A baby and a pair of boomers

The Advertiser - Motoring - - LAUNCH PAD -

ABARTH 595, $27,500

The Scor­pion-badged off­shoot of the Fiat range now has a model to oc­cupy the mid­dle ground be­tween the $18,000 Fiat 500 and per­for­mance Abarth Turismo mod­els from $34,000.

The 595 is pow­ered by a tur­bocharged 1.4-litre en­gine good for 104kW/206Nm. The coupe is $27,500 and the con­vert­ible with stan­dard fivespeed man­ual gear­box is $31,500. Auto adds $2000 to each.

The money buys a two-door baby car with sprightly ac­cel­er­a­tion and the 16-inch rims give it a more pur­pose­ful look than the 15-inch wheels on the 500s.

Stan­dard gear in­cludes a seven-inch in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen and rear park­ing sen­sors. Fu­ture Abarths in­clude a range-top­ping 135kW vari­ant.

Next week.

MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS COUPE FROM $65,900

You pay for looks when it comes to sheet metal, which is why the en­try C200 coupe is $5000 more than the equiv­a­lent four-door sedan. Be­yond the styling the coupe adds sports sus­pen­sion and steer­ing, AMG body style pack and LED head­lamps.

Mov­ing up to the diesel C250d costs $74,900 and the head­line act on the reg­u­lar range is (for now) the C300 at $83,400. That price al­most dou­bles for those want­ing the go and show found in the Mercedes-AMG C63 S coupe.

The $162,400 hot rod adds a TV tuner, panoramic sun­roof and qual­ity leather up­hol­stery but most will be brag­ging about the big­ger wheels, up­graded sus­pen­sion and brakes, bi-modal ex­haust, elec­tronic lim­ited-slip diff and ac­tive en­gine mounts that con­trib­ute to a 3.9-sec­ond sprint from rest to 100km/h.

Now (C63 in June)

BMW 330E $71,900

The sec­ond plug-in hy­brid for the lo­cal BMW range is about $2000 dearer than a reg­u­lar 330i. The hy­brid con­cedes a frac­tion in per­for­mance and 110L of boot space to the con­ven­tional sedan but off­sets that with an of­fi­cial com­bined fuel use of just 2.1L/100km.

BMW says the 330e can travel up to 37km on the elec­tric­ity stored in the 7.6kWh lithium-ion bat­tery pack. A 2.0litre four-cylin­der turbo fires up when the bat­tery is de­pleted and, depend­ing on the mode se­lected, can recharge the bat­tery to about 80 per cent ca­pac­ity, boost the elec­tric mo­tor to im­prove per­for­mance or op­er­ate by it­self to save bat­tery charge for city driv­ing.

The turbo brings 135kW/ 290Nm and the mo­tor 65kW/ 250Nm for a com­bined out­put of 185kW/420Nm, to pro­pel the com­pact sedan to 100km/h in just 6.1 sec­onds.

Now

Abarth 595, main; Mercedes C-Class Coupe, be­low left; BMW 330e

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