The Fiat 500 has manned up: the Abarth Competizione is the most potent, race-ready version of the 500 since the hard-riding Essesse model of 2009. It’s 1964 namesake – the two-cylinder Abarth 595 – made 32bhp and boasted Solex carburettors.
While the base 500 has 69bhp, the Competizione has 158bhp, and 170lb ft of torque from its 1.4-litre turbocharged ‘T-Jet’ four-cylinder. That means it matches the Essesse for power, making this the most potent 500 this side of the ballistic Abarth 695 Biposto, and to manage the extra shove there’s firmer Koni suspension, 17in alloys and thicker anti-roll bars. Oh, and a set of superb Brembo stoppers up front.
To announce to the world that you’ve spent up on mechanicals, the 595 also comes with a neat-looking two-tone paintwork option (£950, and sadly not the car pictured). Our test car has a beautiful finish with a light grey top layered over crimson, with a white waistband separating the colours