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Fiat may have upped the price of its 500 city car, but the racy 2015 Fiat Abarth 595 spinoffs are now cheaper than ever, with a starting price of $33,500 plus on-road costs.

Now called the 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione, the new hot-shoe Italians replace the Esseesse models that were priced from $34,990 plus on-roads, meaning the new price of entry is $1490 cheaper than before.

The entry level $33,500 Turismo model is available only as a hatch, while the better-equipped Competizione comes as a hard-top ($36,500) and convertible ($39,000, compared to $38,990 for the old Esse Esse soft-top).

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Despite the price cut at base level, the Abarth still costs more than key rivals the Ford Fiesta ST ($25,990), Peugeot 208 GTI ($29,990) and Renault Clio RS200 ($29,290).

Once again, power comes from a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine pushing out 118kW at 5500rpm and up to 230Nm of torque at 3000rpm, enough to hustle its from 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds with the five-speed manual of 7.6s with the optional ($2000) five-speed Dualogic automatic.

Fuel use, though, is just 5.4L/100km for the manual and 5.3L/100km for the Dualogic, or so Fiat claims.

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Underneath are components such as Koni front suspension (MacPherson struts, though the rear remains a torsion-beam albeit one joined by an anti-roll bar), revised automatically-adjustable dampers that help the car ride firmer and lower and a Sport mode to sharpen the throttle and load up the steering.

There are also 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/40 R17 hoops and cross-drilled ventilate brakes measuring 284mm/240mm.

The regular 500’s new 7.0-inch TFT instrument cluster has been added replete with a “race-spec” computer with a G-force meter and digital boost gauge. Abarth leather seats are standard on the base Turismo.

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Over and above the Turismo, the $3000 pricier Competizione gets extras such as sports bucket seats (albeit ones swathed in fabric), five-spoke 17-inch wheels finished in the colour of anthracite and a dual-mode Record Monza exhaust that opens up at 4000rpm to add extra decibels.

For a separate Abarth read, check out our review of the outgoing and ultra limited-edition Abarth 595 Special Edition here.

2015 Abarth 595 Key Features: Model by Model

Abarth 595 Turismo

  • 118kW/230Nm 1.4 turbo engine
  • Five-speed manual gearbox ($2000 Dualogic optional)
  • Leather seats/floor mats (latter with aluminium bits)
  • 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Blue&Me Bluetooth and USB system
  • Koni suspension with auto adjusting dampers
  • Perforated and ventilated front discs
  • 7.0-inch TFT screen
  • Electrochromatic rear-view mirror

Abarth 595 Competizione hardtop and convertible (over and above the Turismo)

  • Automatic air-conditioning (not manual)
  • Dark-finish five-spoke 17-inch alloys
  • Carbon-fibre kickplate and aluminium pedals
  • Sabelt racing seats in Titanium Grey
  • Dual-mode Monza exhaust system
  • Matt titanium grey stripes

Pricing (plus on-road costs):

Abarth Turismo hatch $33,500

Abarth Competizione hatch $36,500

Abarth Competizione convertible $39,000

(Dualogic auto adds an extra $2000)

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the updated 2015 Fiat Abarth 595 range.