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.”
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.
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.
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.