New Abarth 695 Review

Harsh, loud, and hilariously expensive hot hatch

6/10
wowscore
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Great fun
  • Willing engine
  • Pocket rocket
  • Expensive
  • Impractical
  • Harsh ride

£23,040 - £24,390 Price range

4 Seats

47 - 48 MPG

Review

The 695 is almost in a class of its own in the track-day special hot hatch department. Only the Mini John Cooper Works Challenge matches it for size and – as with the larger Renault Megane 275 Trophy-R and Golf GTi Clubsport S trackday specials – it’s now defunct.

The rear seats in the 695 have been replaced by a suspension strut bar to make the vehicle stiffer and the suspension has been heavily reworked to make the 695 handle as well as it can. This includes installing firmer springs, adjustable front dampers, a 10mm wider track and a 20mm adjustable ride height so you can set up the car to drive exactly how you want it.

These alterations are teamed with a set of 18-inch OZ alloy wheels with sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres and larger brakes – it really is a miniature race car.

The transformation wouldn’t be complete without a reworked engine. It uses the same 1.4-litre turbo unit as in the 595, but now with 190hp which is transferred through a five-speed manual gearbox and mechanical limited-slip differential. This, combined with the 997kg kerb weight means it can sprint from 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds and on to 143mph.

The soundtrack is complete with a sports exhaust from specialists Akrapovic, which crackles and pops all day long.

Inside, there’s a pair of body-hugging race seats, and that’s about it. Gone are the radio and air conditioning to lower the weight to its sub-1000kg level. It is a very special place to sit, but if you’re looking for luxury, best to go elsewhere.

And the cost of all this inconvenience? A mere £33,025. To put that in perspective, it’s more than twice the price of a standard 595 Abarth. Is it worth it? Rationally no, but if you’re looking for a car to put a smile on your face, the BiPosto does it by the bucket load.

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