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by David Zalstein

The order books for the hardcore Fiat Abarth 695 biposto have opened ahead of the Australian debut of the Italian marque’s fastest-ever model.

Starting at $65,000, the two-seat 997-kilogram Fiat Abarth 695 bipostofirst unveiled at the 2014 Geneva motor show back in March – is effectively a road-going version of the 151kW/300Nm Abarth 695 Assetto Corse race car that finished 18th overall at this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour.

Teaming a 141kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder with a self-locking differential and an H-pattern gearbox with dog rings – allowing for clutchless up shifts – the sprightly front driver claims a 5.9-second 0-100km/h and a 230km/h top speed.

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Despite having 9kW more power than the $45,000 flagship Abarth 595 50th Anniversary edition, the 695 biposto’s 6.5L/100km claimed fuel consumption figure matches that of its identically-engined sibling.

Fitted with an aluminium bonnet, exterior carbon inserts and an aggressive looking Zender bodykit that includes pumped guards and a rear spoiler, the 695 biposto is more than just aesthetically tough.

A front-mounted intercooler, dual-stage Akrapovic exhaust system, adjustable shock absorbers and a Brembo brake package featuring 305mm cross-drilled and ventilated front discs and four-piston calipers join lightened 18-inch OZ rims and a Poggipolini titanium rear roll bar.

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Pushing the point even further are fixed front windows with polycarbonate sliding panels and a data logger.

Inside, carbon-shelled Abarth Corsa seats join aluminium brake, clutch and accelerator pedals, titanium-coloured leather and Alcantara.

Three customisation kits are also optionally available and comprise an Exterior Kit ($5000), Carbon Kit ($9000) and Racing Kit ($7000), adding various extras into the mix.

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Given its harder, race-inspired edge, the Abarth 695 biposto is tipped to be a reasonably rare sight on local roads – Fiat Chrysler Australia has not announced any maximum number for orders – though at least 10 cars are due to be used for dealer and media purposes.

Intended, in part, as a celebratory model, the Fiat Abarth 695 biposto can trace its lineage back 50 years to the first Abarth 695 that debuted at the 1964 Geneva motor show. Highlighted by a 22kW 699.5cc engine, the original 695 claimed a 130km/h top speed and a 5.2sec 60-80km/h time.