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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has officially revealed details of the new 2016 Abarth 595, confirming that the new entry point into the scorpion-branded range to go on sale locally “in Q2”.

The Abarth 595 – or “Abarth 140hp” as its importer unofficially calls it – will hit showrooms by mid-year at $27,500 plus on-road costs for the three-door hatchback version, significantly undercutting the existing base model, the Abarth 595 Turismo, which lists for $34,000.

It will also be available in convertible 595 form, from $31,500 plus on-roads.

“[The 595 hatch] will be the most affordable Abarth ever offered in this country,” says FCA Corporate Communications Manager, Andrew Chesterton. “[It] bridges the gap between the Fiat 500 range and the Abarth-branded performance range.

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Powered by a detuned 104kW and 206Nm version of the 118kW/230Nm 1.4-litre turbocharged T-Jet four-cylinder engine, and teamed with a five-speed-manual transmission as standard, the ‘regular’ 595 loses 14kW and 24Nm in transition.

Unlike the recently updated Series 4 Fiat 500 range, the Abarth range will remain Series 3-based. Key official specifications include 16-inch wheels, ventilated disc brakes with red calipers, a 17-inch TFT infotainment system and rear parking sensors.

As we’ve reported earlier, the Abarth 595 essentially slots between the current Abarth 595 Turismo and the Fiat 500 Lounge, which lists from $21,000 and is rated at 74kW and 131Nm.

With the current absence of a 500S version (as teased at the Geneva motor show) in the newly consolidated two-model (now Pop and Lounge only) Fiat 500 range, the Abarth 595 will become, for the time being, the base ‘sports’ variation of the 500-based breed.

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FCA Australia makes no secret of its desire to expand the Abarth range locally and the addition of the entry 595 would leave such a four-variant range (595, Turismo, Competizione, 695 Biposto) bottom heavy.

Instead, a four-seat, fully equipped 695-type variant to compliment the current two-seat, hard-core 695 Biposto would make more sense.

Essentially the now-defunct Tributo Ferrari mechanical package without the Maranello-badge cache, an ‘Abarth 180hp’ variant might offer headlining 132kW/250Nm performance while undercutting the Biposto’s range-topping $65,000 list price.

While FCA Australia refuses to comment on future ‘180hp’ versions, such a top-shelf option would likely carry either ‘695’ naming or adopt ‘Competizione’ nomenclature.




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