Abarth – Fiat’s Performance arm – has sold more cars in the UK so far in 2016 than it has in any other country, even its home market of Italy.
There’s something very appealing about Abarth and its fettling of Fiat’s products.
Recently, they’ve all revolved around the Fiat 500 (which, to a degree, could be said about Fiat too), with the appealing Abarth 595 delivering from 143bhp from its 1.4 Turbo T-Jet in the 595 up to 177bhp in the 595 Competitzione, and at prices starting from around £15k.
On the face of it, the 595 is a bit too short and a bit too upright to be a high performance car, and its size and paint jobs do make you smile for the wrong reasons.
But just like the regular Fiat 500, the 595 also makes you smile because it makes you feel good, it’s cracking fun to drive and it’s just a little bit bonkers. The same, and more, can be said for the Abarth 695 Biposte, which at getting on for £40k is just off the scale bonkers.
You can now add to the bonkers 500 Abarths the new Abarth 124 Spider, an Abarth which almost arrived before its Fiat donor offering a visual tweaking including matt black bonnet, as well as 168bhp from its 1.4 litre petrol, continuing Abarth’s low power, high performance ethos in small, light cars.
By any logical point of view, the Abarth products are a bit of a barmy buy, but there’s something so appealing to British drivers about the small, light and modestly powered performance Abarth’s cars deliver that the UK is now the most successful market for Abarth cars in the world, with more sold in 2016 here than even Italy – 3125 so far this year, up 54 per cent on 2015.
And long may it continue.
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