work them out.
I had an absolute ball the whole week I was driving the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition it was such a fun car to drive around in, the 1.4L turbo engine is just a little pearler add to that the magic exhaust note and this car had my joy metre on high.
Sure there are some down sides to the car some people will find the ride too firm, the gear box can be a bit slow on the gear changes and then you have the biggest down fall of all for the car and that’s the price tag $60,000. Sure it is a limited edition with only 40 in this country, is loaded with features such as the Maseratisk seats, rims, uprated engine. But really the $60,000 price tag is over $20000 more than the regular Abarth and in all seriousness that’s what I’d be looking at if I was going to one.
If the price tag doesn’t faze you and you want the exclusivity the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition offers then I suggest you go have a look at one because it really is a good fun little car to drive that is sure to get looks where ever you go, for more information in the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition get down to your local Fiat dealer.
For information Fiat’s range of cars specially the Abarth 500 visit their website http://www.fiat.com.au