Abarth 695 70th Anniversario is the coolest 500 yet
Just because the 2020 Charger and Challenger Hellcat widebodies are still based on a platform originating from 1995 Mercedes-Benz W210s doesn’t mean Fiat’s 2003 Mini platform will stay around forever as well, for those of you reading the tea leaves of chassis longevity. While current inventory will supposedly last well into 2020, the FCA has officially discontinued the Fiat 500.
Before the gasoline 500 goes away, presumably to be replaced by whatever comes after Fiat’s customizable Centoventi concept introduced at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Abarth cooked up a special edition—precisely 1949 units of them. Our favorite feature? The rear wing that can be adjusted in 12 different positions between 0–60 degrees.
And if you think putting a rear aero device called “Spoiler ad Assetto Variabile” on a 180-horsepower economy hot hatch is a bit of an overkill, please remember that the 70th Anniversario celebrates 70 years since Abarth & C. was founded by Carlo Abarth—a man who, at the age of 57, lost 66 pounds by eating only apples so that he could climb into his Fiat Abarth 1000 Monoposto record car. Though the apple-eating tactic remains obscure, the Abarth name represents the legacy of the man who knew exactly what it took to win despite having a small engine.
Priced at $36,586 in Europe, the Abarth 695 70th Anniversario comes in the shade of light mint green that Abarth used on his first 500s at Monza in 1958 (setting six international records in the process). The car will also be available in Circuit Grey, Gara White, Scorpione Black, and Podium Blu. Of course, you also get the cool, manually-adjustable wing. Abarth says that its full-scale wind tunnel located in Orbassano confirmed 92.6 pounds of extra downforce at the rear at 124 mph if you choose the most aggressive setting.
What else? Well, on top of the obvious plastic body kit, this 500 features 17-inch SuperSport alloy wheels and four-piston Brembo brake calipers in red as standard. The Brembo discs measure 305 mm at the front and 240 mm at the rear, and each is self-ventilated. Last but not least, Abarth threw in “Record Monza” sport exhaust, a limited slip differential, and Xenon headlights. With a 1.4-liter turbo engine that still puts down 180 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm, you’re looking at a hot hatch with a top speed of 139 mph as long as you keep that spoiler at the zero position.
Complete with its “Sabelt Tricolore” seats and fancy numbered plaque, the Anniversario is a very cool toy from all angles, and a fitting tribute to a racing legend. Too bad it stays in Europe.