Drop of madness, 50 years on
Arbarth road-and-track reprise is on Fiat’s wish-list for Australia
IT IS the only car in its class to switch neatly between road and track and Italy’s pocket-rocket Abarth wants to do it in Australia.
The 695 Biposto is “being looked at’’ for inclusion into Australia, says Fiat Chrysler Automobile Australia boss Veronica Johns.
It is supposed to be the closest you’ll get to a racing Abarth, pushing 140kW via the front wheels for a 0-100km/h sprint of only 5.9secs.
The 695 was revealed at the Geneva motor show — 50 years after its ancestor also made an appearance at Geneva with its then potent 22kW engine. Abarth uses a sequential adaptation of a manual gearbox (not a robotised manual) with seven ratios for what one company rep classed as “a drop of madness’’. It also has a mechanical limited-slip differential.
Biposto stands for “two seats’’ — the rear seat is removed, as is the radio. Weight is further cut to 997kg as the window side glass is made of polycarbonate and most body panels are carbon-fibre composite.
The body is lowered, the springs are taut and the dampers are designed for track work. Inside, the Abarth gets a TFT display for the driver and an LCD screen in the centre console.
The 695 is the next step up from the existing 595 and is likely to sell for about $75,000.
European buyers even get the chance to learn how to minimise prangs while maximising fun at the Abarth Driving Academy.
Show-stopper: The Abarth
695 Biposto at Geneva