Loud and thirsty: Abarth F595 – an Italian at Oktoberfest

noisy and thirsty
Abarth F595 – an Italian at Oktoberfest

The Fiat 500 is now also electrified. And somehow that fits much better in the brave new world of mobility. And yet, anyone allowed to take the Abarth F595 for a spin might be tempted to shed more than a tear for the old world of combustion engines.

Fiat’s first electric model, the 500e, launched in 2021, is considered by many to be the best 500 of all time. But the previous predecessor shows in the sporty Abarth F595 version that it deserves a place in the fast lane rather than the side lane. If you want exciting driving dynamics at a low price, Fiat has a special and attractive offer here.

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The sports exhaust system of the Abarth F595 is surprising, also acoustically.

(Photo: Aabarth)

It is true that the Abarth 595 is a curious phenomenon. Compared to any other car, it looks like a cute little thing. At the same time, the giant throat in the lower front apron, the rubber-coated 17-inch wheels, the side skirts and the rear diffuser with its two twin-pipe exhaust tips make it unmistakably clear: He doesn’t just want to play.

ambiguous impression

An equally ambivalent impression is created in the interior. It is actually an older model in the lower price range. But the two large screens in the dashboard exude modern charm, while the anti-slip leather sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals and full sport seats promise high-level driving pleasure. At the same time, the carefully crafted seats, along with a few other tactile gems, evoke a bit of nobility in the 500’s somewhat brittle hard plastic landscape.

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The cabin of the Abarth F595 has been trimmed to be sporty.

(Photo: Abarth)

Typical of small cars, steering wheel adjustment options and hard seats are also limited on the F595. But unlike what is usual in this segment, you can sit comfortably in the highly contoured driver’s seat, even over long distances, without your back moving.

Starting the engine also seems almost like a relic, because instead of starting by pressing a button, as is now customary for sports cars, a key is still turned in the ignition lock in the classic way. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder comes to life with a robust yet well-tolerated sound. The five-speed gearbox is also manually operated in our test example with a depressed clutch and raised gear lever.

A little rough and unpolished

In the first few meters, the city buggy looks a bit rough and unpolished on anabolic steroids. But you quickly get used to the somewhat rough nature. Only the difficulties of the lower Koni sports suspension, especially on the often bumpy city streets, remain permanently annoying. In return, little Hoppel pampers you with his lively character, which, together with the macho look, ensures some attention. If the already lively interest in its surroundings isn’t enough for you, you can get even more neck-twisting potential from the poisonous dwarf by pressing the scorpion button on the dash. Then the four tailpipes rattle the world with a beefy, cheeky pit lane-style rattle.

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Thanks to its sports seats, the Abarth F595 offers surprisingly good long-distance suitability for a small car.

(Photo: Abarth)

Above all, however, the small turbo engine’s Garrett chargers ensure increased performance and correspondingly richer torque in sharp driving mode. Even if the image with the tarantula stinger doesn’t seem entirely appropriate in view of the scorpion in the Abarth logo, it still serves as a description of the potential for violent acceleration. The greedy, high-revving four-cylinder already provides its 230Nm of torque at just over 2000rpm and, without complaint, only requires a longer gear ratio at 6500rpm.

Here the greatest feeling is in fifth gear, but if you want, you can take the digital speedometer to more than 230 km/h at this level. Even at this speed, the midget, which was actually developed for urban traffic, is surprisingly complete on the highway. Some other road users are wondering how the little car, which has just been classified as needing a service, is dividing them. With an F595 you can play entertaining mind games in the hierarchical structure of the left lane of the highway.

Loud and thirsty, like the Italians at Oktoberfest

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A small round instrument provides information on the turbo boost pressure.

(Photo: Abarth)

However, those who exploit the potential must not be sensitive to noise and must not be stingy. The F595 drove briskly like the Italians at Oktoberfest: loud and thirsty. If necessary, the smooth-moving Abarth can make do with just over 5 litres. This value can easily be doubled when speeding up. In our case it was 7.5 liters on average.

Is that cheap or wasteful? This question also arises with the purchase price. In the case of the 595, Abarth announces on its website an online price of around 22,500 euros. Together with the F595 package – which includes Koni sports suspension, 17-inch wheels and a sports exhaust system – it costs around 24,000 euros. This is certainly a tough course for a small car, but almost a bargain for a car with fascinating sports car technology.

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