Abarth are about to release another special edition 500, this time in partnership with Maserati. The Abarth 695 Maserati Edition will actually be available to buy in the UK at the end of this year, with just 499 models up for grabs.
What makes the 695 Maserati so special? For a start it gets the fastest of Abarth’s engines, a supercharged and turbocharged 1.4-litre that’s good for 180bhp. Drive is passed through an electrically-operated Abarth Competizione gearbox with manual control provided by buttons on the steering wheel.
Chassis tweaks help to harness the extra power, including new Koni shock absorbers, and performance tyres wrapped around 17-inch Maserati-inspired ‘Neptune’ alloy wheels are responsible for transmitting it to the tarmac. The front brakes receive a major overhaul with a set of Brembo monobloc callipers with floating 305mm discs. Finally a variable back-pressure ‘dual mode’ exhaust lets the engine breathe more freely while making sure the Abarth delivers a suitably Italian tone.
If you think the 695 Maserati sounds familiar it’s probably because it follows the same formula as the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari from three years ago. This time Abarth are aiming for a less performance-oriented model and for something with a little more comfort, following in Maserati’s Gran Turismo theme.
That means the inside is lined in sand beige leather with a 695 logo embossed on the seat headrests. A matt finish carbon lining adorns the dashboard and gearbox and also bears the 695 logo, and the side panels are even given a grey ‘flocking’ effect.
Abarth 695 Maserati
|Engine:||1,386cc 4-cyl Turbo|
|0-60mph||Under 7 secs|
|Top speed:||Over 140mph|
|CO2 Emissions:||151 g/km|
More interior details include Jaeger instruments, an aluminium pedal unit and sill plates, a carbon fibre kick plate bearing the Abarth 695 Maserati Edition graphics, and a number plaque bearing the Abarth’s series number from 1 to 499.
There are three problems that I can see with this car. One is that it’s purple, or Pontevecchio Bordeaux to be precise. The second is that’s it’s based on the 500C convertible rather than the tin-top hatchback. The third is that it costs £32,000. Fortunately that is the on-the-road price but it’s a huge sum of money for an Abarth 500 – not that it stopped the 695 Ferrari Tribute from selling out. On the bright side you do get a set of Tramontano leather luggage included in the price.